Honors English II. Assignment: Write the introduction, topic sentences, and 1st sentence of conclusion for 2 different essays. You are NOT writing full blown essays! Due: Monday. Ink or Type. Essay 1: Vonnegut Story Analysis—You choose the story Purpose for essay outline 1 – Identify one or two of Vonnegut’s key themes in the story and show how he develops that theme through his use of one or two literary devices. Choose 1 of Vonnegut’s short stories to analyze in terms of theme and use of literary devices (irony, characterization, setting, black humor) Follow ANT format. Creative attention-getter (an anecdote from the story would work well!), Necessary information including author + title of story, argumentative thesis statement including theme and literary device(s) being discussed. Topic Sentences—Write 3 body paragraph topic sentences. Each topic sentence should contain some reference to the thesis. 1st sentence of Conclusion—This sentence must be a creative, interesting restatement of the thesis (You may write more than one sentence if you need to) Essay 2: Vonnegut Themes & Style Analysis—You choose 2 or 3 stories to analyze Purpose for essay outline 2—Identify thematic and stylistic connections in Vonnegut’s short stories. This essay will be a comparison essay where you demonstrate similarities. Of course, the insightful student (you!) will also point out some contrasts, your purpose is to show similarities in his style and focus. Choose 2 or 3 of Vonnegut’s short stories to analyze in terms of common links—similar themes and social criticism and/or similar uses of literary devices. Follow ANT format. Creative attention-getter (an anecdote from the story would work well!), Necessary information including author + title of story, argumentative thesis statement including theme and literary device(s) being discussed. ***NOTE: For this essay, DO NOT list titles in the thesis statement! Mention the titles in the Necessary information section of your introduction. This way, your thesis statement will not become cumbersome to write or to read. Topic Sentences—Write 3 body paragraph topic sentences. Each topic sentence should contain some reference to the thesis. 1st sentence of Conclusion—This sentence must be a creative, interesting restatement of the thesis (You may write more than one sentence if you need to) Handy Thesis Statement Language: Words: Satire, irony, ironic, disturbing, unsettling, futuristic, black comedy, setting, characterization, mediocrity, apathy, corruption, mocks, critiques, fixated, self-gratification, pleasure, obsession, self-reliance, greed, equality, freedom, oppression, dystopia (look it up!), totalitarianism, communism, happiness, bravery, excellence, responsibility, youth, fear, ridicules, injustice. . . Thesis Statement Structure: Through his use of irony, Vonnegut reveals . . . . Through his use of futuristic settings and irony, Vonnegut develops his theme. . . . Vonnegut explores the theme(s) of_________________________________ through his use of irony and ____________ . (You could choose characterization, setting, or black humor for your second device) ***Here is a sample AP Lit style thesis for you use as a sort of model (The second thesis is the one to use as your model! It’s vastly superior to the first version). Obviously, you will only be discussing one or two literary devices, but notice how much thematic information is embedded in the revised thesis. It’s thought provoking, smoothly written, and sets up an argument. Original: Frederick Douglas uses syntax, imagery, and figurative language to eloquently make his point about slavery. (Comment: What point about slavery?! ) Improved: Frederick Douglas uses imagery to convey the utter loneliness a slave feels, and through figurative language and syntax, he underlines the desperation and anger that slavery breeds in those enslaved. (Comment: Aha! Now the writer has something interesting to discuss about theme and the way Douglas develops it through literary devices.) Questions to Ponder as you think about Vonnegut’s themes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Is "the machine" predominantly a force for good or evil? Does technological development necessarily constitute progress? Are science and technology making incursions into areas which should best be left alone? Are science and religion necessarily incompatible? Would a return to a more primitive lifestyle be desirable, or even possible? Can man retain, and indeed develop his humanity in a world increasingly dominated by non-human forces? Is man in danger of becoming obsolete? Will man need to be re-defined to fit a vastly altered world? Can money buy happiness and youth? Should it? Vonnegut links and thematic ideas mentioned in class: Becoming too dependent on technology is dangerous Man’s thirst for power and control is shown in “Harrison Bergeron,” “The Euphio Question,” “Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow.” The use of technology for immortality is referred to in "Unready to Wear" and "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow". "Tomorrow*3" and "The Euphio Question" both refer back to the theme of humanity's attachment an dependence on technological development. "Harrison Bergeron", "Epicac", "Unready to Wear", and "Tomorrow*3" all refer to current flaws in society, as external as the enhanced control of the government on it's people or as internal as the need for people to set themselves free. How important is it to have “unshackled minds”? His characters willingly abandon their free will (“The Euphio Question”) or have it forcibly taken from them (“Harrison Bergeron”) In "Epicac" and "Harrison Bergeron" Vonnegut uses irony to criticize the power of technology and the establishment of equality "The Euphio Question" and "Unready To Wear" both have technologies that make people happy. People must resist the temptation to take the easy way out or they will never mature into thinking, responsible, happy adults. The common link in all of Vonnegut’s is that they always satirize the way we act as a culture. He pulls no punches in criticizing how we act and always presents it in a way that it both humorous and thoughtful. Writing in a style that is often termed “black humor”, Vonnegut has touched on some of society’s most important issues, as well as some of its most inane, through his works. Vonnegut’s uses social commentary, theological discussion, ethical argument, parody, satire, comedy and prophecy to convey his recurring themes about the dignity and worth of all individuals, and the need for common decency. With a blend of science fiction, philosophy and jokes, he also wrote about the banalities of consumer culture, for example, or the destruction of the environment. To Mr. Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. “EPICAC”: The questions raised are broad: What is love? What is friendship? What is human? “Euphio” and “Harrison” watch-what-you-wish-for – perpetual happiness/ total equality both have dangerous implications for society The Euphio Question: The theme is that society shouldn't buy happiness, but work for it. “Harrison Bergeron”--In this story Vonnegut takes the utopian ideal that all people should be rendered equal and creates a frightening society of mediocrity and apathy. All stories—You can’t always get what you want. Government control—Harrison Bergeron and Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow Obsession /Dependence/Reliance on Technology—Euphio and EPICAC Money Buys Happiness/Life (Should it?!!!) –Tomorrow & Unready & Euphio “Harrison Bergeron” -- Vonnegut criticizes the notion of totalitarian government and warns against excessive government control. Further, it questions individual rights and identity. Dependence on Technology—all except Unready Longevity—T3 & Unready Irrresponsibility—Todos Obsession with Perfection—Harrison, Unready, EPICAC Standing up against society—Harrison & Unready Obsession with youth & Beauty—Tomorrow3 & Unready In Tomorrow3 and Harrison, there are old couples who try to do what’s right despite the corrupt world. In Tomorrow3 and Harrison, Vonnegut mocks the way goverment functions.