I need to create an outline for a compare and contrast essay between Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" and a film adaptation of the story. The outline needs a thesis statement and three...

I need to create an outline for a compare and contrast essay between Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" and a film adaptation of the story. The outline needs a thesis statement and three credible academic sources.


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rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Compare and contrast papers focus on similarities and differences between two things (in this case, Faulker's text, and the 1983 film with Angelica Huston).  Your thesis should make a point about how these different mediums affect your understanding of the story. To me, the big difference between the two is the treatment of time—the story is not told chronologically, while the film takes a more straightforward approach. This difference is crucial; it changes what the audience knows and when, which in turn affects how we think about the characters, the overall tone of the story, and, perhaps most importantly, how we think about the narrator of the story. Faulkner encourages his audience to think about why the story is presented in this chopped up way, while, in the film, the "narrator" (understood as the director, or, perhaps, simply the camera) is pretty transparent. 

To flesh out your outline, begin with an introduction that describes your reaction to the two pieces and ends with your thesis. Your thesis should do two things—describe the most important ways the two are different and explain why that difference is important. Body paragraphs should each consider a separate "difference," as explained in your thesis. This is the place where you specifically show what the difference is (using quotes from the story, quoting dialogue, or describing scenes from the film), and explain how the difference changes your experience of the story. Your conclusion should make a final point about the difference between the two—you could, for example, argue in your conclusion that based on your analysis you think the film misses some vital element of Faulkner's original. Conversely, you could argue that the film's more straightforward narrative style make's Faulkner's story more accessible.

Finding sources is more than simply looking things up online. One thing to remember is that your argument in the paper should be different from what other people have said—it is your argument, after all, not theirs. However, the reason sourcing your paper is vital is because reading what others have said will strengthen your argument, help you consider things you might have missed, and give you a sense for the scholarly "conversation" of which your paper is, by necessity, a part. The MLA bibliography in your library is a good place to start, or, if you have access, JSTOR, an online index of scholarly journals in the humanities. Google Scholar and Google Books can also be good places to find sources. Your library will also have something called a "citation index," which shows you which articles have been cited by other articles. It is a handy way of figuring out which articles have been most influential.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner was first published in The Forum on April 30, 1930. It was set in the city of Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, part of the fictional region that Faulkner uses as a setting for most of his work. The 1983 film version of the story was directed by Lyndon Chubbuck and starred Angelica Houston as Emily and John Randolph as Homer. 

In writing a compare and contrast essay about the two versions of "A Rose for Emily", you need to create a thesis about what you see as the major difference between the experience of reading the story and seeing the film. Reviews of the film suggest that there are two central differences in the audience experience. First, the film emphasizes an atmosphere of horror and suspense, while the story is more of a psychologically complex portrait of a community and the way it has changed. The second major difference is that the film is narrated in chronological order while the story moves backwards and forwards in time, making the film less complex and less demanding of its audience than the story. You can use either of these differences as the basis for a thesis about the difference between the two versions. For example, you might claim "The main difference between the genres is that the film, in simplifying the chronology of the story, simultaneously makes the narrative more accessible and more focused on the relationship between the two main characters than the original story."

Introduction: Your outline should start with an introduction explaining your thesis and pointing forward to how you will defend it.

First Section: In the first section after the introduction, you should summarize the differences in chronology between the film and the story.

Main Body: Each body paragraph should give details of one aspect of the film and the way in which it supports your thesis. For example, you should contrast the way the film explicitly shows Homer's poisoning with Faulkner's subtle approach in which we see Emily buying the poison and then find out about Homer's disappearance. 

Conclusion: Your conclusion shows how the evidence in the body of your paper supports your thesis. 

Scholarly Sources: Visit your university library website. It should contain a copy of the MLA International Bibliography, a database containing an extensive collection of bibliographic information about scholarly works on literature. Do a search for "A Rose for Emily" and click on the links which show your library as having full-text access to the articles. Another possible place to search for academic articles is Google Scholar, https://scholar.google.com/.



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A Rose for Emily

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