Short Story Essay

**Choose one of the following prompts to respond to in 3 pages, citing at least once from both the story and from an outside source in your answer. Include a literal summary and a correctly formatted MLA Works Cited page. Be sure to review the attached grading rubric! 

1. Weigh the relationship between goodness and malice in the characters of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” Explain the relationship between the Grandmother and The Misfit. In what ways is each character misunderstood? How would you say the violence in the story is ironic? What would you say this story tells us about the nature of being “good”?

2. Consider the different layers of symbolism in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”. The soldiers carry a bewildering list of items that symbolize their rank and position; their individuality; and something more abstract. Explain these layers of symbolism. How are they related to the epiphany that Lt. Cross has at the end of the story? What does he lose by burning those letter? What would you say is the meaning behind this loss–is it a “good” thing? Explain.

2. Think about the ironic rest cure of the main character, or protagonist of Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. How would you say gender is important to her development as a dynamic character? What specifically does the woman in the wallpaper symbolize? Would you say the protagonist is finally free in the ending of the story–why, or why not? 

**be sure to find and cite an outside source, and review the rubric.**

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