Unit #3 Prompt:
The Early Twentieth Century American Short Story
"A Rose for Emily," "Roman Fever," and "The Lottery" Character Ethnography
Rhetoric and Audience
All of our early twentieth century American short stories feature characters who commit outlandish, seemingly crazy acts,
involving murder, attempted murder, corpses, abuse, illegitimacy, folk beliefs, secrecy, etc.
Your audience will be a first-time
reader of your selected short story, and you can assume that your reader is a bit flummoxed by one character's bewildering,
Your reader needs your authoritative help to make heads or tails of this character.
In short, your
audience needs your writing.
Consequently, write a character ethnography, in which you make a rhetorical argument about a character's
motivation for his or her odd behavior.
To do so, conduct some historical, social, cultural, geographical, familial, and/or
psychological research to try to understand that character's possible motivation.
Then while making your argument, avoid
summarizing the story; instead, remember the Aristotelian appeals as you analyze specific elements (like dialogue, descriptions,
characters, scenes, etc.) from the short story, using at least eight direct quotations from the literature to provide evidence.
enhance your argument, also use at least one direct quotation each from at least four secondary materials.
These sources can only
be books, book chapters, and/or articles in scholarly journals, all of which must be obtained from the Purdue library's print catalog