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“Understanding Fiction” Questions

Answer the questions in bold and teal color; they are: 3.2, 5.4, 5.7, 6.1 7.7, 9.1, 10.1

From the 3rd page—“Responding to a Short Story”

3.1 To begin, read the title "A Rose for Emily" and the first several paragraphs of the
story in your text or electronically by clicking on the rose on the page. Below type
your predictions for the rest of the story. What do you think this story will be about?

3.2 Below type your first impressions of the short story. Capture in writing what
about this short story left a lasting impression on you and why.

From the 4th page—“Defining the Conventions of Short Stories”

4.1 Return to the story and list some of the characteristics of a short story below.
Answering the question, why is this piece of literature called a short story, may help
you to think about some of those characteristics.
4.2 Develop your own definition of a short story and write it below.

From the 5th page—“Strategies for Analyzing the Conventions of Short Stories”

Return to a "A Rose for Emily" in your text and answer these questions:

5.1 What exactly is the subject of the story?

5.2 What kind of mood does the story evoke?
5.3 What are the conflicts in the story?
5.4 Identify the character who faces a difficult choice. How would you describe the
5.5 Where does the story take place? Describe the setting.
5.6 Through whose viewpoint is the story told? Who is the narrator?
5.7 Are there any objects or aspects of nature that are mentioned repeatedly? In
what ways do they contribute to the meaning of the story?
5.8 Compare any situation, character, choice, or decision in the story to some aspect of
your own life. How the story is different from or similar to your own experience?
5.9 Below briefly explain what you learned from answering these questions.

From the 6th page, “Hot List for William Faulkner”

6.1 Your assignment is to visit at least three of the twelve websites linked from this
“Hot List” page and then write a letter and send it by e-mail to two of your
classmates with a copy to your professor, explaining what you learned about
Faulkner from these sources. Be sure to begin your letter "Dear name." If you
receive more than two from your classmates, send them on to someone else. You
may include your brief reviews of the web pages below, but you still need to send
your email note to your classmates.

From the 7th page, “Unlocking the Meaning of ‘A Rose for Emily’”

After the first excerpt, about the aldermen’s visit, consider these questions—

7.1 Who is telling the story and how much does he or she know?
7.2 Do you think the narrator is reliable?
7.3 What do you learn about Emily from her interactions with other characters?
7.4 How has the author caused you to sympathize--or not--with this character?

After the second excerpt, about the townspeople’s efforts to get Judge Grierson’s dead
body away from Emily, consider these questions—

As the story continues, several themes or issues begin to surface while Emily's character
is evolving. A conflict between Emily achieving her dreams and meeting her father's
needs and expectations surfaces. Also the concerns of the community seem to clash with
the concerns of the individual.
7.5 Can you identify another major theme or motif of the story?
7.6 Does anything remain confusing or out of order?

After reading the ending of the story, consider these questions—

7.7 What does the iron-grey hair symbolize?
7.8 We are left to ponder the significance of this event and its impact on the main
character. Does this ending surprise you? Why or why not?

8.1 What conclusions can you draw about life from the story "A Rose for Emily"?

From the 9th page, “Writing a Critical Analysis Paper about a Short Story”--

For this quiz, you do not have to write an entire essay, but please do write a substantial
paragraph about ONE of the following topics suggested on this page of the website—

9.1 Discuss the influence that the setting exerts on the main characters.

9.2 Describe the turning point or climax to the story. Explain what conflicts are resolved
and unresolved.

9.3 Discuss how the major character's development helps the reader to explore a central
issue or theme in the story.

9.4 List several significant symbols in the story and explain how ONE contributes to the
development of a major theme.
9.5 Identify a major theme in the story and explain how the author explores it.

From the 10th page, “Reading Modern Short Stories on the Web”--

Select a modern short story of your choosing that you located through the Short
Story Search Engine or The Writer's Haven, read it, and respond to it below. Of
course, include the title of the story, the author’s name, and the web address (URL)
for the story, then answer this question from the 10th page—

10.1 Select one of the conventions of short story writing (see questions 5.1 – 5.8,
earlier in this list) and briefly explain how the author used this one convention to
make the story's meaning clearer for the reader.

NOTE: One of the 3 tasks on the 11th page, “Writing Short Stories,” may be done for
extra credit ONLY if you include a page that explains decisions you made about the
plotting and style and conventions of the story that you write. This page’s tasks are
OPTIONAL, not required as part of this quiz.