For this assignment, you will be analyzing two more short stories,“Battle Royal” (which is the first chapter in Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man)and “The Birthmark.” As you read, reflect on the ways each depictscharacters that are deemed socially unacceptable because of theiroutward appearances. Please write a comparison/contrast essay of 1000 wordsor more discussing the questions below. Remember to begin your paperwith an engaging introduction and clear thesis statement, develop eachpoint in the body of your paper using examples and quotes from thestories, and conclude your paper with a restatement of your thesis andclosing remarks. Also, be sure to maintain your credibility by includingin-text citations and a reference list correctly formatted in APAstyle.Setting: Describe the settings of both pieces and identify howthe eras in which they take place—with their distinct societal attitudesand customs—affect the main characters?Characters:“Battle Royal:” Discuss the young man and his grandfather.Why do we never learn the young man’s name? What do the grandfather’sdying words reveal about him?“The Birthmark:” Describe the main characters: Aylmer, Georgiana and Aminadab. What is important to each? Point of View: In which point of view (first- or third-person)is each piece told? If the point of view in “Battle Royal” was changed,would it have made the story more effective, or less so?Symbolism: “Battle Royal:” Analyze the deeper meaning of the following:the “battle royal” itself, the naked blonde, and the young man’s dreamat the end of the story.“The Birthmark:” What does Georgiana’s birthmark signify,first to her and then to Aylmer? What does alchemy represent in thestory? Themes: What are the main themes/messages of each piece? What,in other words, do you think the authors, Ralph Ellison and NathanielHawthorne, are trying to communicate about life and human nature intheir respective stories?Fear: What role does fear play in both pieces?Discrimination: Both stories address physical appearance,specifically one’s skin, and the way people may discriminate againstothers because of external characteristics they deem inferior. Compareand contrast how discrimination and prejudice are presented in “BattleRoyal” and “The Birthmark.”Final Thoughts: Author Tim O’Brien wrote, ‘That’s what fictionis for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficientfor the truth.’ Talk about how literature might give us “truer” insightsinto the human experience by appealing to our senses, emotions andempathy. Describe a situation in which you or someone you know may havebeen discriminated against because of appearance, gender, race oranother attribute. What did the experience teach you?
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