Topic: The Contemporary Short Story Assignment #2

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Topic: The Contemporary Short Story Assignment #2
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Required Reading: Page 35 – 47 .
!!Write an essay that addresses one of the following options. Indicate by the number, or by explanation, the item you have selected. The suggested length for your essay is from four to six typed, double-spaced pages. Use basic essay format, with an introduction, body of support, and concluding paragraph. Be sure to use examples or incidents and short quotations from the stories to illustrate key discussion points.
1. Based on what you have read in the five stories, examine the problems that appear to be prevalent in contemporary marriages. At the end of your discussion of the stories, be sure to include your own interpretation of what the endings imply for the marriages and for the individuals involved in them.
2. Citing examples from all five stories, comment on the authors’use of several elements of style. (See Pickering’s Reader’s Guide Unit 2 23 to the Short Story, pp. 3–31 and/or the “Elements of the Short Story” section of the introduction to this Course Guide.)
3. Assume the role of a marriage counselor of the troubled couples depicted in all five stories. Tell them what you perceive to be their central problems, and advise them accordingly.
4. Interpret the key messages or meanings in four of the stories and compare the authors’ insights regarding contemporary marriage.
!!Selected Critical Resources for Unit 2
Alice Adams
Waxman, Barbara Frey. From the Hearth to the Open Road: A Feminist Study of Aging in Contemporary Literature. New York, 1990, pp. 75–94.
Kay Boyle
Slady, Paul. “Astronomer’s Wife,” Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. by Noelle Watson. Detroit, 1994, p.626.
Bel Kaufman
Nelson, Robert J. “The Battlefield in Bel Kaufman’s ‘Sunday in the Park.’” English Language Notes XXX, No. 1 (1992): 61–68.
John Updike
Luscher, Robert M. John Updike: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York, 1993, pp. 117–18.
Tobias Wolff
Hornby, Nick. Contemporary American Fiction. London, 1992, pp.133–50.

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