Compare and contrast  “The Rocking Horse Winner” and “Barn Burning.” 

The  paper is to compare and contrast are “The Rocking Horse Winner” and “Barn Burning.” Compare and contrast the stories’ portrayals of (choose one, or cook up your own)

Compare and contrast  “The Rocking Horse Winner” and “Barn Burning.”

Research Essay
The paper should be 3-4 pages, MLA-formatted (per 8th. ed.) and exclusive of the Works Cited list.  This latter should include a minimum of three scholarly sources, each referenced in the paper itself, drawn either from books or journal articles (online versions of these are fine to use).  The sources should have been published within the last 15 years.  Remember, as well, that sometimes useful texts include ones that do not treat the stories specifically, e.g., psychological studies of family dynamics could be helpful when you talk about the first topic.

Make sure to set your work up with articulation of a thesis occurring in the introductory paragraph.  The thesis specifies not only the topic with which you will deal, but also, it establishes a line of argument you will take with respect to that topic.
I would like you to zero in on some particular focus through which to compare and contrast aspects of two of the short stories read for class.  (For comparison, look at similarities.  In considering contrasts, look for differences.

It might work well to set up the paper so discussion moves from points of comparison to points  of contrast.)  I will give you some suggestions, but you are welcome to select your own, after running it past me for approval.  In structuring the paper, please make certain to discuss both stories equally in terms of analysis and depth of engagement.  Make sure you do not rehash the plot of the stories.

Compare and contrast the stories’ portrayals of (choose one, or cook up your own):

1.       dysfunctional family dynamics
2.       discrepancies between a pleasant setting and a less-pleasant reality
3.       partnership of various kinds–e.g., a marriage, cahoots, etc.
4.       communication, or its absence
5.       empathy, or its absence
6.       the role of community on matters of personal conscience
7.       the maturing process 
8.       the nature of evil
9.       Is ignorance bliss?
10.    the effect of particular passages of description on the mood of a piece

The Two short stories to compare and contrast are “The Rocking Horse Winner” and “Barn Burning.”

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