Tag Archives: Comparison

Preparing for the midterm exam essay

To prepare for our midterm exam, find below a draft of the essay portion. Included are five possible topics, though you’ll only find three there on the day of the exam. For our discussion, consider ONE of these topics and answer the following questions about it by Sunday night:


  • What does responding to this topic allow you to understand about each story?
  • How does the topic allow you to further explore the stories?
  • What does the comparison bring out about both stories?
  • What’s a draft of a thesis statement for one of these essays?

Vote for your top choice! Use the poll in the sidebar (or if you’re viewing the page from a smartphone, all of the sidebar material appears at the bottom on the screen, so scroll down).


Midterm exam draft:

In a well-developed essay, consider how two of the short stories we have read this semester (excluding the one you wrote about in Project #1) compare in their approach to one of the following issues, topics, or themes. Compare two examples from each story, using quotations from your quotation sheet as evidence to support for your thesis-driven essay.

  1. the significance of setting details, including their symbolic significance
  2. the intricate relationship between freedom and death
  3. Restriction or confinement as limiting or enabling
  4. Depictions of the grotesque or unnatural
  5. The treatment of Illness as transformation

Your essay should be 500-600 words—if you’re writing 5 words per line, that’s 5-6 pages in the blue book, fewer pages if you get more words per line. There’s no need to count all of the words: check to see roughly how many words you write per line on a few lines, then multiply that by 20 (lines per page) and the number of pages you have. When you include a quotation, even though it is already on your quotation sheet, I ask that you copy it into your essay. Rather than using whiteout or making a mess, when you need to make a correction, just cross out what you want to delete.

To get started, you should use the time before the exam to plan your three possible essays. On Wednesday, take time at the start of the exam to think about what you want to write, and use the blue book to write down notes before you start writing the essay. There’s no need to skip every other line, but you might want to skip a line or two between paragraphs to give yourself space to add in any additional words or sentences when you re-read your essay.

Don’t forget–there will be short-answer questions to start the exam.

If you have questions, feel free to ask them here.

Project #1- My Retelling

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

Retelling in first person narrative as Homer Barron

“The Late Truth”

I go by the name of Homer Barron. I am a Foreman from the North with a rather large body size with a dark skin complexion, a booming voice, and light-colored eyes. I am a gruff and demanding boss of my company. I consider myself accepted by the town because I was able to win many admirers in Jefferson because of my gregarious nature and good sense of humor. 

It was a scorching hot summer day on the job. Me and my men were hard at work on a sidewalk-paving project in town working towards completing by the end of the week and move on the the next job, because you know what they say “time is money,” well at least thats what I always put my belief in, and it makes sense doesn’t it?

The first day on this project, as me and my men begin digging and shoveling into the ground breaking the concrete bit my bit, the jackhammers prying the hard cement open like a nutcracker breaking open a wall nut so effortlessly making a loud cracking noise like an intense thunder storm rolling into town.

It was part of the job as foreman to inform the locals of our work so I went door to door on the block to let them know that we will be working on the concrete floors not to be alarmed by the noise and apologize for the inconvenience that we may cause. This is how I came across the most beautiful creature that I have ever set my eyes on.  She had beautiful young lady with long brown hair, a beautiful pair of brown eyes that glistened in the light and velvety smooth skin. 

I formally introduced myself and informed her that there will be a lot of noise for the next few hours. A few days later I was taking her around town in my chariot and we were spending a lot of time with each other. I was sure that the towns people were talking about us because lets face it, a wealthy and beautiful young lady like Emily was not usually seen with a man of my stature.

Emily and I would go on dates every day spending countless amount of hours with each other even though it was frowned upon by the neighborhood. I know for a fact that when we pass the towns people you could hear chatter and I know it was talk about the fact that I am but a simple foreman lucky enough to have the pleasure of taking the wealthy and beautiful Ms. Emily out.

Regardless of what anyone has to say about our relationship I enjoy the time spent with Emily and I believe that Miss Emily feels the same towards me as well.

From what I’ve been told Emily does not like the company of others very much. She seemed to be a very mysterious person before I was introduced into her life. People say that no one has been inside her home since her father passed. She didn’t seem to take good care of her home, there was dust and garbage everywhere. She seemed to be in somewhat of a rut but she seemed to be much more cheerful once I introduced my self to her.

Emily was always skeptical of me coming into her home but one afternoon she invited me over for dinner so I blissfully made my way over to her home. After dinner emily asked me if I wanted a further tour of the upstairs rooms and I agreed. She brought me to the attack room, looked like any normal old room, bed night counter with a bunch of little trinkets. i then took the last gulp of the wine that was on my glass from dinner and little that I know that this would be the last liquid that I would ever consume. Complete feeling in my body had vanished and the room faded to black.


“A Rose for Emily” is told in third person limited perspective. Third person limited could be perceived as being told from the viewpoint character. It can be used very objectively, showing what is actually happening without the filter of the protagonist’s personality, which can allow the author to reveal information that the protagonist doesn’t know or realize.

The narrator has more information about Miss Emily, her father and the town that the main character would ever reveal to the reader.

When a main character is the narrator, the story is told from a particular perspective, in this case, we would probably be even more sympathetic towards Emily than we are through the narrator’s version.

We certainly would get to know Miss Emily’s heart better.  The story does not give us insight into her thinking, only that we assume she murdered Homer Barron so that he would never leave her.  We don’t get to hear Emily’s thoughts through the narrator, that would be a nice touch. 

