For your second essay, you are going to choose one of the next four literary theories we have covered in
this class (Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Queer Studies and Marxism) and apply that theory to either Nancy
Kress’s short story “Out of All Them Bright Stars” or Edgar Allen Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” In terms of
theories, you may also use Deconstruction if you like. Your goals, as with the first essay, are two-fold. The
first goal is to demonstrate that you understand the theory well enough to apply it. The second goal is to
develop an innovative and interesting take on the short story using your particular theory. There are a
couple of moving parts here, so let’s break them down.
Goal one, again, is to demonstrate that you understand the theory. You will not do this by explaining the
theory in your paper. Instead, you will do this by using the important terms and ideas from that theory as
key components to your essay. So, for instance, if you are applying psychoanalysis, you will use terms like
polymorphous perversity or condensation. You will likely look for points of repression in your chosen story
that supports an interpretation of a character in the text or the text itself. To be clear, you do not need to
use every term discussed in Parker. Indeed, I would rather see you use 1-2 terms in an accurate and
complex manner rather than see 5-6 different terms just jammed into place.
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