Hawthorne's stories "Wakefield," "Maypole of Merrymount" and "The Minister's Black Veil" demonstrate that Hawthorne's theme of obsession leading to isolation begins in his 1836 "Twice Told Tales" short story collection, not only in his later work.

identifyan intriguing textual pattern that exists in a minimum of three short stories or two plays from the authors we have studied this term. Without giving away your thesis, try to pique your readers’ curiousity by drawing their attention to some interesting textual complexities in the stories you have chosen to analyze. End your introduction by raising a specific question about the textual complexities you identify. Help readers to feel that understanding these complexities is important.
Element #2-Provide some context for the general literary and historical importance of the author and his or her work. Explain in general terms why the author and his or her work are important to understand. Explain the author’s significant contributions to literary art or history. Ideally, connect an author’s particularly literary strength to the question you have chosen to address.
Element #3-Provide a critical survey of significant secondary texts that throw light onto the textual question you have identified. Clearly summarize five different critics’ views relevant to the interpretive question you have identified. Each summary should identify a critic and the title of his or her article. Explain the critical question each scholar is trying to shed light on, and then explain his or her central interpretive idea. Finally, briefly explain some of the evidence and reasoning each critic uses to support his or her main idea. At least half of the critics should have published before 1990. As you make choices about which articles to summarize, always favor print sources over electronic ones, though electronic sources that publish print equivelants are fine. Be very selective. Choose critics who reflect the most important scholarship on the author you are analyzing. Show readers you are an expert in understanding the key critical questions that surround the author and texts you are interpreting.
Element #4-Offer a thesis that seeks to answer the question you raise at the beginning of your interpretive analysis. Your thesis must be stated in clear and unambiguous language. It should articulate a complex meaning or idea derived from the language of the texts you focus on. Your thesis should express some insight or wisdom into human experience. You must encapsulate your thesis statement in one or two complete sentences.
Element #5-Provide amble textual evidence to support your interpretive thesis. Identify and explain several textual examples from at least three stories or two plays that support your interpretive answer to the question you raised at the beginning of your paper. IN your interpretive analysis, treat each text separately, but save your most persuasive textual evidence and explanation for last. You are encouraged (though not required) to bolster your interpretive insights with secondary support. This 5th element is the most important part of your paper! It must be clear, thorough, logical and persuasive. Any intelligent reader ought to respect your interpretation even if he or she might disagree with your conclusion.

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