Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Your writing should be a cohesive response (purposeful ?????paragraphs, one unifying thesis, not list-like) to the use of symbolism to ?????create meaning. Questions to consider inclu | Wridemy

Your writing should be a cohesive response (purposeful ?????paragraphs, one unifying thesis, not list-like) to the use of symbolism to ?????create meaning. Questions to consider inclu


  • Your writing should be a cohesive response (purposeful      paragraphs, one unifying thesis, not list-like) to the use of symbolism to      create meaning. Questions to consider include the following:
    1. What symbol(s) did you notice in       this story?
    2. What "big ideas" do the       symbols represent?
    3. How do the symbols relate to the       story's meaning or overall theme?
    4. Can these symbols be interpreted in       more than one way?

Module 5: Overview

English 1302 {literature)


Lesson 5 explores analysis of theme and submission of Essay 1.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this lesson, the student will be able to

· Demonstrate an understanding of the use of theme and symbol in appropriate literary works

· Analyze, interpret, and evaluate a variety of texts with a focus on theme and symbol

· Respond to literature with rational judgments supported by evidence

To Do List

In order to successfully complete Lesson 5, please do the following:


· Review Chapter 32 in textbook (pgs 1938-1950)

· Read the stories listed below:

· "The Things They Carried" short story by Tim O'Brien (textbook)

· "The Birth-Mark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (textbook)


· Complete and submit Essay 1

Presentation: Symbolism in Literature

Symbolism in Literature

· A symbol, in literature, is any object, image, character, or action (something physically present in the story) that suggests meaning beyond itself.

· Another way of saying this: A symbol is something real that represents a “big idea.”

· Symbols in everyday life are very common. Consider a flag, like the American flag. It is a physical object that represents “big ideas” to people: maybe justice, freedom, or as association with the American military. The physical value or literal meaning of all flags (American, Texas, French) is essentially the same – they’re colored fabric stitched together, but the meaning of the American flag is bigger than the physical flag itself.

· The same is true with literary symbols. Authors intentionally include objects or images in their stories to represent bigger ideas and relate to the overall meaning of the story.

· In “Everyday Use,” the quilt is a symbol of the bonds and connections between the characters, and of the importance of family legacy.

· Symbols can sometimes have more than one meaning, which allows readers to create their own understanding of a story. Things are more meaningful to us when we read and interpret them than they are when someone just says “here’s the meaning….”

· Symbols, when included in stories, usually help point us to the theme, or overall meaning of the story.


How to Identify Symbols

· Consider items that are described in great detail – in a way that stands out to you.

· Consider how important an item is to the events and characters.

·  Consider what items are repeatedly referred to, related to the title, or important to the main character.

· Not all items are symbols, and not all stories make deliberate use of symbolism. Symbols are important to the author and the story, so they should be pretty clearly important as you read the story.

· For example, if a character simply walks through a door, it may not be a symbol. If a character describes a door in great detail and references it repeatedly, and walks through it when they make an important choice, it’s definitely a symbol!

· “ The Lottery Links to an external site. ” –The black box is referred to many times, plays an important role in the events of the story, and is described in great detail. The color black relates to the “darkness” of the lottery, and of course is a color often associated with death.

Essay 1: Theme/Symbol Analysis Essay( THIS IS THE ASSIGNMENT)

Final draft due

submit the final draft of your essay.

magnifying-glass.png Assignment Overview

Things to keep in mind: 

· For this essay, submit an MLA-formatted Word document (do not copy and paste).  You will submit your assignment below.

· In  2 full pages of text.  This means your essay should hit (or come reasonably close) the last line on page 2. 

· Explain how symbolism is used in one of the stories you read  IN THIS LESSON.  This includes "The Things They Carried" and "The Birth-Mark" only.  Please keep in mind that you should be discussing how the use of symbols helps explain or supports meaning in the story.  In other words, how does the use of symbols help us to better understand the lesson we should learn from this work.

· Your essay should be a cohesive response (purposeful paragraphs, one unifying thesis, not list-like) to the use of symbolism to create meaning. Questions to consider include the following:

1. What symbol(s) did you notice in this story?

2. What "big ideas" do the symbols represent?

3. How do the symbols relate to the story's meaning or overall theme?

4. Can these symbols be interpreted in more than one way?

· Your first paragraph should include (a) the name of the story and author, (b) a one or two sentence summary of the story and (c) your thesis statement or main point about the symbols used in the story.

