As you build to your first formal paper, this short assignment is designed to help you move from Summary to Analysis, building on the theme you identified in the two stories. in this short paper you will provide a brief analysis of this theme in the two works. Analysis moves beyond telling what happens in a story to examine how the text develops its points. “I Stand Here Ironing” is the story about a woman reflecting on memories of parenting her child Emily (Summary); but, it could also be argued to be about how hard parenting is (Analysis) or about the guilt we feel when parenting becomes something we feel we might not do to the best of our ability (Analysis). As you may have identified in your comparison with Alexie’s story, Olsen’s story could also be argued to be about understanding how structures like education, poverty, and welfare affect parenting (cause and effect). Similarly, “Why Chicken Means So Much” is the story of a child who loses his dog because his family cannot afford veterinary care for the animal (Summary). But, it could also be argued to be about Native Americans and issues of poverty on reservations (Analysis) or about stereotypes of Native Americans (Analysis), or about potentials left unmet (Analysis).
Both stories explore the complexity of economic hardships and exploitation (in two very different time periods) related to parenting and childhood. Building on the theme you identified, expand on the summaries you wrote up of the two stories to analyze in detail the development of the theme you identified in the two texts, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details. Point to specific moments in the stories that provide evidence of the centrality of this theme in them.
Format: This assignment should be roughly two pages in length.