litr201 1403b 06 literature a reflection of life 1

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LITR201-1403B-06 : Literature: A Reflection of Life

Part 1 600 words

The bonds between siblings are among the strongest. May-Lee Chai describes the relationship between two sisters in her short story, “Saving Sourdi.” 

After reading “Saving Sourdi,” discuss the following questions in 3–5 paragraphs:

  1. The story begins with a strong revealing statement from Nea, the narrator. How do you think Nea feels about her sister Sourdi based on this information? How does what happens at the beginning of the story foreshadow what happens later?
  2. This story is told from Nea’s point of view. How do you think the story would change if it were told from Sourdi’s point of view? Do you feel closer to the character than you would if this story were told in third person?
  3. Nea briefly mentions an experience she and Sourdi had in a minefield when they were younger. What impact do you think this had on the relationship between the sisters?
  4. Nea’s family is not originally from the United States. What are some clues the author gives to describe the origin of their ethnicity? Give 2 examples of characters who say things that are racially offensive, and discuss how this makes you feel about those characters. Can you relate to these experiences?
  5. How does the author describe Duke and Mr. Chhay? Do you get a sense of who these characters are based on these descriptions?
  6. As the story progresses, how does the relationship between Nea and Sourdi change? Why do you think it changes?
  7. What does the mother value, based on how reaction to updates she receives from Sourdi? Why do you think she might feel this way?

This is an example of what the professor expects

After “Saving Sourdi” by May-Lee Chai, p. 81-96, discusses the following questions in 3 to 5 paragraphs.” Refer to the numbered prompts above.

· This assignment is asking you to answer a number of questions

· Develop a topic sentence for each of the assignment prompts.

· You must quote from the story is support of your ideas

· Follow this method to quote:

RULE: Add the author, insert the quote in quote marks, and add the page after. CAUTION: Do not quote more than 39 words.

EXAMPLE: According to Gilb (1193) “The fact was that he’d probably have to change his whole style” (p. 219).


MacGowan, S. (1987). Belfast bombsite. In S. L. Fingers (Ed.). An Irish Punk Poetry

 Anthology (pp. 117-118). Donegal: Culchie Press.


 Make sure to reference my book and page numbers

NOTE: Add a title page, develop an introduction (with a thesis statement at the end), body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph, and add a Reference page.

Part 2

For this assignment, you will be analyzing two more short stories, “Battle Royal” (which is the first chapter in Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man) and “The Birthmark.” As you read, reflect on the ways each depicts characters that are deemed socially unacceptable because of their outward appearances.

Please write a comparison/contrast essay of 1000 to 1200 words or more discussing the questions below. Remember to begin your paper with an engaging introduction and clear thesis statement, develop each point in the body of your paper using examples and quotes from the stories, and conclude your paper with a restatement of your thesis and closing remarks. Also, be sure to maintain your credibility by including in-text citations and a reference list correctly formatted in APA style.

  1. Setting: Describe the settings of both pieces and identify how the eras in which they take place—with their distinct societal attitudes and customs—affect the main characters?
  2. Characters:
  • “Battle Royal:” Discuss the young man and his grandfather. Why do we never learn the young man’s name? What do the grandfather’s dying words reveal about him?
  • “The Birthmark:” Describe the main characters: Aylmer, Georgiana and Aminadab. What is important to each?

Point of View: In which point of view (first- or third-person) is each piece told? If the point of view in “Battle Royal” was changed, would it have made the story more effective, or less so? Symbolism: 

  • “Battle Royal:” Analyze the deeper meaning of the following: the “battle royal” itself, the naked blonde, and the young man’s dream at the end of the story.
  • “The Birthmark:” What does Georgiana’s birthmark signify, first to her and then to Aylmer? What does alchemy represent in the story?

Themes: What are the main themes/messages of each piece? What, in other words, do you think the authors, Ralph Ellison and Nathaniel Hawthorne, are trying to communicate about life and human nature in their respective stories? Fear: What role does fear play in both pieces? Discrimination: Both stories address physical appearance, specifically one’s skin, and the way people may discriminate against others because of external characteristics they deem inferior. Compare and contrast how discrimination and prejudice are presented in “Battle Royal” and “The Birthmark.” Final Thoughts: Author Tim O’Brien wrote, “That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” Talk about how literature might give us “truer” insights into the human experience by appealing to our senses, emotions and empathy. Describe a situation in which you or someone you know may have been discriminated against because of appearance, gender, race or another attribute. What did the experience teach you?

For this last question if this relates to you be sure to use it as an example of someone else that you may know. Or just simply make up something.

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