Short story comparison: Final Paper

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PROMPT: Short story comparison:

Take two of the stories we have read for the class. Using 7-8 pages and MLA format/citations, compose an original thesis that discusses points of overlap, convergences, thematic resonances, differences, etc. Your thesis must be original, debatable and defendable. Do not simply point out that the two texts are different or similar, you need to say how, why and indicate the meaning/significance of your thesis. Some possible ideas to get you started: • How do dreams, dream-worlds and/or non-reality shape the meanings of two of the texts we have read? How do authors balance, intermix or confuse appearance and reality? Are the meanings produced different, overlapping converging? All of the above? • How are domestic and familial spaces represented in these texts? What is their role as the backdrop/context for the events and meanings of the story? What role does marriage or relationship play? What about age? Is there any difference between public and private space that you can see in these texts? Can you note any key differences or similarities? • How are gender and class portrayed in these texts, what about race? What arguments might these texts be making about the societies they present? • What is the role of the surprise/unexpected in these texts? How does an unexpected event, surprise, or disaster shape the meaning of the text? • To what extent can the short narratives we’ve read for the class be considered as stories that are about stories?


1. “The Last Night of the World” by Ray Bradbury (IL):

2. “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty (MS):

3. “Happy Endings” by Margaret Atwood (Canada):

4. “A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room” by George Saunders (TX): 5. “The Looking-Glass” by Anton Chekhov (Russia):

6. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin (MO):

7. “Wants” by Grace Paley (VT): 

8. “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco (CA): 

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