Paper #1- Close Reading-Rose.doc - English 273G

Art of Fiction
ENGL 273G-04
Prof. Anthony
03 February 2015
Close Reading of a Short Story: Character
Due Date:
o 10 February: Papers must be handed in at the beginning of class on this date.
o Papers will NOT be accepted late and will NOT be accepted via email.
o 3-4 pages—must at least go onto the top of the 4th page— Double-spaced
o 1 inch margins, 12 point Times font
o MLA format
o Name and page numbers top right corner (Different first page)
o Create a short header at top left of first page:
John Literature
ENGL 273G-04
Prof. Anthony
10 February 2015
o Cite page numbers parenthetically: (Lott 147).
o Works Cited page
o Your paper will focus on Bret Lott’s “Rose” (PDF on course wiki)
o For this paper, you will use NO outside sources. Do NOT consult the internet.
This paper will focus on the literary element of character. Explain why Lott’s story
“Rose” rewrites the character of Miss Emily from Faulkner’s story “A Rose for
Emily.” After you notice the many ways that Lott has rewritten “A Rose for Emily,”
think about why Lott is doing that rewriting—what larger ideas or concepts (topics)
does he want to explore? Create a thesis argument that emphasizes one or two key
concepts that seem central to his re-writing. Then, to support your thesis, select
specific aspects of Lott’s rewriting—specific details (textual evidence) from Miss
Emily’s “new” story. (Do not write a paper that simply lists all the ways Lott reimagines Miss Emily!)
Provide a close reading of Lott’s story, emphasizing the careful use of literary
evidence. In your analysis, use literary terms from our An Introduction to Fiction
anthology (for example, think about the point of view used in each story, or think
about Miss Emily’s motivation, or…). Also, make sure to use quotations from the
story as evidence for your ideas (MLA parenthetical citations).
Writing tasks:
o Open your paper with a strong introduction, which includes (in this order) 2-3
sentences of relevant background information, 2-3 clearly stated concepts (topics), and
a thesis that clearly presents your interpretation (what you are arguing about why the
character has been rewritten).
o Organize your paper’s body using the ideas that develop your interpretation.
Work to focus and “push” your thinking.
o Perform a close reading that supports your interpretation of the story.
See the “Close Reading” handout (on wiki): A close reading examines the
story itself for clues about its meaning, paying careful attention to key words,
phrases, images, literary elements, and structures of the story. (A close reading
does not look at critical articles or historical information.)
View the videos on the Resources page of the class wiki.
o Explain short key passages that connect to your argument about character; provide
close readings of lots of evidence from the text.
Paper thesis tips:
As you develop your paper’s thesis, think of the following:
1. What intrigues you about the rewriting? Avoid personal reactions.
Rather, move towards analysis.
2. Imagine yourself arguing with someone, saying “Character X was
rewritten because __________ .” What would you put in the blank?
3. Locate meaningful quotations from the story; let them shape your
4. Look at your notes in your texts (annotations/marginalia/double entry
notebooks) and from class discussion.