· Your essay should be written in academic style (no first or second person, academic language, use of MLA formatting)  AND include examples or quotes from the story.


our Name Professor Name Subject Name 04 September 20XX Title of Your Report In “Madeup Story,” author Peter Parker tells the story of becoming a superhero and overcoming tragedy. The story makes use of symbols to help convey its theme that with great power comes great responsibility. Two of the primary symbols in the story are the Spiderman suit given to Peter by Tony Stark and the Gaunlet worn by Thanos. The most prevalent symbol in this story is the suit given to Peter by Tony Stark. Peter uses a homemade suit until Tony Stark gives him a powerful Spiderman suit, one made especially for him. This suit has features that Peter never could have imagined, and many that he doesn’t even know how to use. This is an important symbol in many ways. The suit itself, and the act of giving it to Peter, symbolize Tony’s paternal approach toward Peter. That it is too powerful for Peter is symbolic of his relative inexperience and immaturity. He wants to help people and do the right thing, but the story shows us, and the suits helps to illustrate, that Peter isn’t as prepared for the kinds of tough decisions that superheroes must make. The other major symbol from this story is the Gauntlet worn by Thanos – the one that causes great disaster, and later undoes it. Peter Parker plays a major role in the fight to save humanity and life on Earth, and this symbol plays a major role in re-emphasizing the theme that with great power comes responsibility. Before the Gauntlet, the most powerful entities on the planet were the superheroes and their super powers. They exemplified the theme, but not as Commented [DA1]: In your first paragraph, include the story title, the author’s name, a brief summary, and your thesis. Commented [DA2]: This thesis is about symbols in the story Commented [DA3]: Notice that the paragraph begins with a topic sentence about the first symbol – it does not begin with summary Commented [DA4]: some details / summary to give context Commented [DA5]: Most of this paragraph is analysis of the symbol Commented [DA6]: there was no need to summarize the story – the focus is on symbolism. the paragraph ends with connection to thesis Commented [DA7]: the word “other” serve to help transition Commented [DA8]: again – beginning with a topic sentence Commented [DA9]: connect symbol to meaning or theme in the story

· : This annotated sample essay points out all the required formatting and organizational components in an essay.

· Video guide to literary analysisLinks to an external site.

· Writing Toolkit: Compare / Contrast


guidelinesflag.png Guidelines

For this essay, you'll be explaining how the chosen/identified symbols in the text help to better explain theme/meaning in the story.

Your essay should:

· For this essay, submit an MLA-formatted Word document (do not copy and paste).  Find help with MLA formatting guidelines, here: 

· You will find the assignment submission area below.

· In  2 full pages of text.  This means your essay should hit (or come reasonably close) the last line on page 2. 

· Be organized – it should have an introduction (including your essay's thesis) at least two body paragraphs/discussion sessions, and a conclusion

· Focus on supporting its thesis statement.

· Include quotes in each body paragraph

· Use MLA FORMAT, including internal  cotations

· Your essay should be written in academic style (no first or second person, academic language, use of MLA formatting)  AND include examples or quotes from the story.

You should avoid:

· Consulting any source other than your chosen story for this assignment

· Copy / pasting from other submissions.

· Summary – focus on making and supporting points.

· Unprofessional discourse

· Conversational language (you, I, etc.)


1. In (title of work), (author) (illustrates, shows) (aspect) (adjective). 

Example: In “Barn Burning,” William Faulkner shows the characters Sardie and Abner Snopes struggling for their identity.


2. In (title of work), (author) uses (one aspect) to (define, strengthen, illustrate) the (element of work).

Example: In “Youth,” Joseph Conrad uses foreshadowing to strengthen the plot.


3. In (title of work), (author) uses (an important part of work) as a unifying device for (one element), (another element), and (another element). The number of elements can vary from one to four.

Example: In “Youth,” Joseph Conrad uses the sea as a unifying device for setting, structure and theme.


4. (Author) develops the character of (character’s name) in (literary work) through what he/she does, what he/she says, what other people say to or about him/her.

Example: Langston Hughes develops the character of Semple in “Ways and Means”…


5. In (title of work), (author) uses (literary device) to (accomplish, develop, illustrate, strengthen) (element of work).

Example: In “The Masque of the Red Death,” Poe uses the symbolism of the stranger, the clock, and the seventh room to develop the theme of death.


6. (Author) (shows, develops, illustrates) the theme of __________ in the (play, poem, story).

Example: Flannery O’Connor illustrates the theme of the effect of the selfishness of the grandmother upon the family in “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”


7. (Author) develops his character(s) in (title of work) through his/her use of language.

Example: John Updike develops his characters in “A & P” through his use of figurative language.

Story to use

The Norton Introduction to Literature Shorter Thirteenth Edition by Kelly J. Mayers (2018) Textbook we are using.

Story “THE THINGS WE CARRIED” by Tim O’Brien is from the textbook(The Norton Introduction to Literature above)



Page 607

We have already seen that, although stories may be read as if they stand alone, they are enriched by being situated in authorial, literary, or cultural and historical contexts. once a work has earned a place in the canon of literature, it has already become surrounded by a critical context as well—a conversation among readers that works very much like the conversations about a work that you have in (and beyond) the classroom but that takes place on the page rather than in person and extends over decades, even centuries, rather than hours or days. To write critically about a work of literature is to engage not only the text but also other readers who have written about it. In a critical context essay, the literary text typically func-tions as your primary source, published criticism as your secondary sources. Reading criticism about a work should not rob you of, or substitute for, your indi-vidual response to it any more than discussing it with your friends or classmates does. Rather, in addition to being informative in various ways, reading criticism can help you to clarify and enrich your response and to move from response to argument. after all, we sometimes discover that we have something particular to say or that what we have to say is worth saying only when we learn that someone else has already said something very different—something that we either disagree with or that seems to us to miss “the real point” or at least a point we think shouldn’t be missed. Sometimes entering a critical conversation can seem a daunting prospect, at

