I’m working on a literature report and need a sample draft to help me learn.
Ghost Stories Essay Assignment
For all questions, use at least two texts, each by a different author (from Macbeth, Tell Tale Heart, Lost Hearts, Markheim or The Body Snatcher) to answer one of the following options.
Option 1 – Theme and Concepts
Pick one of the following themes or literary concepts that have arisen in the fiction you have read:
- The duality of human nature (e.g. good versus evil, civilized man vs primeval man, society vs personal desire, or any other you can think of)
- Evil acts and conscience – how does conscience affect the outcome of a character’s journey?
- The supernatural influence on our lives
- The lack of supernatural influences on our lives (being the author of our own fate)
- Personal choice and “goodness” (i.e. how do the choices we make define whether we’re “good” people)
- Use of setting and location to relate theme, mood, and characterization
- Use of imagery and symbolism to relate theme, mood, and characterization
Compare, contrast and discuss how each author achieves success with one of these concepts.
Option 2 – Narration
Compare and contrast how two authors negotiate the art of storytelling. In what ways do the authors narrate the stories they have to tell, from whose perspectives are these stories told, and are there any similarities in the ways they are told? Consider plot structure, point-of-view narration, use of dialogue and reported speech, and how these may affect the way the reader interprets the story being told.
Option 3 – Character
Pick at least one character from each story you have chosen and compare ways in which both these characters are developed and portrayed by their authors. How do the authors communicate their personalities and their main characteristics to the reader, and in what ways (if any) do they change throughout the story? Concentrate primarily on the protagonists of each story.
Questions to ask while working on your essays:
- what is/are the theme(s) of the story?
- how do various elements of the writer’s style affect the way the story impacted you as a reader?
- what motivates the characters’ actions?
- how does setting affect the story’s meaning?
- how does the plot structure affect the experience of reading this story?
- what do you know or have you learned about the writer or the story’s historical context that influences your reaction to the story?
Be sure to follow the guidelines on the course website for writing about literature (Assignments link).
Your paper should be approximately 4 pages or more, typed, double-spaced and referenced according to MLA style.