How would you compare literary conventions between two short storiesFor my essay I have to compare two short stories and identify and compare the use of literary conventions. I'm confused on how I...

How would you compare literary conventions between two short stories

For my essay I have to compare two short stories and identify and compare the use of literary conventions. I'm confused on how I would do it and what I would have to write.  I have ideas for the body paragraphs but the intro I'm lost on. I'm comparing The Rocking Horse Winner and A Devoted Son's use of irony, the similar theme based on how material items will not give someone happiness and the narration or characterization used in the stories.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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You are off to a great start. The comparison in your essay will essentially be generated as you provide examples of how irony is used in each story and how narration is used in each story and how characterization is used. 

You might open your essay by stating that these two stories explore a very similar theme, articulate that theme, and point out that beyond sharing a theme the stories also present the use of the same literary conventions - irony, a similar style of narration, and a similar style of characterization. 

(Of course, if you are contrasting the methods of narration and characterization your intro will point to differences instead of similarities.) 

The introduction can also provide some brief background on each story as to some similarities and differences that you will not discuss in the body of your essay, but which are direclty related to the thrust of the essay - comparing and contrasting these two stories. If one story uses metaphor heavily and the other does not, you can point to this difference. If one story focuses on setting much more than the other you can point to this. After drawing these distinctions you might then turn to your main argument comparing the similarities shared between the stories.

In your body paragraphs you will present examples of each literary convention, simply stating that:

  • In Story A we see irony in Situation A. Briefly explain Situation A. In story B irony is used as well, as seen in Situation B....

You might consider relating each use of literary conventions to the theme of the story to help ground your argument in intepretation. This type of analysis is optional however as the essay is one focusing on demonstration of functional aspects of the story, not interpretation of meaning. 

Sources:

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