least at first. What, you might think, can I, a mere student, possibly add? What is left for anyone to say about a story about which so much has been said already? The truth, however, is that all critics—even the most informed and experienced—must confront a version of these very same questions every time they sit down to write. as important, they—like you—must implicitly answer those questions in their writing. When a work has engaged a number of critics, that is, subsequent commentators need not only to acknowledge the previous readings but also, by contradicting or modifying their conclusions, articulate a motive for writing—and, more important, for reading—yet another essay on the work. Trying to iden-tify, as you read the work of other and especially more experienced literary critics, the specific moves, techniques, and strategies that they use to describe and insert themselves into a conversation—to acknowledge and respond to the work of others—can give you concrete examples of how to do the same thing. The conversation about a work of literature is, in other words, a true conversa-tion, even, at times, a debate. and wherever there is debate there is motive and opportunity—to reconsider both “sides,” to take one side or the other, to offer an alternative point of view or one that somehow reconciles seemingly opposed stances, or to simply change the subject. To identify such opportunities, however, you first have to get a handle on how an array of individual arguments fit together as part of one conversation. Like any conversation or debate, including the sorts in

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CH. 10 | CRITICaL ConTeXTS: TIm o’BRIen

which you participate every day, a conversation about a literary text tends to circle around a few key issues and questions and, almost inevitably, to ignore or at least slight others. In reading criticism, one of your first tasks is thus to figure out

• what those specific issues and questions are; •

where each of the individual critics stand on them, or what the various “sides” are;

where, when, and why you find yourself agreeing with their various stances and arguments; and—finally—•

what aspects of the text or what ways of looking at it aren’t brought up at all or at least aren’t thoroughly addressed in the conversation that you think should be.

To give you practice at doing just that, this chapter includes both a short story—vietnam veteran Tim o’Brien’s The Things They Carried—and excerpts from three scholarly essays about it. We’ve made your job a bit easier by choosing a story at once universally admired and highly controversial, in part because of its subject matter—a war mainly fought not by volunteers but by draftees, the first war the United States ever lost, and one so fiercely, widely, and publicly contested that many feared it might tear the country apart. Focusing on the fortunes and misfortunes of a company of soldiers fighting—as o’Brien himself did—in the jungles of vietnam in the late 1960s, the story originally debuted in Esquire magazine in 1986, eleven years after the Fall of Saigon ended the war the story depicts and only four years before the start of the Gulf War (1990–91), the first of the series of american military engagements that has unfortunately helped to give o’Brien’s work—and the controversies over it—ever-new relevance and meaning. Included in The Best American Short Stories 1987, “The Things They Carried” became something of an instant classic after its republi-cation in o’Brien’s 1990 collection of the same name. So interlinked, in fact, are the twenty-two stories that make up The Things They Carried—beginning with the title story and ending with The Lives of the dead—that some commentators refer to the book not as a short-story collection, sequence, or cycle at all but rather as a novel. Whether they categorize “The Things They Carried” as a short story (as we do) or as a novel chapter, however, critics seldom, if ever, analyze it in isolation. Instead, they tend to consider how it works and means in the context of the larger work of which it is a part, of its critical context, and, often, of o’Brien’s oeuvre or authorial canon as a whole, of other literature about vietnam, and/or of the story’s historical and cul-tural contexts (not only the late 1960s, in which it is set, but also the late 1980s, when it was written and first published). We’ve made your job somewhat easier, too, by handpicking just three essays about

the story that directly address—and often vehemently disagree with—one another. Though we have omitted those portions of each essay that deal with stories not included in this anthology, the essays are otherwise reproduced entire. This might add to your reading load, but it also ensures that you can read and really use these essays not only as contributions to the critical conversation about o’Brien’s story but also as models of how to engage effectively in a critical conversation about any text or how, that is, to craft compelling arguments about a text by considering its critical context. Reading critical essays in this light (as models), what you most want to pay

attention to is less their various arguments than the formal or rhetorical strategies and techniques writers deploy to insert themselves into the ongoing conversation and to convince you of the worthiness of their contribution to it. The goal is to identify “moves” that you can try out in your own writing. When and how and for what specific purposes, for example, do these writers allude to, paraphrase, sum-marize, or quote from the arguments of other writers (their own secondary

page 609

sources)? What specific techniques do they use to signal to you, the reader, when they are referring to or even reproducing the ideas of a source as opposed to their own ideas? What does each writer suggest about why his or her argument is both different from others’ and important to the conversation? What, in other words, are their motives? How exactly do these writers work to convince you that they are being fair and balanced in their approach both to the primary source (the literary text) and to their secondary sources ( others’ arguments about it)? Just as considering other readers’ views of any work of fiction can help you to

discover and refine your own, so identifying the specific techniques other writers use to draw on the work of other critics both to make their cases and to convince

you the case is worth making will help you discover new ways to do that, too.




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