• Field: English

Assignment Deadlines:

Outline Due: Wednesday, March 21st

Rough Draft Due: Sunday, March 25th

Peer Review Due: Wednesday, March 28th

Final Draft Due: Sunday, April 1st

Assignment Description:

This literary analysis essay will make an argument about a literary aspect of The History of Love.  A literary analysis offers your own ideas or interpretation about the novel–specifically focusing on your interpretation of the meaning or message of the story in reference to elements of fiction (themes, character development, setting, plot, symbols, etc.).  Your interpretation is then supported with summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotations from the novel and your additional sources.

Essay Question Options: Please choose one of the following essay topic questions.

1.  Examine the theme of survival in The History of Love through the characters of Leo Gursky, Alma Singer, and Zvi Litvinoff.  How do each of these characters survive through tragedy and push forward? What coping mechanisms do they use to move forward in their lives?

2.  Explore the role of writing in The History of Love. How do the characters in the story use writing as a way to come to terms with their past? Even the translator, Charlotte, in this novel is a master of her craft. What does writing provide for the characters in this story?

3.  Investigate the theme of communication in The History of Love through an examination of how each character handles the silences in their life. Is silence a negative force in the novel or a space for connection? What role does communication or lack thereof, play in this novel?

Your essay should meet all of the following requirements:

●  Choose one of the three essay questions.

●  Formulate a clear and focused thesis that explains the argument you are making about the short story.

●  Create an outline with headings and subheadings to organize your ideas before you begin composing the paper.

●  Use quotations from the short story as evidence to support your ideas and explain the relevance of those quotations to the argument you are making in your thesis.

●  Use formal language (no “I” or “you,” no contractions, no slang, etc.) and high level of insight into the short story in order to express ideas smoothly, clearly, and fluently. (Bring a dictionary or thesaurus if you need it.)

●  You need to include 1 source in addition to the novel, giving you at least 2 sources total.

●  You are required to have at least 6 in text citations using the short story as your primary source.

●  Use appropriate punctuation, capitalization, spelling, grammar, and paragraphing.

●  Your essay should be between 4-6 pages,typed, double-spaced with one inch margins. Please use 12 point font size and “Times New Roman” or “Arial” font.

●  Follow the MLA format (MLA heading, double-space, blue or black ink, etc.); format and cite your quotations correctly in the MLA style.

●  Include an MLA “Works Cited” page to document the short story (your primary source).

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