The Function of Setting, Character, and Symbol in the Short Story

cause-nobody-wants a charlie in the box

Charlie in the Box on the Island of Misfit Toys from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” 1964

Our next short story (Sep. 10 & 11) is Flannery O’Connor’s classic “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”  (or here as a doc) Again, use literary patterns, setting, and character to decode the symbolism and put together what moral, social, or spiritual experience this story represents.  How do we end up with misfits in our society and what are the consequences?  And what the heck does he mean “she would of been a good woman, [ . . . ] “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life” (O’Connor)? The Canvas assignment is here, and a supplemental reading is here: The Element of Suspense in A Good Man is Hard to Find  Enjoy!

banksy show me the monet

Banksy, “Show me the Monet” from CBS News

EXTRA CREDIT:  “Greasy Lake” by T. Coragessan Boyle.  Here you will need to use literary patterns and setting (like in “Hunters in the Snow”) along with tone and point of view to discern character: what are these boys really like?

Literary Patterns and “Hunters in the Snow”

As a way of introducing prose analysis (which is the second essay question on the AP exam) we’re applying Patterns in Literature (Note page to help you follow along: Patterns in Lit brainstorming) to Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow.”  (or as a downloadable doc here)

Directions for your assignment on the short story can be found here: Hunters in the Snow, or after the page break.  You can write out your answers in a notebook or on a piece of paper, or type them into the assignment document or one like it. This should be included in your learning portfolio that we will review at the end of the quarter.

Continue reading

The Function of Character and Narrative Style: “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”


Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

We are using Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” (text can also be found after the page break) to look at the effects of character and narrative style.  Here are the Figurative Language and Characterization 2020 notes.  Read through them and/or go through the videos after the page break, then read and annotate the short story. You can do this on your own, but I highly recommend you watch the guided annotation video after the page break.

You can print and annotate the story, annotate it in a word processing program such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or you can just take notes in a notebook or separate document. Continue reading