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Exercises & Activities
"The Pearl" Formal Essay
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The Pearl Formal Essay
Directions: In a six-paragraph essay, explain how Steinbeck uses symbolism and imagery to portray Kino's loss of "spiritual self".
1. Paper follows the standard six-paragraph, MLA format.
- An introductory paragraph
- A clearly identifiable thesis with assertions
- Four body paragraphs (each contains cited evidence of symbolism or imagery)
- A Works Cited page (again, be sure to follow MLA standards)
2. The paper references two symbols AND two images.
- Each serves as cited evidence for a body paragraph
3. The paper analyzes how symbolism and imagery convey Steinbeck's message instead of summarizing the events in the story.
4. You are not allowed to do a revision draft if the first essay contains more than four common grammar mistakes.
A two sentence thesis is preferable as it helps clarity. Use the formula below and fill in only the bracketed sections of the thesis.
In "The Pearl," Steinbeck uses symbolism to show how [assertion 1] and [assertion 2] [author's meaning]. Likewise, Steinbeck uses imagery to portray how [assertion 3] and [assertion 4] [author's meaning].
- Intro paragraph goes from general to specific.
- Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, follows with an introduced citation, and then moves to analyze the connection between the literary element and the meaning the author tries to portray.
- Conclusion paragraph restates the thesis in different words, goes from specific to general, and ends with a strong closing statement.
- More than four grammar/presentation mistakes throughout the paper will result in losing the chance of a revision paper.
- Follow the MLA style for paper setup and documentation. Be sure to include a works cited page.
- Review the Essay Checklist before handing in your essay.
Interpretation of Symbols and Imagery:
A major portion of the grade for this essay will be based on two parts:
- Accurately interpreting the meaning of the symbol.
- Logically connecting the interpretation to the meaning the author is trying to convey.
About this Document
This outlines the requirements for a formal essay on "The Pearl". The paper is based on showing how an author uses literary elements to convey meaning. You may find this particularly helpful if you teach towards the NYS Regents Exams.