Essay #4 Unit 4: “Perfectly Fine” The Glass Menagerie
General Essay Requirements:
Choose one of the following topics and write a well-organized, clearly supported, unified, grammatically correct critical essay consisting of an introduction, three well-developed body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Create a clear thesis statement, and use it as a guide for the essay, developing each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence and evidence from the text to support each body paragraph’s main idea. Support should contain clear, specific examples from the play and proper documentation for all text references. Your entire essay should be two to three typed pages. Include a Works Cited page as usual (Not included in length requirement).
1. Analyze the theme of fantasy/illusion in this play. Consider Amanda’s dreams for her daughter, Tom’s desire for adventure, and/or Laura’s fascination with her glass in contrast to the reality of the Wingfields’ day-to-day existence.
2. Analyze Laura’s collection of glass animals and/or any other symbols that help to develop the play’s theme. Consider the picture of the father, the Victrola, the fire escape, the high school yearbook, the unicorn, the candles, etc.
3. Analyze the conflict between Tom’s obligation to his family and his loyalty to his own aspirations. (Do you think Tom’s decision to leave his family is a sign of strength or weakness?)
4. Analyze foreshadowing as it relates to Tom’s escape.
5. Characterize Amanda Wingfield. Discuss how her southern past and obsession with appearance and etiquette contribute to the overall theme of the play.
1. You will get your information to support your analysis from 2-3 secondary sources. You do not need to use more sources than this because a short research paper as this does not need to be bogged down with quotations and too many sources. You need to organize your research and state your finding in your own words. The majority of the paper will be your own ideas. (Do not use Wikipedia). Sources must be from a Database and/or books. Don’t forget the library as one of your greatest resources and the Reserve Room.
Remember: Sources add to your thoughts and back you up.
** Write down all source information so that you can document your source.
2. Create an outline to organize your information. Must be a topic outline with at least 3 points. Thesis goes at the top of the outline. Must be typed.
3. Type a 3-4 page paper, using source information and the original text to inform your reader about your topic. (double-space, 1-inch margins, 12 font)
4. Give credit to your sources within your paper, using parenthetical documentation. Any information you use from a source, direct quotes and paraphrases must be given credit using parenthetical documentation. You will put the author’s last name and paragraph number or page number in parenthesis after the information it refers to. Remember if a source in online or has no page numbers, you count the paragraph numbers and use this in citation. Example: (para. 3).
Ex: (Wilkins 53). If you use one sentence of information in your paper, then you will put the parenthesis after that one sentence. If you use six sentences of information, then you will put the parenthesis after the sixth sentence. You must cite at least one source per paragraph.
5. Give credit to your sources outside of your paper on a Works Cited page. List only the sources you used in your paper in ABC order. (Use your handouts for help.) Use MLA documentation. You list all of your sources. Must be typed. Don’t bother to write or turn in this paper without a Works Cited page. Without it, it’s plagiarism.
6. Plagiarism: “Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s writing without giving proper credit or perhaps without giving credit at all to the writer of the original. Whether plagiarism is intentional or unintentional, it represents a serious academic offence . . .” (McCrimmon 499).
7. You are to use direct quotes- writing word for word what the source says. Do not use over 4 lines or this is a block quote [look it up]. You are allowed to use one block quote in your paper. Make sure the entire quote is important and useful and not just taking up space. You can also use summarizing/paraphrasing – taking your source’s information and putting it completely in your own words. None of the paraphrased words should come from the source unless they are terms, names, dates, or places that can’t be reworded. Most of the information you use from a source should be put in your own words. But even this material needs to be cited with the author and page number.
8. Ellipsis points are used within quotations from the text to indicate where one or more words have been omitted.
Example: According to the narrator, “The sound of her whisper startled her. She . . . looked about
to see whether anyone had been listening” (92). Original sentence: “She shook herself free and looked
9. Square brackets are used within quotations from the text to indicate that a letter, word, or phrase has been changed or added.
Example: As she watches the stranger’s wagon leave the ranch, Elisa “[stands] in front of her wire fence watching the slow progress of the caravan. Her shoulders [are] straight, her head thrown back, her eyes half-closed, so that the scene [comes] vaguely into them” (92).
10. Use an attributive tag the first time you use a source/author with his or her first and last name:
Example: Julia Wilson asserts in her article “Grassroots of Literature” that Phoenix Jackson knows the entire journey “is filled with grief and turmoil, yet her love drags her on” (Wilson 8).
Use MLA format—size 12 standard font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins.
Give your paper a title. It should not be the title of the story, but it may include the story title.
Create a clear thesis and use it as a guide for your body paragraphs, citing evidence from the text to support your points of discussion. Develop each point of discussion in a separate paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to the thesis. (Use the outline guide from Unit 1.)
Consult your handouts for proper insertion and documentation of quotes. Include a Works Cited page.