AP English

I have to write a comparative essay and I'm stuck on something. My topic is to discuss symbolism in Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and The Story of One Hour by Kate Chopin. I have to explain the similarities between the two books by using symbolism. I chosen two symbols from Ethan frome which are mattie silver's red scarf and red ribbon and the final sled run. I also chosen two symbols from the story of one hour which is the heart trouble and compared it w/ the final sled run and the open window to compare it with mattie's red scarf and etc.

But what im confused about is should the essay be entirely on symbolism. Can i include the setting of these stories and state how it furthers your understanding of symbolism or should i just not include the setting? I also thinking about including the puritans values which is almost similar to ethan frome because red is a major symbol throughout ethan frome.

Thanks a lot, i really appreciate this. =)

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  1. That all relates to symbolism, does it not?


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  2. Yes, basically you have to discuss symbolism in the stories and choose at least two symbolic objects in each story and explain how Edith Wharton gives them significant meaning.

    ---> Should i include setting and state how it furthers your understanding of symbolism because the final sled run as symbolism in ethan frome and open window as symbolism in the story of one hour both revolve around setting to show the true meaning of the story. I also thinking about including the puritan values and how it's similar to ethan frome.

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  3. I would organize this paper like this:

    I. Intro
    II. Brief synopsis of both stories (emphasis on "brief"!!)
    III. Symbolism in first story
    IV. Symbolism in second story
    V. Opinion(s) about symbolism in both stories.
    VI. Overall conclusion

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  4. My suggested section V. = your own opinions about symbolism; the conclusions you have drawn about how symbolism is used in stories like these; etc. (But not the conclusion to the entire paper... yet.)

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  5. Okay, thanks. So i guess i shouldn't include setting since it will steal away from symbolism. But should i include the puritans values? I was thinking about including how both writing style show romanticism. The similarities is Ethan Frome and Mrs. Mallard wish both of their spouser was dead so they have their freedom and independence and they start planning for their future. But when they see an image of their spouser they both go into a state of shock.

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  6. Yes, in that second section (may or may not be one paragraph; could be two), you could include setting and anything else about the two stories that your reader needs to understand before reading your paper on symbolism.

    And remember that those Roman numerals stand for sections, not always single paragraphs.

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  7. Ok, I should of said thanks. Thanks a lot! This really helps me.

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  8. I'm glad it helps. You're very welcome. Now ... go get an A!! =)

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