Reading and Writing Assignment 5: Reading a Short Story

Intro to Fiction

Professor Rodgers

Please read Sherwood Anderson’s essay “Form, Not Plot, in the Short Story” (pp. 901-903 in the Charters textbook) and Margaret Atwood’s essay “Reading Blind” (pp. 903-906 in the Charters textbook).  After reading these essays, please do two things:  1/ Write a one paragraph response to each in which you explain what the essay was about and what you found significant about it; and 2/ write down three quotes from EACH ESSAY that you found significant or had questions about.


After reading the Anderson and Atwood essays, please read Jamaica Kincaid’s short story “Girl” (pp. 507-508 in the Charters textbook).

On a separate sheet/sheets of paper, please respond to the following questions.  Please type this assignment and follow MLA formatting guidelines, making sure to read over your responses at least once before handing in the assignment.

1/ Please describe as carefully and completely as you can the key events in the story. 

2/ Choose one paragraph or passage from the story that caught your attention or that you had questions about. Why did it particularly interest or confuse you? Why is it important to the story as a whole? 

3/ In one paragraph, explain what you liked about the story. Locate at least one quote that reflects and illustrates what you liked about it.

4/ We have identified several key terms for reading fiction, including plot, character, narrative perspective, setting, and theme.  Please briefly write about each of these five terms in relation to the story and explain how any why this story experiments with various elements.

5/ Finally, please write a paragraph in which you reflect on this story in the context of the Anderson and Atwood essays.  Does it relate to these essays?  If so, how?  If not, why not?  What might Anderson and/or Atwood have to say about “Girl” in the context of their respective essays?