Please, help me pick a short story!!I'm assigned to write an essay about 7-10 pages, but i don't know what to write about. Could you help me choose a short story or a play that is famous and not...

Please, help me pick a short story!!

I'm assigned to write an essay about 7-10 pages, but i don't know

what to write about.

Could you help me choose a short story or a play that is famous and not so difficult?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since your essay/paper is to be of considerable length, you will need to select a short story or play that is not too brief.  One story that is longer than is usual and has much significance is Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer."  This story is based upon a true incident that occurred aboard the famous Cutty Shark in 1889.  However, Conrad makes the killing of a shipmate a deliberate one with his character Leggatt.  While some critics view Leggatt as the "dark side" of the narrator, others focus on the story as a rite of passage.  Nevertheless most critics agree that Conrad's story is one of the quest for self, an existential story, that is.  Analyzing this story as an existential work could prove interesting. If you choose this idea, you will want to do some research on Existentialism first and use the definitions as guidelines for your analysis.

Another story that lends itself well to a critical analysis (and has some length) is James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues," in which the narrator comes to finally understand his brother, Sonny.  An interesting criticism of Baldwin's story comes from Stanley Macbuh in his James Baldwin:  A Critical Study, who wrote:

"The meaning of the story is to be found in its structure....of a blues song" in which there are no "profundities of thought" or "events that are in themselves are of cataclysmic import," but simply a ritualistic repetition of feeling, emotion, and mood."

After the death of his daughter, a time in which he experienced much sorrow--the blues of his life--the narrator comes to understand how Sonny uses the blues to overcome his fears and suffering.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of being able to select a short story is going to have to be based on your own preferences.  I think that advice can be given, but this is going to have to be based on your analysis.  A good starting point might be to figure out if you have a particularly favorite author and if they have written any short stories.  This is something that works for me.  For example, I like F. Scott Fitzgerald, so a couple of short stories that deal with the theme of wealth and its impact on people come through in stories like "Winter Dreams" or "Bernice Bobs Her Hair."  These are two very good short stories.  I also like the style of writing that Nadine Gordimer features, so her short story "Once Upon a Time" is a particular favorite.  In teaching history, I have realized that discussing the roles of wealth and power are dominant themes.  Accordingly, the short story by Ursela LeGuin, "The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas" is a great short story about such powerful elements.  I think that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's collection of short stories in his collection, "Strange Pilgrims" is a great study of individuals and their social orders.  Finally, Salman Rushdie is probably my favorite author, so a short story like "Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies" is a great short story.  These are simply options.  There will be many more from which to choose, but I think that these are great short stories and not extremely difficult in terms of understanding.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Why don't you write your essay on your favorite book? Does it have to be a short story or a play? For a play, you might want to see if any of your favorite movies were plays, and find that play. Here is a list of free short stories.
oat-kon21 | Student



Thank you very much,

i'm sorry but i have no idea, no favorite type and author.

Your answer is very helpful