Essay Topics for The Stars Are Fire
one of the following topics for
Well-written characters, according to those who give
advice to people who wish to write good fiction, are characters who have both
good and bad traits, for who would want to read a story, much less an entire
book, about people who do and say all the right things? Choose two characters
from The Stars Are Fire for in-depth
Review the chapter on Character in your textbook to
remind yourself of important terms, and take time to look through the novel and
your notes to be sure you don’t omit important information about the characters
you choose. You do NOT need to write about two main characters for this topic.
Plot is another
element essential to good fiction. Certainly, in The Stars Are Fire, the plot fits Kennedy and Gioia’s definition of
plot as “the artistic arrangement of [the] events” (15). There are many
complications, and lots of
foreshadowing, flashbacks, and other narrative
Write an essay in which you analyze Shreve’s
use of plot in The Stars Are Fire.
(Remember that you will not simply be summarizing the events of the
novel. Again, review the material on plot in your
textbook. Try making a graph if you’re visually inclined.)
Symbolism, another element of fiction that we have been
studying this semester, obviously can be found in this novel. You may write an
essay on the major symbols in The Stars
Are Fire, but be sure that after identifying the symbols, you explain what they symbolize, and how Shreve’s
use of symbols helps convey the theme of
Review the chapters on symbol and theme in
your textbook if you choose this one. Choose more than one or two symbols—there
Parents are a powerful influence on our lives. In The Stars Are Fire, Shreve offers us a
number of parents. Sometimes we see two parents with children, such as Gene and
Grace, Tim and Rosie, Matthew and Joan.
times, we have a living parent, such as Marjorie, and an adult child.
But Grace also has memories of being younger when her
father was still alive. We never meet Gene's mother, Merle. We learn about
her through her house, her clothes and jewelry, her
bills. We don't learn about some parents, such as Gene’s father, though we
might have a better understanding of some of the characters if we did.
Write an essay in which you analyze the importance of parents in this novel. What might Shreve be
saying about parents to her audience?
If there is another topic that you would
like to write about that allows you to analyze the novel in a different way,
let me know, and we’ll decide if it’s an acceptable alternative to the four
pages (no longer), plus a Works Cited page.
12 font. Double space your essay.
Works Cited page at the end of your
paper in correct MLA format. The edition of the novel I ordered for you should
look like this:
Shreve, Anita. The Stars Are Fire. Vintage Books, 2017.
refer specifically to material from our textbook, you should include a
reference to whatever section(s) of that book you are using as well. For
example, if you use something from the chapter on Symbol in your essay, your
Works Cited entry should look like this:
Kennedy, X. J. and Dana Gioia. “Symbol.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing, edited
by X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, 13th ed, Pearson, 2016,
Kennedy comes before Shreve alphabetically, the above entry would be before
your entry for Shreve on your Works Cited page.
use any other sources for this
essay, be sure to cite them in correct MLA format, both in the body of your
essay and on your Works Cited page. If you need help with this, see the chapter in your textbook
on Writing Research Papers (Chapter 46). You can also ask me, of course, and
get help at the Writing Center.
should state the title of the book in italics and the author’s full name in the
first few sentences of your paper. Your introductory paragraph should also make
clear exactly what the focused subject of your paper is, and it should include
your thesis statement.
Remember to give page numbers for all material from the
novel, even if paraphrased or summarized.
summarize/retell too much of the novel. Stay focused on YOUR topic. Remember
that your given audience, as in the first essay, consists of educated people
who have read the book.
very careful to avoid inferences that
you do not support with material from the text.
should double check all references to material from the novel and quotations
that this is an academic essay, so you should not use slang or conversational
expressions, or texting language, and you should not use “you.”
to use present tense when writing about a literary work. Past tense is fine for
references to background material, things that happened before what we read in
the novel. Example: we don't read about Gene's experiences in the war. We know
that he was in the war. So that can be written about in past tense. However, he
doesn't talk about that experience now. That takes present tense. That's part
of the novel. For help with this, see English Composition Tutorial #25 in the
Writing Center Tutorials.
to schedule Writing Center conferences so you get one when you need it!
sure to allow time for revision and proofreading.
always, good luck!
Let me know what you think. You can choose one of the topics. I can try to send you a pdf of the book. And you don’t really have to read it all just read and learn about a character.
It’s a very important grade so be careful . I need high quality work.