Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
Conduct a comparison and contrast analysis of any two stories discussed in class and in your essay attempt to explore how an understanding of one reveals deeper depths to the second. That is, a comparison and contrast analysis is more than just a listing of similarities and differences—it is an exploration of similarities and differences for a reason. What can be learned from the recognition of these similarities and differences and why is it important to the readers? You goal is to create, in essence, an analysis in which these two stories “talk” to each other. Perhaps center your discussion around common themes, narrative strategies, messages, and/or writer’s style. How you choose to connect them and what you choose to reveal is up to you. But remember, you are writing an argument. Your goal is to convince me that your position is a strong one and worthy of serious consideration. Be sure to use ample examples pulled from the text to support.
Be sure that the vast majority of your paper is interpretive—offering significance to the events of the story in support of your thesis statement regarding what you feel is the story’s message and meaning. This meaning should be stated in your thesis along with the main reasons why you believe so. Body paragraphs should be devoted to the development of a single idea. Be sure to use and explain quotes from the story to illustrate and support your claims. All outside research and/or reference materials must be cited in the body of the essay parenthetically and a Works Cited page must be generated.
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