For this 800-1000 word essay (not including the Works Cited), you will analyze one character in Ron Rash’s novel Above the Waterfall. Choose a main character or a minor character, and discuss this character’s development over the course of the novel. Avoid summarizing the novel–this is not a book report. Some examples of what you could cover in a character analysis are:
What function does this character serve in the novel, and why is that significant? (For example, is the character a catalyst, antagonist, protagonist, or foil?)
How does the character change over the course of the novel and why?
What does this character show about the human psyche?
What does this character reveal about society?
What does this character reveal about social roles? Does this character fit into a specific role or does this character show that we don’t or shouldn’t fit into socially prescribed roles?
What does this character reveal about a particular allusion, symbol, or theme in the novel?
***Don’t attempt to answer all of these questions in such a short essay–these are examples of the kinds of questions you may choose to focus your analysis.
Your goal is to write a well-organized, well-developed, correctly cited, grammatically and mechanically acceptable essay. Include an introduction with an audience attention-getter and a thesis statement. Write well-developed body paragraphs with ample evidence (details and quotations) cited from the novel and supporting evidence cited from a reputable journal article about the novel or about a topic related to the novel (such as the Appalachian Region in NC, methamphetamine addiction, environmental preservation, etc.). Transition smoothly between paragraphs and ideas. Write a conclusion that draws the analysis to a strong close, rather than merely restatign the thesis or content of the earlier paragraphs.
Websites are not allowed as sources.
1. Use MLA format, as required for the course (see the details provided within the “Getting Started/Course Info.” folder).
2. Title your essay creatively–do not give your essay the same title as the novel or character you are analyzing.
3. Use literary present tense (refer to events in the novel in present tense rather than past tense).
4. Write in third person since this is a formal essay. Use “the reader” or “readers,” not “I,” “me,” “my,” “you,” “your,” or “yourself,” as in this example: “The reader notices Ron Rash’s use of allusion in Part One when….”
5. The first time you refer to the author in a sentence, use his full name: Ron Rash. After that, only use his last name in sentences: Rash. Do not refer to authors by first name.
6. Italicize the novel’s title, Above the Waterfall. Treat all other source titles appropriately, with either quotation marks or italics, according to the type of source.
7. To support your analysis in every body paragraph, use quotations cited from the novel and quotations or paraphrases cited from a library database article.
8. Use MLA-style parenthetical in-text citations for all quotations and paraphrases.
9. Integrate quotations smoothly into your sentences, punctuating and citing them correctly. Do not use long block quotations.
10. Use an attribution tag to introduce the literary criticism author and his or her credentials and/or article title (if no author is given) when you first include it in your essay.
12. Create a Works Cited page using correct MLA formatting for your sources: the novel and one library database article.
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