Good essay questions for short stories

Write about the burning hot core of your desire, and how that desire has changed over your life.

48 Writing Prompts for Middle School Kids

Recall what stressed you out most as a child. Was it the creaking stairs leading to the basement? Or being lost at the store? Explore your current relationship to that stressor. Did you ever move past that fear or anxiety? How do you interact with it now?

Model Essay

What relationship in your life has caused the most pain? Write the key scene in that relationship, when everything was at stake. Write about a road trip you took, and about where all your fellow travelers ended up in life versus where you ended up. How has your identity changed over the course of your life?

What event in your life has angered you the most? Write the scene where it happened, and tell us what you would do if it happened again. What single experience most shaped who you are? Who was your first friend to die? Write about how you learned of their death, and how you and their other friends mourned them. Show yourself in a scene pursuing the thing you want most in the world. If you could throw five items into the fire, what would they be and why? This is a very powerful fire. What would the consequences be? Describe this object in great detail, and what it has meant to generations of your family.

Lee Gutkind and Annie Dillard have created a fantastic repository of classics. Start with the end, then backpedal to the middle, then tell the beginning, and then fill in the rest of the gaps. Write about your favorite trip or journey, and how that high level of happiness was eventually threatened.

Look at some photographs of your childhood. Look at the pictures of your old room, the clothes you wore, and the places you had been. Try to remember a friend from that time period, and describe the first memory of a time when they pressured you or made you uncomfortable or angry. Take a small, boring moment that happened today and write as much as you can about it.

What Is a Short Story?

Eventually connect this small, boring detail with the grand narrative of your life, your bigger purpose and intentions. Recall an individual that you particularly hated. Describe their cruelty to you, and try to write yourself into an understanding of why they might have done it. Write about the situation surrounding that letter, and why it was so important. Who fought over the name? What was the significance of that name? What happened to the animal or thing you named? Dramatize the physical danger of the natural event as well as the tension between you and the people you were with.

Tell the story of the most important person that has shaped your town and its culture you might have to do some research. Scientists have wondered for years how nature and nurture plays into the development of human minds and their choices. Explore where you and your siblings are today and the choices that brought you there.

Would you like to trade places with your sibling? Would you be happy living in their shoes? How have your personal choices differed over the years? Write a single, three-paragraph scene when your sexual desire was thwarted by yourself or someone else. Did someone challenge you, or if you only felt guilty by yourself, how did you change your behavior afterwards?

Explore an addiction you had or currently have. If you quit, tell the story of how you quit.


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Recall a scene in which you chose to remain silent. Revisit a moment in your life that you feel you will never be able to forget. What about that moment made it so unforgettable?

What makes you feel guilty? Revisit a moment that you are ashamed of or feel guilty for and explore why that is. Describe the scene and the event and communicate why you feel this way.

Writing a Critical Analysis of a Short Story | Writing Centre | Memorial University of Newfoundland

Write about a moment in which you acted selflessly or against your own benefit. What motivated you to do so? What were the circumstances? How did you feel after words? Write about the most pivotal scene in a relationship with someone in your extended family — Uncle, aunt, cousin, grandmother.

Describe the tension or happiness you shared, and how that came to affect your relationship from that point onward. If all else fails, try a writing-sprint. Set an alarm for 5, 10, or 15 minutes and write as much as possible within that time span. Even if you begin with no inspiration, you might be surprised with what you come up with by the end. Baroda as initially suppressing her desire to pursue an extramarital affair with Gouvernail, but ultimately deciding to satisfy her desires. In "The Kiss," Nathalie faces less of a dilemma in that she tries to obtain both respectability and romance, but she finds that she cannot obtain both simultaneously.

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In both cases, the women choose to ignore societal norms in favor of achieving their own goals. Note that in these cases, female sexuality is tied with the theme of what is deemed appropriate in heterosexual marriage according to the society these women inhabit. Answer: The protagonists in Chopin's stories face barriers from all directions, and they tend to be imposed by societal norms, sometimes imposed by others, and sometimes internalized as inner conflicts.

Again, a good answer will provide several examples.

50 Creative Nonfiction Prompts Guaranteed to Inspire

In particular, the women of these stories struggle in various ways to resist their boundaries, and their success is mixed. In "Beyond the Bayou," the woman in question overcomes her limitations through the precipitating event of a crisis, but the heroines in stories such as "The Story of an Hour" find that reality ultimately surpasses their ability to rebel. Answer: In general, the author uses two approaches to rendering the world of antebellum Louisiana. In the second situation, Chopin chooses to depict this era from the viewpoint of the people who suffered from the social troubles of that world.

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