But the essence of horror would be minimized if Miss Emily told the story, we would see the whole experience through her eyes, she would probably rationalize her behavior.  

However I chose to take a completely different approach in telling this story. In my version of this story, “The Late Truth,” I chose to go with first person narration. First person narrative is a point of view where the story is narrated by one character at a time. This character may be speaking about him/herself or sharing events that he/she is experiencing.

While this character may share details about others in the story, we are only told what the speaker knows. An author may switch from character to character, but still use first person narrative. This way, we may learn about what other characters think and feel, but we are still limited in our knowledge because we must rely on what the character shares.

As a reader, we are not only limited by what the character shares, but what the character knows. He/she may not have all the information or knowledge about events. We would also not know what other characters are thinking. 

In “The Late Truth,” because we only see Homer Barron’s Point of view and know only his thoughts we only get one side of the story and it is very limited in information but it is interesting to get into Homer Barron’s head as the story unfolds because he was unknowing of the events that was about to take place and had no knowledge of the townspeople reaction to him and Emily’s relationship. It is certainly an interesting twist to the original story.

Thesis Statement

In the original version of “A Rose for Emily,” the story is told in third person limited perspective narration which means that the narrator is basically just telling the story from a wide open perspective. The readers are allowed to see everything that is happening within this small town. This includes inside Emily’s home, the entire town and Homer Barron’s actions. This type of Narration is not very limited at all but in my retelling i decided to go with a completely different approach. I chose to retell “A Rose for Emily” in first person narration from Homer Barron’s point of view in the story. Although this type of narration is very limited but it is also an interesting way to get a different side of the story that your not able to see with the original story. It is very interesting because with this new point of view we are able to get into Homer Barron’s head and understand his emotions towards Emily in a deeper sense where as with the original version of the story, because it is told in third person narration we are only able to just vaguely understand how Homer feels about Emily only by sight and facial expressions but with my version, because it is told in first person narration we are given more details about Homers feelings towards Emily because we are able to see his thoughts.

Retelling Comparison – A Story of an Hour

For the retelling I picked “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, where Mrs. Mallard is told about the death of her husband. In the original story, we get to know the thought process of Mrs. Mallard only and the other characters actions or thought process is just left out in thin air. For the retelling I told the story in the view of how Mrs. Mallard sister Josephine would be feeling in such a situation.

In the original story, we first learn that Mrs. Mallard is told about the death of her husband and how she is feeling when is told about the news. In my retelling I start by showing what kind of day it is and how Josephine learns the news about the death of her sister’s husband. I also show how Josephine feels at the time that she learns the news and how she is approaching the situation. We don’t get to know how Josephine is feeling prior to her telling the news to her sister in the original story, so we cannot assume what she is going through or what kind of feelings are being shown by her.

In the retelling, the part where Josephine is telling the news to Mrs. Mallard there are small details that get added such as how Josephine is feeling really nervous and does not know how to tell her sister about the death of the husband. We also get to know that to calm herself down and tell her sister about the news, she drinks tea and takes her time in telling her in order to not greatly affect her health, in which she has a heart problem. From the retelling, we get to know what kind of character Josephine is instead of not knowing at all in the original story.

After Mrs. Mallard knows about the death of her husband she goes into her room and sits in a chair near the window. In the original story, we get to know how the room is like and what Mrs. Mallard is doing while sitting in that chair. We get to know how Mrs. Mallard is going through the pain of losing her husband to getting happy that she gets to live her life the way she wants to; now that her husband is dead.

In the retelling, we get to see a different view of how the other characters are responding to Mrs. Mallard locking herself in her room. We are first presented that when Mrs. Mallard goes to room to be alone is a standard respond to knowing that a loved one has past away. We get to see the different views when they try to talk to Mrs. Mallard when she is in the room and does not get an answer from her.

In the original story, we know that Mrs. Mallard is going through the process of accepting the death of her husband and how she is going to live her life now. In the retelling of the story, we get to see that the other characters assume that this type of action taken by Mrs. Mallard can lead to one that hurts herself because of her health problems. The only action that is taken in the original story that we know is Josephine calling out to Mrs. Mallard to come out of the room. In the retelling, we get to know that more action other than calling out to Mrs. Mallard is taken. Josephine tells Richard to call the doctor and find a way to open the door. From that we can tell that the other characters are worried to what is happening to Mrs. Mallard in the room since they only thing they know is that she is sitting in a chair without and response from her. From the retelling we get to see the emotions that Josephine is feeling from the moment Mrs. Mallard goes into her room to when she leaves it. We get to know that they took early action in calling the doctor in case something happens to Mrs. Mallard and that they tried to get access into the room instead of leaving her alone in the room.

In the final part of the story, both the original and retelling show is a similar view, when Mrs. Mallard comes out of her room and she goes down the stairs to see her husband which causes her to have a heart attack. The only thing we get to see more in the retelling is how Josephine felt when she saw Mrs. Mallard leave her room and the face she has. We get to see the emotion of Josephine from being worried of what happening to her sister to feeling relieved that she came out of her room just fine. We also get to see that when they walk down the stairs, the emotion that goes on when they see the husband is not dead and the facial expression that Mrs. Mallard express at that moment.

With the retelling of this story, we get to know more about the emotions that the other characters felt during this situation. The goal of this retelling was to show that Mrs. Mallard was not the only one that had to face this painful experience, but the other characters also faced one of their own with how to deal with Mrs. Mallard actions in response to the husband deaths.