Write a critical argument supported by an analysis of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.

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Write a critical argument supported by an analysis of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.

Simple statements such as “This poem is about the theme of grieving” are not usually successful as thesis statements. Unless the grief is well hidden and readers can easily miss it, a statement like this would not require an essay to support it. Instead, strive to make a thesis statement that is dynamic, complex or subtle.

** For Example, in a reading of William Blake’s “London,” I could interpret his metaphor of the “mind-forged manacles” as “the psychological controls of the state.” This specific interpretation is a good start, but my thesis should go further to render the metaphor dynamically: “Blake’s ‘mind-forged manacles’ represent how public institutions, in the name of civic order, exercise psychological control over the people.” Such a description provides phrases (“social institutions,” “psychological control,” “in the name of civic order”) that I will be obligated to explain in the body. **

Above all, it is important for an interpretive thesis to risk being wrong, to describe the literature’s meaning in such a way that other readers may disagree. The body paragraphs can then build credibility for the thesis step-by-step. If your thesis is obviously true or otherwise above controversy, your body paragraphs will have nothing to do but tour the work.

You should articulate your thesis in clear, specific terms in your introduction and reiterate it in bolder terms in your conclusion. As the essay expands upon its thesis, it should cite details and use quotes from the poem/story often. Remember that you are always writing to another, reasonably informed reader who knows the text. That means that neutral plot summary or paraphrasing of lines should be kept to a minimum. Technical analysis should play a role in your interpretation but need not preoccupy the essay.

Also, you are required to do research and bring in at least one secondary source (a critical article, biography or other scholarly source besides the literature itself).

You are free to organize your essay according to your own subtopics rather than going through the story/poem from beginning to end. Howsoever you decide to organize your thoughts, you should refrain from mentioning anything irrelevant to your thesis. Your goal should not be to exhaust or “cover” the poem/story, but to provide one focused argument.

Also, be sure to integrate sources correctly and proofread carefully.

This essay assignment should be about 1250-1400 words long (3-4 double-spaced pages), not including the required MLA works cited page.

(See the rubric below for further details on grading.)

Take the assignment if you are comfortable with the question and writing about the topic! (4 pages is fine for me).

If you have any questions please let me know.

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