Task: Choose one of the following short stories to write about:
Sui Sin Far, “In the Land of the Free”
Hisaye Yamamoto, “Seventeen Syllables”
John Okada, from No-No Boy
Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Third and Final Continent”
Amy Tan, “Four Directions”
Jana Monji, “Kim”
Helena María Viramontes, “The Cariboo Café”
Edwidge Danticat, “New York Day Women”
Junot Díaz, “Edison, New Jersey”
Abraham Rodríguez, Jr., “The Boy without a Flag”
In this paper, you will offer an interpretation of the story – that is, a way of understanding the
text that goes beyond plot summary. You may wish to argue what theme is most important or
most prominent in the story; or how certain aspects of form (protagonist vs. antagonist, narrator,
chronology, etc.) lead to a way of understanding the text; or why one interpretation of the story is
more compelling than the other ways of understanding it.
Your main claim (or thesis statement or argument) should appear in the introduction on the first page
of the paper. The remainder of the paper should offer close readings of specific scenes from the
story to support your interpretation. You may end up using only a few scenes to make your
argument, as you should probe these scenes in depth.
Write three full pages (or more if necessary).
It is not necessary to give a complete plot summary. Use plot details only to support the points
you make. You may assume we are familiar with the story and do not need to hear a recap.
– Your name and page numbers at the top of each page in the header position
– A creative and informative title
– Proper use of grammar and punctuation
– No larger than a 12 point font
– An introduction and conclusion
– Direct quotations from the text should be enclosed in quotation marks and following by
parentheses containing the author’s last name and the page number from which the quotation is
taken. “Here is an example” (Field 1). (Notice that the period comes after the parentheses.)
– Absolutely no plagiarism! Any instance of plagiarism will result in no credit granted for this
– All sources other than the story itself should be cited parenthetically and in a bibliography.