In your first short paper which was informal, you used a close-reading exercise to start investigating Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper as a piece of writing. Now, you will extend and organize your observations from the preliminary assignment to answer this question in relation to The Awakening: what formal elements and narrative devices does the story text use in order to probe important questions about the role of women during the Victorian era and, thus, convey meaning?
Besides answering the above question, this paper is also different from the first paper in the following ways: (1) you’re writing about the whole story, not just passages, and (2) your paper should follow the traditional format of an academic essay, complete with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The questions that were of interest to you in close-reading should also be considered in this analysis—often, questions that begin with “how,” “why,” or “to what extent” are the most interesting.
Successful papers will:
• Make a claim that addresses something(s) about the way the text is written as evidence of your particular reading of the story
• Support that claim with specific and relevant examples from the text (i.e., short quotes). Each strategy or choice you mention should contribute to your overall argument.
• Comment on each quotation. Don’t assume your reader automatically sees the
significance of a quotation. Be explicit: “This strategy is significant (to my argument) because___.”
• Include short introductions and conclusions of roughly about four sentences each. I’m
more interested in the body paragraphs, since this is a short assignment.
• Be written for an academic audience familiar with the text.
• Adhere to ALL of the formatting rules in the syllabus (MLA – link on class website, font, margins, etc)
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