What are the ways in which each major character experiences conflict (either with self, with other characters, or with the social and/or physical environment)?

Fiction Essay

Write a 750-word (3–4 pages) essay that compares and contrasts 2 stories from the Fiction Unit The Fiction Essay is due by 11:59 pm (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 3 and must include a title page (see the General Writing Requirements), a thesis/outline page, and the essay itself,followed by a works cited/references/bibliography page of any primary and/or secondary texts cited in the essay

Guidelines for Developing Your Paper Topic

Chapter 40 of the Kennedy and Gioia textbook (Chapter 42, pp 1116–1131 in the eText) provides some helpful pointers for reading actively, taking notes, brainstorming, developing a clearly-defined thesis statement, preparing an outline, and writing a cogent fiction essay Be sure that you have read this chapter before doing any further work for this assignment

Compare and contrast in your essay:

· “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson,

· “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by DH Lawrence,

Also, make at least 1 of these elements of fiction the focus of your essay:

· Conflict/Plot/Structure,

· Characterization,

· Setting,

· Theme/Authors’ Purposes,

· Point of View, and/or

· Tone/Style/Irony/Symbol/Imagery

If you need help focusing your essay, ask yourself questions that correspond to your chosen element(s)

Conflict/Plot/Structure (This is not a summary of the stories)

· What are the basic conflicts? How do these conflicts build tension, leading to major, complicated incidents and climactic moment(s)?

  • What are the ways in which each major character experiences conflict (either with self, with other characters, or with the social and/or physical environment)?

· How are the conflicts resolved? Do the protagonists succeed in achieving their goals?

· Who receives your deepest sympathy and why?


  • Who are the main characters in the stories?
  • What are their outstanding qualities? Does the author give any indication as to how or why the character developed these qualities?
  • What are the characters’ emotions, attitudes, and behaviors? What do these indicate to the reader about the character?
  • Can the characters’ motivations be determined from the text?


  • Where and when do the stories take place (remember to include such details as geographic location, time of year, time period, if the setting is rural or urban, etc)?
  • Do the settings make the stories believable or credible? How does setting impact the plot of the story, and how would the plot be affected if the story took place in another setting?
  • Are the characters influenced by their setting? How might they behave if they were in a different setting?
  • What atmosphere or mood does the setting create (for example, darkness may create a mood of fear or unhappiness while light or bright colors may create one of happiness)?
  • Is the setting or any aspect of it a symbol, or does the setting express particular ideas?
  • Does setting create expectations that are the opposite of what occurs?

Theme/Authors’ Purposes

  • What is the major theme (or themes) of each story?
  • Are the themes of the stories similar or different?
  • How does the author convey the theme (or themes) to the reader?
  • How do the stories’ themes relate to the authors’ purposes (some examples of author purposes are to entertain, to satirize, to realistically portray life’s problems, to analyze emotions and responses, and/or to communicate a moral message)?
  • What unique style, techniques, or devices do the writers use to communicate their themes?


  • How would you describe the tone of the piece?
  • Does the tone correspond with the action occurring in the plot?
  • What style does the author use (for example, one way an author might satirize is by including a lot of ironies, hyperbole, and unrealistic scenarios)?
  • How might the story be different if the tone or style is changed?
  • Does the writer use irony or symbols to communicate the message?