English 1302 - Composition & Rhetoric
Prose Assignment #4

Reading Assignment
  • Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Ch. 4, "Setting", pp. 112-152
  • "The Storm" (Text on the Web)
  • "To Build A Fire" (Text on the Web)

  • Writing Assignment
    Part 1: Write an essay in which you discuss the various possible meanings of the title "The Storm." To what does this title refer? Your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph may be as simple as "The title 'The Storm' suggests several different meanings." Use examples from the story to support your points.
    Remember to include a topic sentence for each body paragraph and examples from the story to support your points. Remember to correctly use quotation marks and parenthetical citations for each quote that you use from the text. Finally, write a short concluding paragraph for your essay.
    See pages 483-491 in The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version for information concerning parenthetical citation.
    Draft a "Works Cited" page according to the MLA guidelines found on pages 491-521 in The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version, and on the "MLA Works Cited Formatting Page". For this assignment you only need to include the bibliographical information for your primary source.

    I will be checking your essay to see that you have included an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement; at least three fully developed body paragraphs which include topic sentences, properly cited quotations, and discussion of your examples from the story; a concluding paragraph that neatly wraps up your essay; and a properly formatted Works Cited page containing a correct listing for your primary source. Also, be sure to check the final draft of your essay for grammar/mechanics and formatting errors prior to submitting it for evaluation. See pages 526 - 530 in The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version and the "MLA Document Formatting Page" for information on proper formatting.
    Give your essay an original title. Process the essay using Microsoft Word. Save the file as yourlastnameA4.doc, and follow the instructions under "Submit Assignment" at the bottom of this page. NOTE: essays must be submitted via the correct WebCT assignment page. Essays submitted any other way will not be received or graded.
    * If you do not have Microsoft Word and must use another program, save your paper as an .rtf file before submitting it. See the "MLA Document Formatting Page" for more information.
    Visit A Basic Essay Guide to refresh your essay writing skills.

    Part 2: Please visit the discussions page for this assignment and enter your response to the following question(s): "Roughly how much of Wolff's story is devoted to describing setting? What particular details make it memorable?" You will receive a participation grade for the forum.

    Internet Resources:
    Describing Setting

    "The Storm"

    Theme: "Passions cannot be denied."

    Setting: bayou country of Louisiana< br>

    • French names
    • dialect

    Setting and Plot reinforce each other

    • setting can include weather
    • storm begins--Bobinot and Bibi trapped at store
    • Calixta alone at the house
    • storm parallels the "storm" of passion between Calixta and Alcee

    The story hints that marriage does not always assure that each partner will find sexual pleasure with the other.

    "To Build a Fire"
    Point of View
    • 3rd person
    • omniscient (all-knowing) narrator
    • knows man's mind and even dog's mind
    Conflict: Man vs Weather
    • cold weather is the setting
    • cold weather functions as if it were a character
    The man (protagonist) in the story is nameless
    • shows his insignificance against the weather (antagonist)
    The man makes many mistakes
    • underestimates how cold it really would be
    • poo r planning--no nose strap
    • traveling alone in the cold
    • built fire in the wrong place
    The dog, protected by his instincts, survives.

    The man, using his intellect, perishes.

    The old trader and the dog knew more about the dangers of extreme cold better than the younger traveler.

    Terms For Review
    Setting Locale Naturalism