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Write an essay of 1,000 to 1,200 words that compares and contrasts the meanings of the symbols in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark,” and Edwidge Danticat’s “A Wall of Fire Rising.”
Be sure write a clearly stated thesis that expresses a substantive and coherent argument, indicating not just what the symbols are, or what they say, but why or to what end the authors use the symbols and what the authors communicate through them. Some historical perspective will benefit your interpretation of all three stories; you are encouraged to do some research of women’s social expectations and oppression during the Victorian era (as it relates to Gilman’s and Hawthorne’s characters), as well as the effects of French colonialism on Haiti (and Danticat’s Haitian characters). Make sure to use transitional words phrases to indicate your rhetorical moves to readers, and always use signal verbs when introducing quotations and paraphrases.
In addition to a clearly worded thesis, please make use of topic sentences to relate each of your body paragraphs to your thesis, and support each of your points with summarized, paraphrased, and quoted material from the text. Cite your sources using MLA format. Include a Works Cited page on the last page of your essay.
Be sure to use present-tense verbs to describe the story events, transitional phrases and signal verbs between ideas, and check your sentences for typos, grammar, and punctuation errors such as comma splices, run-ons, and improperly integrated quotations.
Remember, your essay is being graded based on its clarity, organization, specific word choice, and depth of insight. Try to engage meaningfully with the stories and their symbolism and dig under the surface, using all your critical thinking skills (as well as the writing examples in our textbook) to inquire into the stories’ deeper meanings.