Focus on one significant theme from the story.

For Paper 2, you will focus on one significant theme from the story. Your reading of that theme in the story will have affected or even changed how you think about that theme and the dimensions of it in real life.
Some themes to consider (or you may identify another one by consulting your professor):
Gender roles (“Jury of Her Peers,” “Bloodchild,” “Miss Brill”)
Sexuality (“Giovanni’s Room,” “Bloodchild”)
Relationships (“Bloodchild,” “Giovanni’s Room”)
Marriage (“Jury of Her Peers”)
Race (“Giovanni’s Room,” “Recitatif,” “Bloodchild”)
Parenting (“Recitatif,” “Bloodchild”)
Class (“Recitatif,” “Giovanni’s Room”)
Themes can be initially identified as one- or two-word subjects, such as those in the list above.  Yet, you will want to take your investigation of theme further to ask what it is about that subject that you want to explore and convey in your paper. You will need to determine first that the theme you choose does in fact elicit empathy in you as a reader.  Then, you will need to do the work of organizing your warrants—main points—that explain what it is that the story teaches us about empathy. And, you will need to gather supporting evidence—examples from the text—that support the warrants.
For example, if you focused on the theme of sexuality in “Giovanni’s Room,” you could say that the story helped you to understand and empathize with the main character’s struggles with his sexuality. So, you could argue that the story helps readers to empathize with the internal struggles that a homosexual person must face in a society that privileges heteronormativity.
In other words, your paper’s argument will prove that reading and analyzing the story has shown you different viewpoints and thus can increase empathy in readers.
Summary vs. Analysis: Be aware that a paper analyzing a piece of literature is not a plot summary.  Summary should provide only brief details necessary to identify parts of the story required to develop the paper.
Length and Format:
Five-paragraph literary analysis paper
1000–1200 words for the paper (approximately 3–4 pages, double-spaced)
MLA style for document format. See this MLA Style Demo video for how to set up your document.

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