Omparison/ Contrast of Everyday Useby Alice Walker and Two Kindsby Amy Tan

For this essay, select any two of the short story selections in our book which you have not written about previously (or an online supplement) and explore a similar link between the twoa this may be a similarity in characters (major or minor), situations in plot which are interesting or engaging, the writeras use of irony or symbolism, like themes within two worksa feel free to get creative with this assignment! For instance, the subject you may choose to explore might be parent-child relationships or the way two characters deal with conflicts with society (those are just two of many possibilities, of course). Based upon this subject, you will compose a thesis (central ideas around which the paper will conform) which identifies clearly what similarity you will be describing. Quote liberally from the stories since this is an analysis!

For example, letas observe an essay topic focused upon comparing two like themes.
One example of theme for a?Everyday Usea? might be: a?Understanding heritage is more about personal experience and appreciation than what one can learn about in books or classes.a? This is certainly not the only theme that could easily be derived from Walkeras story, but most readers would agree that this theme is true to the story.

a?In contrast to her educated and stylish daughter, the narrator understands that genuine appreciation of the people within a culture is more about personal experience and familiarity than what one can learn about in books or classes.a?

When considering another story which has a similar kind of theme, several examples come to mind. One possibly unlikely source is Raymond Carveras a?Cathedral.a? Within a?Cathedral,a? a similar theme might be stated: a?The narrator learns that appreciation of others comes from understanding a person from within and not basing his worth on outward appearance or stylea?.

If one chose to use these stories for this assignment, the paperas thesis might read as follows:

Both Alice Walkerasa?Everyday Usea? and Raymond Carveras a?Cathedrala? feature characters who assess another personas relevance according to outward appearance, yet in both cases, the stories convey the theme that oneas true value is found within the soul and not externally.


We will discuss some other examples of thesis statements together in class.

Please follow the technical guidelines below for this essay.
1. Within the introductory paragraph, clearly identify the authors as well as the story titles.

2. The thesis statement for this paper is, as in any essay, the central focus of the entire paper. Please make certain that the thesis is clear, specific, and factually accurate. It should be clearly stated in paragraph one.

3. Devote equal time to each of the stories in the body of your essay. We will observe a sample of how a writer has done this in class.

4. Use the point by point method of comparison, rather than the block method (we will review this in class).

5. All quoted material from the stories should include a parenthetical notation following the direct quotation. A bibliography in MLA format should be placed at the end of the essay on a separate page.

6. Secondary materials should be introduced with an attributive tag within the text. For the sake of your own credibility as a writer, an attributive tag allows your reader to understand precisely why you have selected the material and why they should take it seriously. As is the case in all academic work, the quality of a secondary reference may positively or negatively impact your message. Choose critical work most carefully.

7. Please feel free to see me personally or to send me your drafts via e-mail for review.