Subject: English & Literature
Topic: SHORT STORY ASSIGNMENT
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 2
Instructions
Short Story Letter to the Editor: Select your favorite story out of all the ones we have read and select your least favorite. The Norton Anthology of Literature is publishing a new edition. Your least favorite story IS going to be included. Your most favorite is NOT. Write a letter to the editor advocating that your story be included and the other one be deleted from the new edition. Remember: You are writing for an EDITOR of the text. You will need VERY formal language for your audience. You SHOULD include actual quoted lines from BOTH stories. Those lines should include parenthetical documentation. Introduction: HOOK your reader with an interesting beginning so that your letter will be read. Explain who you are and why you are writing. Why do you think it is important that Norton’s editors rethink their decision? BODY: ****You may reorder the paragraphs below if you feel that a different order would be more effective: Paragraph: Discuss the authors of both texts. Why is your favorite story’s author more important for future students to read? Paragraph: Interest level/plot: compare the interest level of college readers in the two stories. Why is one story’s plot/ actions MORE interesting and MORE engaging than the other?Why does this matter when deciding which story to keep in the textbook? Paragraph: Literary merit: compare the various literary elements used by each story – setting, symbolism, figurative language, narrator/point of view. Why is one story more significant because future students will learn more about literature? Paragraph: character development: compare the ways in which the characters are portrayed – stock, dynamic, static – etc. Why does a reader “care” more about one set of characters over the other one? Why is this idea important for the editor to consider? Paragraph: theme/message. A great story has a great message, one that is timeless and communicates something of significance about humanity/the human condition. Compare and contrast the messages/the themes of both stories. Explain why you believe one of them is more significant for today’s readers and will resonate more strongly with today’s audience. Conclusion: Briefly sum up your points. End with something interesting that will leave your audience (editor) thoughtfully considering your points.

English Assignment

(Student’s Name)

(Student’s Address)

(Student’s Phone)

(Student’s Email)

23rd March 2016

RE: Exclusion of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ from the new edition of the Norton Anthology of Literature

Dear Editor,   

I wish to share my disappointment regarding the exclusion of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ from the new edition of your journal. First, I am a literature student at the local campus as well as a fervent literature enthusiast. My educational experience in literature as well as pursuing it as a hobby during my free time has exposed me to several literary geniuses such as Edgar Allen Poe. I have read almost every literary piece by Edgar Allan Poe and re-read some of them. I am always left in awe after finishing a piece of his work.  

It therefore comes as a surprise that your journal will not be including one of his greatest masterpieces and my personal favorite, ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ in your its upcoming new edition. It is even further appalling that you would select ‘A Rose for Emily’ by Faulkner to be included in the edition when it is absolutely clear that this latter short story is not at the same level of greatness with Poe’s work.

Poe is certainly the best literary artist in the world. Poe’s story is more important because essentially it is a better short story than Faulkner’s tale. Future students will be able to master the art of writing a short story from analyzing ‘The Cask of Amontillado’. His story is short and can be read within a sitting. Furthermore, every sentence contributes to the total effect making it a unified piece of work. The story is also full of great ironies unlike in Faulkner’s story.

In both stories, death is imminent and is the overwhelming theme. Both stories are tales of horror that end in tragic deaths. Montresor, the main character in Poe’s story kills because he has been insulted while Emily, the main character in Faulkner’s story, kills because of her jilted affections. Poe’s story is more chilling and ultimately more entertaining than Faulkner’s story.

In ‘The Cask of Amontillado’, the writer implies foul play from the start of the story with vivid images that help the reader understand how horrific the situation really is. However, in Faulkner’s short story, the reader only gets to know the true character of the main antagonist at the end of the story. Poe’s story seems to build the reader’s expectations from the very beginning while Faulkner’s story surprises the reader at the very end possibly confusing him. Furthermore, the reader is called upon to investigate the motive of Montresor in Poe’s work while the murderer and motive are handed to the reader on a platter in Faulkner’s work. There is a lack of intense mystery and suspense in the latter work.

Poe’s work has more symbols than there are in Faulkner’s tale, pointing to a more complex, and intricate story by Poe. Poe uses several symbols in his work including Fortunato himself as well as a lot of irony. He also uses foreshadowing to build suspense for the story. Literally, every sentence in the short story has a literary effect. On the other hand, Faulkner only uses a few symbols in his story.

The main symbols in Faulkner’s story include Emily’s house and the strand of grey hair found beside the skeleton of Homer. Emily’s house symbolizes the death of Southern aristocracy with its scrolled balconies, spires, and cupolas as features of a style of architecture that was fast becoming obsolete. The house also represents mental decay, illness, alienation, and death. The strand of grey hair is a symbol of the love that was lost as well as a reminder of the perverse things people will do in order to achieve happiness.

In conclusion, Poe’s story is better in comparison to Faulkner’s mainly because of appropriate character development, theme twists, plot development, and literary techniques. I am not trying to imply that Faulkner was not a formidable writer, but given the choice between the two, the obvious option should be Poe. I hope you reconsider your decision on excluding the short story.

Sincerely,

(Student’s Name)