Length and Format: The literary analysis should be at least 700 words and should not exceed 800 words in length (which will roughly translate to a length of about 2 ½ pages) and should be formatted according to MLA guidelines.
Assignment Overview: Students should now be familiar with the analysis of short stories based upon important symbolic evidence and contextual awareness that can then be used to help us create an accurate interpretation of the story…
Objective: Fairy tales are stories that have often come into existence as a response to some larger cultural issue and much of what is included within the fairy tale serves to symbolically represent various aspects of that society.
For example, in class we examined the role of the wolf in the one of the original “Little Red Riding Hood” stories and identified this particular character as symbolic of a particular issue that the culture would have been responding to, namely sexual predators.
In this analysis, students will choose a fairy tale and will continue to explore and examine the tale according to both its context and the various symbols that it utilizes in order to convey a larger idea about the culture that produced it.
- Students should make an attempt to identify an important symbol or two within the fairy tale and then fully explore its possible meanings, how it is used throughout the story, and how your understanding of the symbol and its representation shapes or affects your interpretation of the story.
- Students should also identify some important points of context that help show what the author might be responding to in the story: look at the author’s life, the country and time period in which they wrote the story, etc.
- Students ought to provide a brief synopsis of the fairy tale at the very beginning of their essay to provide some basic plot understanding for what they will be discussing or responding to in their analysis […] this portion should not dominate the essay length.
- The essay should avoid plagiarism and long quotes (4 lines or more), and will need a works cited should you rely on additional sources.
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