Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast

This week, your written assignment is a short comparison and contrast essay. Please choose two stories from your readings from this week to compare and contrast. The stories can be from the same or both periods (1914 to 1945; after 1945).

  • Norton Anthology, Volume D Note: Read at least of the following stories:
    • Katherine Ann Porter, “Flowering Judas”
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Winter Dreams”
    • William Faulkner, “Barn Burning”
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    • Ernest Hemingway, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”
    • Richard Wright, “The Man Who Was Almost a Man”
  • Norton Anthology: Literature Since 1945, Volume ENote: Read at least 3 of the following stories:
    • Eudora Welty, “Petrified Man”
    • Bernard Malamud, “The Magic Barrel”
    • James Baldwin, “Going to Meet the Man”
    • Flannery O’Connor, “Good Country People”


  1. In a 2-3 page essay, compare and contrast the two stories you have chosen. To do this, re-read the stories carefully and determine a clear and manageable topic you will use as the basis for your comparison and contrast essay.
  2. As you write the essay, stay focused on your chosen topic. Do not attempt to cover too much ground; do not re-hash the obvious. Instead, zero in on a unique point of comparison/contrast (characters, setting, theme, use of specific details, symbols or images).
  3. Draft a one-sentence thesis statement that argues your point. Then develop that thesis through the paragraphs that follow. The last paragraph should be a conclusion in which you tie everything together.
  4. Remember always to give focused, specific support as you discuss similarities and differences in the stories’ treatment of the issue you have chosen to write about.
  5. Please refer to the “Comparison and Contrast Essay Instructions” included in the Course Materialsfor this class as you plan and complete this assignment. The instructions contain detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to craft an effective comparison and contrast essay.
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