Essay 1: Rough Draft-
Purpose: In Essay 1, we will hone our critical analysis skills by considering how subtlety and omission impacts the readerâ€™s experience of the short story.
Required Texts: Your essay must incorporate Hemingway and at least ONE additional short story (either Baldwin, Kincaid, OR Poe) AND at least ONE of the essays listed below (either Lâ€™Heureux, McPhee, or Wickham).
- Hemingway, Ernest. â€œHills Like White Elephants.â€ Norton Introduction to Literature. Portable Edition.
- Kincaid, Jamaica. â€œGirl.â€ Norton Introduction to Literature. Portable Edition.
- Lâ€™ Heureux, John L. â€œTalk that Walks: How Hemingwayâ€™s Dialogue Powers Tell a Story.â€ The Wall Street Journal.
- McPhee, John. â€œWriting by Omissionâ€ The New Yorker. Sept. 14, 2015.
- Poe, Edgar Allen. â€œThe Cask of Amontillado.â€ Canvas. Retrieved from www..
- Wickham, Forrest. â€œAgainst Subtlety: The Case for Heavy-Handedness in Art.â€ Slate. 1, 2015.
- And any of the Short Stories that we have read i theis section
Background: For John Lâ€™Heureux, a former Director of Stanfordâ€™s Writing Center, a writerâ€™s use of subtlety and â€œsilenceâ€ when presenting dialogue in a story has advantages because it places a greater emphasis on charactersâ€™ actions as opposed to their words. In â€œWriting by Omission,â€ John McPhee interprets the purpose of Hemingwayâ€™s Theory of Omission, which is to allow â€œthe creative reader [to] silently articulate the unwritten thought that is present in the white spaceâ€ and to let â€œthe reader have the experienceâ€ of the characters in the narrative. In contrast, in â€œAgainst Subtlety: The Case for Heavy-Handedness in Art,â€ Forrest Wickam asserts bluntly that â€œsubtlety sucksâ€ because â€œPeople feel things, strongly, and creators that underplay that are making it harder for their audiences to connect purely and viscerally to their work.â€ Taking Ernest Hemingwayâ€™s â€œHills Like White Elephantsâ€ as your starting point, consider the positive and negative effects of the storyâ€™s subtlety and omission on your experience as a reader.
Writing Task: After carefully reading the required texts and assigned short stories, write a 4-5-page thesis-driven essay that thoughtfully responds to the following prompt:
To what extent does a narrativeâ€™s use of subtlety and omission enhance and/or undermine your experience as a reader?
In other words, your essay should consider your experience as a reader of â€œHillsâ€ and then take a focused position that defends or argues against Hemingwayâ€™s use of subtlety and omission in the short story. Consider how subtlety and omission work in communicating elements of the storyâ€™s plot, narration, and characterization. Use specific examples from â€œHills Like White Elephantsâ€ and ONE additional short story of your choosing to support your argument.
Essay Format: Essay must be typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Use Times New Roman 12-point font and include the proper heading, a title, and last name and page number on every page.
Essay 1 Requirements: