ENGL

The final assignment for this class asks you to think comprehensively about

What a short story is; and
How that idea has or has not changed over the course of this class.

 
Instructions  
The primary requirement for this essay is that it use three texts we have read in this class to make a critical argument about how the “short story,” as a genre, should be defined.
What do I mean by “critical argument”? I mean that it is not sufficient to say something like, “A short story has a beginning, middle, and end” and then tell me where the beginning, middle, and end occur in three different stories we have read across the semester.
Instead, I am interested in seeing how you work to arrive at a definition of a short story that can encompass such different texts as, say, the One-thousand-and-one Nights and Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.” What characteristics unite our texts? Where in our texts does that possibility of “unification” come under strain? Is it resolved? To what extent? How? Use three short stories we have read to make your case.