4 page english paper based on 5 short stories


1.Excerpts from “House on Mango Street” https://mrperrysclassroom.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/the-house-on-mango-street.pdf pp 3-42 and 90-109

2.Adichie “A Private Experience” and “Apollo” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/dec/28/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-short-story

3. “No Name Woman” https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/nicole.zaza/engl1301/1301-readings/no-name-woman-by-maxine-hong-kingston/view

4.“Sweetness” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/sweetness-2

5.“The Search Engine” by Sherman Alexie

6.Videos: Ted talk on Dangers of a Single Story; Bill Moyers interview of Sherman Alexie



Paper topics:

Use any of the following themes – storytelling, challenging traditional roles or heroism – across any of the four stories above and write a critical analysis. The paper must have a clear thesis which is arguable and add a new dimension to your discussion.

You can answer specific questions like these, or you can set up your own framework–

1, How does storytelling help us to understand better the quest of the narrators? At what point are the stories being narrated and why is the story important to the narrator?

Further points for discussion–

Storytelling—the child narrator, a narrator trying to help her aunt, a narrator sharing his sexuality with the reader, a mother telling her story to defend herself.

2. For an individual, challenging traditional roles involves stepping out of comfort zones and entering into conflict with family, community or other structured of authority. How do the protagonists of the stories you have read use this challenge in their own journeys through life?

Further points for discussion—

Challenging traditional roles – becoming a writer and owning a dream home, moving away from native American or Chinese stereotypes, challenging class or sexual stereotypes, moving away from being a traditional mother

3. Who is a hero? What does s/he do or achieve? Discuss, with examples, the heroism of the characters in the above stories.

Further points for discussion–

Heroism – becoming a hero in your own story; who is a hero? A person who conquers, sets out on a journey, learns something new, fights difficult battles, sets/resets the values for a culture.

You are required to read the stories closely with special attention to the text. The paper will expect you to make interpretations of the stories, characters, plots based on the text and these interpretations will support your thesis. You will also be supporting your interpretations based on quotes/paraphrases from the text. Additional credit will be given for analysis of metaphors, language devices and titles of stories.

The paper must be in MLA format, double spaced, one -inch margins, 4 pages or 1000 words and is due Tuesday March 17th. You will use 12 (twelve) point font (Times New Roman/Calibri). The paper must have a title. You can hand it via Blackboard or hand it out as a print-out in class. Blackboard can only read Word documents; it cannot read Pages or Notepad.

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