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Assignment 2

Review the presentations on the elements of fiction and writing about plot given in class.
Read the story: A Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (included in this assignment) or you can access it here: http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/telltale.html

  1. What type of conflict do you think exists in this story (Look in Unit 3 of the online course under Writing about Plot). Explain why you think it is this type of conflict. Give examples from the story to support your opinion. (5 points)
  2. Look at the Freytag Pyramid in the presentation of elements of fiction. Create a pyramid with examples from the story (What is the conflict that sets the plot in motion, the series of events representing rising action, etc.) (5 points)
  3. Look at the presentation on an example of the analysis of the Story of an Hour plot: Writing about Plot in the online course content.  Create an outline like the example for Story of An Hour  for the plot of The Tell-Tale Heart. (10 points)

Example outline: Story of an Hour

  1. Introduction
    1. Title, author, brief summary
    2. Mrs. Mallard
    3. Mixed feelings about her husband’s death.
    4. Internal conflict
    5. Thesis statement: The emotional conflict between sadness and joy, and which occurs in the period of one hour, is the basis of this story.
  2. Mrs. Mallard’s emotional conflict begins with the news of her husband’s death. (This is the topic sentence.)
    1. Heart condition and news of husband’s death
    2. She feels sad, then feels happy
      1. Freedom
      2. Able to live her own life
  3. As Mrs. Mallard sat in her room, celebrating her freedom, and imagining her future as a free woman, reality began to invade.
    1. Mrs. Mallards accepts her feelings of joy
    2. Her sister keeps asking her to come out of the room.
      1. This might mean to come out and face reality.
      2. Her new reality as a free woman.
    3. She comes out of the room to face her new life
  4. The conflict seems to be resolved as Mrs. Mallard comes down the stairs, now wishing for a long life, when only an hour ago, she was dreading a long life.
    1. She finds out her husband is alive.
    2. Everyone is surprised, but mostly Mrs. Mallard.
    3. The surprise is too much for her weak heart, and she dies.
    4. The conflict of her desire to be free versus her obligations as a wife are resolved, because death sets her free.
  5. “The Story of an Hour” presents a woman’s emotional conflict related to her feelings of duty to her husband, and her desire to be free of these duties.
    1. When she finds out her husband is dead, she feels sad at first.
    2. She begins to reflect on what her life will be like without him.
      1. She won’t have to serve him.
      2. She will be free.
    3. After finding feelings of freedom and joy, she is confronted with the reality that her husband is not dead.
    4. She still finds freedom from her husband, because she dies.


Assignment 3

After studying the material from  Unit 3 of the online materials.
Read the story: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
You can access it here: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1939/03/18/390318fi_fiction_thurber?currentPage=all

  1. After studying the material on Point-of-View and the Elements of Fiction in the online course materials , what point of view do you think Thurber uses in this story. Explain your answer. (2 points)
  2. What do you know about the protagonist of the story?  How do you know this?  Quote from the story to support your answer. (3 points)
  3.   What do you know about the character of Mrs. Mitty?  How do you know this?  Quote from the story to support your answer. (3 points)
  4.   What are some of the characteristics that all of the imaginary characters Mitty daydreams about all have? (3 points)
  5.  Why do you think Walter Mitty imagines himself as these different characters? (2 points)
  6.  What do you think will happen to the character after the story ends? (2 points)
  7.   Review the online material from Unit 1: Essay Writing A Review, and Writing about Characters in Unit 3.  Create a possible thesis statement for a 5-paragraph essay analyzing the character Walter Mitty. (5 points)


Assignment 5

After studying the sections on Writing about Plot in units 3 and 5 of the online course material, read Woody Allen’s one-act play: Death Knocks.

  1. Using the online material as a guide, write a possible thesis statement for an essay analyzing the plot of this play. (5 points)
  2. Create a detailed outline for a 5-paragraph essay analyzing the plot of this play based on your thesis statement. (15 points)

Link to the play Death knocks: https://guinote.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/7b4db-deathknocksbywoodyallen.pdf


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