Write a literary analysis of four short stories situated within the totality of the institutions, social practices, and discourses that constitute the culture of a particular time and place, and which the literary texts interacts as both a product and a producer of cultural energies and codes.

Culture is constituted by distinctive sets of signifying systems. To discover these signifying codes, use THICK DESCRIPTIONS.  This is the close analysis, or reading of a particular social productions or event to recover the meanings it has for the people involved in it and to discover, within the overall cultural system, the network (matrix) of conventions, codes, and modes of thinking with which the particular item is implicated, which invests the item with those meanings. In other words, interact with the concepts we have experienced from reading Althussers Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.

Any texts is conceived as a discourse which may seem to present or reflect an external reality; in fact, a texts consists of REPRESENTATIONSverbal formations which are the ideological products or CULTURAL CONSTRUCTS of the historical conditions to an era.

These (CULTURAL CONSTRUCTS) cultural and ideological representations in texts merely serve to reproduce, confirm, and propagate the complex power structures of domination and subordination which characterizes a given society.

You will analyze the meaning of 4 short stories in terms of their cultural constructs.  In other words, you will write a thoughtful interpretation using the interaction of representations, cultural codes, figures of speech, and symbols in the texts.  While writing your paper, focus on revealing a central thesis that encompasses all 4 texts, use vocabulary from our textbook and from Althusser, note features and devices through which your thesis is conveyed or effects are achieved. 

Your paper must be 5-6 pages in length (I do not mean 4 pages) no less; in addition, it must include a Works Cited page.  This paper requires at least 4 credible outside source such as a peer reviewed article or a book. You may not use websites–NO WEBSITES.  That means you must do research.

 You must write and turn in both drafts to receive points.  Conduct a critical literary analysis of the four short stories below:

  • The Most Dangerous Game written by Richard Connell,
  • Sonnys Blues written by James Baldwin,
  • Pauls Case written by Willa Cather,
  • Old Man with Enormous Wings written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

While you read be mindful of motifs or repeated symbols, imagery, words, and ideas.  Find a unifying theme that encompasses all the texts and form a thesis statement that you will support throughout your paper.  Remember to ask questions and take notes while you read!

Your aim is to convince readers that you have a reasonable analysis based on a thoughtful and imaginative reading of the story based on a central thesis statement.  USE ALL TEXTS TO SUPPORT YOUR THESIS STATEMENT.

To receive a grade your paper must meet the minimum requirements:

  1. It must engage all 4 of the short stories listed above under a central unifying thesis and 4 outside credible source (that means you must integrate quotations from the texts to support your argument).
  2. It must use at least 4 outside source.
  3. It must be between 5-6 pages.
  4. It must have a Works Cited page in addition to the 5-6 page minimum length requirement.
  5. It must be in MLA format.

Make sure you tell the reader in your first paragraph the titles of short stories you are analyzing and the authors; you must also mention the titles and authors of the outside sources referred to in your paper. Use quotation marks to enclose whatever you quote. Do not use apostrophes in place of the quotation marks. Use the MLA style of documentation. Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are the only fonts accepted.