I am writing a comparison/contrast on plot development for "A Rose for Emily" and "The Lottery." What is a good title?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since titles should always be significant to the writing that follows them, it is probably best to wait until the essay is completed and then assign a title. Without knowing the direction you have taken in developing your topic, suggesting a title is a rather difficult task. However, considering the two stories, plot development determines the reactions of the readers as in each narrative it is somewhat deceptive. For Faulkner places his plot line out of time, framing the developments with the present time in the first section and in the final section with flashbacks in the middle.  This plot development prevents the readers from "putting all the pieces together."  Jackson, also, deceives her readers with her plot by describing what appears to be an innocuous scene, with only the most subtle of hints of the macabre ending.

Perhaps, then, a title for the essay on these two stories can be something that points to the deception of the development of the plots and their gruesome unfoldings:

  • The Macabre Stealth of Plot in "A Rose for Emily" and "The Lottery"
  • Plot: A Stealthy Path to the Macabre in "A Rose for Emily" and "The Lottery"
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course,there are multiple ways to go about choosing a title for your compare and contrast essay. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Choose a title that reflects the main purpose or objective of your essay, like 'Plot Devices in "The Lottery and "A Rose for Emily."'  The downside to this type of title is that it can sound a little boring or dry.  One positive of this type of title is that it conveys the point of your essay from first glance.
  • Choose a title that has some catchy sounding reference to the works included, like 'Stones and Roses: Contrasting Plot Development in "The Lottery" and "A Rose for Emily."  This type of title may be more attention grabbing and interesting; one con to a catchier title is that it may not as obviously convey your purpose.
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A Rose for Emily

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