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You are to read all stories from chapter 1 to chapter 3 and write a research paper following the details in THE FORMAT AND FOCUS written in the instructions.


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Inventory”, by Carmen Maria Machado,

Smear”, by Brian Evenson,

How to Get Back to the Forest”, by Sofia Samatar,

Blood Child”, by Octavia Butler,

The Ones who Walk Away From Omelas”, by Ursula K. Leguin,


Graveyard Shift,” by Stephen King.

The Monkey’s Paw”, by W.W. Jacobs.

“The Witch”, by Shirley Jackson.

The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar A. Poe.

“The Terrible Old Man,” by H.P. Lovecraft,

Click, Clack, the Rattle Bag”, by Neil Gaiman.


A Good Man is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’Connor.

A Summer Tragedy,” by Arna Bontempts.

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce.

Battle Royale”, by Ralph Ellison.

Here is a list of literary terms you’ll need to become familiar with in order to gain a fuller understanding of how literature works.

First, the foundational elements of fiction:

  1. PLOT
  4. TONE
  6. THEME

Next, other, more nuanced author tools: 


PROTAGONIST: The main character – whether hero or anti-hero – in a story. The character you identify most with.

ANTAGONIST: The character who opposes the main character in one way or another.

CONFLICT: A struggle between two opposing forces that drives the narrative’s plot. The two forces in conflict can be two characters, a character and his environment or society, or two large social groups. Conflict can also be wholly INTERNAL, as when a character struggles with his or her psychological issues or conflicting desires.

FORESHADOWING: Early events or “clues” in a story suggest how the story will ultimately be resolved at the end.

SYMBOLISM: A “symbol” in a story is an element that stands for something other than its literal meaning. Ex., the snake in the garden of Eden story.

DIALOG: Characters speaking to each other.

EXPOSITION: Any part of the narrative that provides background information necessary to understanding the story. In other words, anything that’s not DIALOG.

METAPHOR: A figure of speech not meant to be factually true, in which one thing is compared or substituted for something else. Ex., “She took off like a bat out of hell!”

MOTIF: Any element in the story that is REPEATED and developed throughout the narrative. Example, the color red might be referenced over and over in the story, or the protagonist might have a recurring nightmare.

NARRATOR: The voice or character who relates the story of the narrative. The narrator is NOT to be confused with the AUTHOR of the story.


SIMPLE IRONY: The text operates on at least TWO levels of meaning.

DRAMATIC IRONY: Occurs when readers (or the viewers when referring to movies) has information that characters in the story DON’T (example: the audience knows that Juliet is not dead, but Romeo thinks she is).

SITUATIONAL IRONY: Occurs when the story turns out to be the OPPOSITE of what’s expected.

COSMIC IRONY: Occurs when the character can do nothing to change the fate that is prepared for him or her.

VERBAL IRONY: Occurs when the words spoken are the OPPOSITE of the meaning intended.

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