Literature homework help

Literature homework help. INSTRUCTIONS: One of your choices for Essay #2 is a Character Analysis Essay. A Character Analysis focuses on your observations about a character in a literary work. This type of essay is different from your other choice, a Literary Analysis Essay. With a Literary Analysis Essay, you focus on your observations about a book, poem, play, or story overall.  Character analysis is more specific, focusing on a specific element of the work: the character you select. Your goal is to help the readers of your essay understand the mental, emotional, and intellectual inner workings of the main character.  See the Essay #2 folder for more materials to assist you on this essay.
Write a 4 page paper in which you analyze ONE of the characters from the readings for this week AND next week (only one character should be your focus for this assignment) OR any other short story in our textbook:
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown
James Joyce, “Araby”
Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
John Updike, “A & P”
Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson”
Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”
Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”
Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist”
Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”
Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”
Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Harlan Ellison, “’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman”
Amy Tan, “Two Kinds”
Begin by thinking about what that character, thinks, says, and does. Study what other characters say or think about him or her.  You should get inside the character’s head to determine his/her point of view. Describe your character’s motivations in the context of the play as well as how your character’s actions and/or beliefs affect other characters in the play.
NOTE: You may also consider the following attributes of the character (BUT you do not have to write about each of these…they are just some things to think about to help you get started): 

  • Attitude and Personality
  • Physical attributes (to create a mental picture of the character)
  • Characteristics and/or Mannerisms
  • Nature, Beliefs, Values
  • Inner thoughts and desires
  • Actions the character takes in response to life situations and circumstances
  • Reactions to other characters and/or how your character relates to others

Also, consider how other characters may perceive your character.  How would your character be described by other characters in the text?  How do other characters talk about him/her?  What is the relationship of your character to other characters?

Give the reader a well-rounded view of your character. Begin with his/her name and maybe some family background. However, that’s just the starting point. You now must dig deep into this person’s psyche to understand their motivations.  Discuss the characteristics of your character, but don’t stop there.  Tell the reader how and where the characteristic occurs in the story AND how it helps to explain the motivation for that character.  For instance, telling me what race, height, age, job, etc., a person is or has is irrelevant UNLESS it has something to do with why and how that person acts in the story.  Don’t just give a characteristic without that characteristic having significance that you explain.  Your analysis of the character is critical to this paper.  Your analysis is the “who,” “why,” and “how” of your character.
You MUST use quoted and/or paraphrased material from the story to support your position and to make your comparisons and/or contrasts.  This means you will need a Work(s) Cited page, as well as in-text citations.  You should not use any outside sources. Your Works Cited does NOT count as part of the page count.
MLA NOTES: Remember that your text it is a work in an anthology.  Therefore, you may refer to the play using quotation marks in the body of your paper, but your Work(s) Cited page should cite as a work in an anthology.
FORMAL WRITING NOTES: Remember that literature is considered a living entity.  Write your paper in the present tense.  Use third person throughout your paper.  Avoid using contractions in your paper, and double check for spelling errors and sentence structure issues.  Do not use questions in your paper.  Any question should be reworked to be a statement that encompasses the answer to that question.  It is important to write within parameters appropriate to the task at hand, and we have spent time going over these issues so you should be familiar with these guidelines.  I am always available to respond to any questions about how to rework something in the proper format.
Your writing MUST reach the bottom of at least the fourth page using Times New Roman 12 point font with double-spacing.  No different font or spacing is acceptable.  One sentence or paragraph on the fourth page is not sufficient.  As four pages is the minimum, grading will be initially affected by the length.  Your essay will be assessed in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Following the call of the assignment (following all directions)
  • Attention to Purpose/Audience/Genre, with particular attention to how you develop your character for the reader and whether you look beneath the surface to really bring out who the character is
  • Organization/Structure
  • Utilization of support materials (quotes from the text) and proper citation methods
  • Mechanics/Grammar/Spelling
  • Anything else, as appropriate


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