Select from the following short stories and write a paper on one or more, using library databases to find three secondary sources appropriate for college-level academic work.
“Hunters in the Snow”
“What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?”
Note that you can write about “To Build a Fire” in conjunction with another story, but please don’t focus on that only as it’s not strictly speaking a contemporary piece.
For your topic, choose something that interests you and something on which you can find good secondary sources (a secondary source is a piece written about the story) in the databases.
Suggestions for topics—you can come up with your own, too
Postmodern elements in any of these stories
1. This assignment is worth 35% of your grade.
2. A researched paper (MLA format, 4 pages PLUS the Works Cited Page)
Details are provided below.
Irony in any of these stories
Point of view and perspective and their impact on the reader’s experience in any of these stories
Determinism in any of these stories
Other selected literary elements in any of these stories
A character study of the major characters in any of these stories
Proulx’s treatment of the myth of the American West in “What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?”
Departures from the typical plot structure in ““Hunters in the Snow” or “What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?”
The multiple lessons in “The Lesson”
Grotesque protagonists in “Hunters in the Snow” or “What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?”
A comparison of the protagonist in “To Build a Fire” with the protagonists in “Hunters in the Snow” and/or “What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?”
Do your research early to be sure you can find enough secondary sources on your topic. See the Your Paper Assignments, Library Resources and Support module for help.
You don’t have to find a secondary source about your specific story. For example, you can find a source about the typical symbolism of water and argue that your story uses the symbol in that way, or that your story twists the typical symbolism even if the source doesn’t mention your story. You can find a source on Postmodernism and show the postmodern elements of your story, even if the source doesn’t mention your story.
You can compare protagonists or antagonists from multiple stories; in this case, while you might not find much secondary material on Wollf’s protagonists, for example, you might find a lot on Proulx’s.
Try not to rely on sources like LitCharts, Shmoop, etc. If you do, then you need to put them in your Works Cited page, but they won’t count toward your three required secondary sources as they’re not college-level sources.
Other colleges’ webpages are appropriate sources as long as they’re created by faculty or at a minimum a graduate student; however, you’ll still need three sources from our library databases.
Don’t use Wikipedia—anyone can add to a Wikipedia article, so you may be quoting someone’s crazy uncle or a middle school student. There’s no way to know.