Short Stories and the Humanities

Short Stories and the Humanities

The written word has had an impact on the human condition for centuries. We have all been touched in some way or another by literature. This week, you will take a literary journey by searching the Internet for the pieces below. In addition to reading the story, you should find out something about the author of your chosen piece as well. After making your choice, come back and share your impressions of the story and explain how it contributes to our discussion of the humanities.

Choose one of the following options (or find a piece of literature of your choosing to report on):

  • “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner (This memorable short story is about a community mourning the loss of a lonely old Southern woman, who was actually a murderer.)
  • “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid (This dramatic prose poem reflects lessons from a mother to her daughter.)
  • “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin (This short story captures the complex internal conflict of an oppressed wife learning of her overbearing husband’s death.)
  • “Exodus” by James Baldwin (This gripping short story describes the plight of a young woman in post-slavery America conflicted between family obligations and trying to make a better life for herself.)

Once you have selected a short story, read the story, highlight interesting parts of the story, and take notes as needed. Research the author to learn more about their writing style and writing features. In about two paragraphs, comment on the following items:

  1. What is your overall impression of the story?
  2. What interesting features did you learn about the author that help you appreciate the story or understand more about the story?
  3. How does this story advance your understanding of the Humanities?
  4. Share a unique literary element such as a metaphor, symbol, theme, or simile from the story?
  5. To whom would you recommend this story, and why?
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