This guide is for Ms. Grigg's short story assignment in English 102 that uses literary and historical sources.
2. Explore Your Story
After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to look for some initial background or starting information on your short story. Many short stories have an entry in Short Stories for Students, which is a great place to start learning more about your short story.
Short Stories for Students is a great place to start! Learn more about your short story's characters, themes, style, setting, symbols and more! Pay close attention to the "Historical Context" section! Use the search box to see if there is an entry on your short story (just type in the title). *Each entry also has several literary criticism essays also.
Analyze Your Short Story
When and where did the story take place? (setting - place and time)
What historical time period does the story have (hint: your topic tells you)
How does this historical time period affect the story? What role does it play in the following:
What is the atmosphere? (historical / sociological)
How is the story told? (narrative / point of view)
What language is used? (style, tone, and irony)
Who are the main characters? (protagonist / antagonist / others)
Are there symbols used? (symbols)
How does the plot help the reader understand the theme?
What is the dramatic moment? What is the conflict?
What is the moment of climax? (turning point / illumination / understanding)