Expository Literary Essay: Compare Characters Who Fails to See Truths

DIRECTIONS: Write a well-organized composition on the topic below.

In many works of literature, a character may have a false sense of reality or a lack of insight into what is actually happening around him or her. Swayed by false beliefs, strong emotions, or irrational fear this character may fail to realize truths that seem obvious to the reader. The moment at which a character gains insight into the reality of his or her situation often marks the climax, or high point, of the literary work.

Using specific references from any three of the following short stories, compare how characters are unaware of reality, what the possible causes of this lack of insight are, and why this shortcoming is important to the overall work.

Choose any three stories to compare:
“Araby,” by James Joyce
“A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner
“The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson
“God Sees The Truth But Waits,” by Leo Tolstoy
Excerpt from “Where Lovers Dream,” by Anzia Yezierska

As you write your composition, remember to:

  • Give the title and the author of each work.
  • Focus on comparing characters with a false sense of reality.
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details from each work to explain the nature and causes of each character’s lack of insight.
  • Explain the importance of this weakness to each overall work.
  • Give any necessary plot information from both works but avoid giving a plot summary.
  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Write coherent and well-developed paragraphs.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
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