Identify and define some of the principle tenets of New Criticism that will guide your analysis.

Essay 1 Prompt
Essay 1: Due Friday, March 22nd before 11:59 PM (03/22/24)
Part 1
Select either Gogol’s ‘The Diary of a Madman’ or Charles Yu’s ‘Standard Loneliness Package’ for your analysis.
Ensure you thoroughly review both stories and our analytical work on them.
Focus particularly on the literary theory and principles of New Criticism that we have studied.

Part 2
We are becoming literary critics from the New Criticism school for this essay. Your essay should answer and cover all of the following:
Introduction Paragraphs
Your introduction paragraphs should include and answer:
Introduce the short story. (This is not the place to summarize it. Only contextualize it by providing basic details: author, country, genre, literary period, etc.).
Identify and define some of the principle tenets of New Criticism that will guide your analysis. Let your readers know that this is your analytical, theoretical framework.
State which literary element you intend to concentrate on for interpreting the short story. Options include plot, character, point of view, setting, theme, symbolism, language, structure, or style. You may only select one element to analyze thoroughly, avoiding the analysis of multiple elements.
Construct a persuasive argument detailing the function and significance of your selected literary element within the story. This argument will form the basis of your thesis statement(s). This is not the place to prove it; you are stating an argument that your essay will set out to prove.
Your introduction and body paragraphs should avoid summarizing the story. Think of your audience/readers as other literary critics well-versed in the narrative, seeking your analysis rather than a plot recap.
Body Paragraphs
Your body paragraphs should include and answer the following:
Provide an explanation outlining your reasons for choosing the literary element for analysis. Consider what aspects of the element sparked your interest and prompted your desire to explore and understand it further.
Analyze the importance and function of your selected literary element in the story, exploring its symbolic significance and/or its influence on the narrative’s structure or themes. Discuss its operational mechanics, implications, and effects on characters, events, or overarching ideas.
Identify and reference crucial passages from the story that substantiate and support your thesis statement, analysis, and interpretation.
Provide at least four (4) examples (quotes or passages) and their corresponding arguments to illustrate your chosen literary element’s symbolic significance or functional role within the story. (Use direct quotes. Do not worry about page numbers).
Craft a comprehensive and conclusive interpretation of the story derived from your analysis of the evidence concerning the role of your chosen literary element.
Conclusion Paragraphs
Your conclusion should include and answer the following:
If you analyze “The Diary of a Madman,” argue whether the story solely addresses and helps us understand the past or is still relevant and as timely as ever today. Explain your reasoning, discussing whether it enables us to understand history but not much else. You may also consider whether or not it was visionary for what was to come. Does it give us significant insights and lessons about humanity and our world order today?
If you’ve chosen to analyze “Standard Loneliness Package,” argue whether you view it as an accurate forecast of our future society and/or if that future is already here today. Offer a detailed explanation for your perspective, considering both elements of the story that align with current similarities, potential future trends, and those that may diverge as improbable possibilities and trajectories. Consider factors such as social media today, technological advancements, societal shifts, and human behavior to support your argument.
Reiterate your thesis statement and link it to your most compelling argument and evidence, demonstrating that you have successfully supported your thesis and effectively persuaded your audience of your analysis and interpretation of the story.
End with a personal reflection, delving into the lessons and insights that resonated most with you from the story. Explore the aspects that deeply connected with you and share your thoughts on their personal impact and significance.
Grading and Criteria For Success
Please consult the grading rubric for specific grading criteria. Your analysis will not be judged and graded against my personal perspectives. Develop your own arguments, analysis, and interpretations freely, trusting in your intellectual capabilities. Your unique viewpoint, worldview, and understanding of the story are valid. Focus on presenting well-supported arguments based on evidence from the text. You are young intellectuals! You got this!
Additionally, using ChatGPT or any other AI Apps, such as Grammarly, will lead to an immediate score of 0 points and an F grade. Turnitin will scan your submission, and the most reliable method to avoid AI detection is to just write and believe in yourself. This prompt serves as your outline; grammar is not a grading criterion, so external assistance is unnecessary.
The essay should consist of a minimum of five (5) full pages, double-spaced. The fifth page must be completely filled with the essay ending on the sixth page or more.
Outside sources are strictly prohibited. Only course texts may be referenced; no other external materials about the stories are permitted.
Create a title for your essay that reflects your chosen element and argument.
All essays must be submitted through Canvas/TurnitIn. Email submissions will not be accepted.
On the top left-hand corner of the first page, single-space your name, the class name, the date, and the instructor’s name.
Bold print the title of your essay below the information and center it.
Maintain double-spacing in the body of the essay, with left and right margins not exceeding one inch. The font type should be Cambria, Times New Roman, or Calibri, and the font size should be 12 pt. Pagination is required.
I can’t wait to read and learn from your unique perspectives!

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