– Writing in the Humanities

Literary analyses are essays that examine literary texts closely to understand their messages, interpret their meaning, appreciate their techniques, or understand their historical or social contexts.  For this assignment, you will write a comparative essay that examines gender representation in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.”  This analysis will need to focus on a central topic and use both textual evidence gathered through interpretation and close reading skills, and in-depth scholarly research to support and bolster the ideas presented in your essay.

To begin, you will need to print, read, and annotate the following material:

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
“A New Woman’s Journey into Insanity: Descent and Return in the Yellow Wallpaper” by Rula Quawas
“Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’: A Feminist Interpretation” by Negin Karami and Esmaeil Zohdi

Essays will need to be written in MLA format, and be a minimum of four complete pages.  You will be writing your essay for literary scholars.  To draft and develop your essay, you will need to use a minimum of four outside, scholarly sources to support your comparative analysis between the two primary texts: “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour.”   You may choose to use the two scholarly articles above as two of the four you will need.

As you draft and develop your essay, you will present a clear and focused topic.  Your essay should offer an interesting introduction that draws your reader in with a new and insightful perspective on your topic.  In the essay, you will need to spend a part of the essay introducing your reader to gender representation in Gilman and Chopin separately before providing your comparison between the two.  To help structure your essay, you may consider offering an evaluative summary of either Gilman or Chopin, followed by paragraphs explaining current scholarship on gender representation in the piece, and additional paragraphs showing how your reading hold up against these readings.  The same process will need to be completed for both Gilman and Chopin.  Finally, once both pieces are introduced, you will need to write your comparative analysis of both pieces that attempts to synthesize all of your research.