Mrs. Sen’s from Interpreter of Maladies.

Essay 1: Very Close ReadingThis assignment asks you to use a small detail in the text as the basis for a clear, persuasive argument aboutsome aspect of a short storyTextLahiri, any single story from Interpreter of MaladiesBackgroundAll good arguments about a literary text start with a “kernel,” a single detail that becomes more and moresignificant and begins to connect with more and more of the text. Any detail might tell you something about aparticular moment in a text, but a really good detail will begin to illuminate the entire story. This assignmentasks you to start with a detail—whether it is a single word, a line of dialogue, an image, a symbol—and workfrom there to advance a larger argument about a short story.Your detail might be a strange word that stands out or it might be a seemingly ordinary image that takes onnew significance in the context of the story. How does this one detail add to your understanding of somethinglarger in the story? Does it reappear at various points in the story? If so, how does the detail link thoseseparate passages? Does the meaning change at different points in the story? Ultimately, this essay is an actof very close reading. As much as I want you to come to some larger conclusions about a short story, it’scrucial that those conclusions be rooted in the details of the text.Writing TaskChoose a single detail from your chosen short story. Then, answer the following question:How does your chosen detail add to our understanding of the short story?

Sample Solution

Mrs. Sen’s from Interpreter of Maladies.

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