Essay (answering questions on short stories)

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to read 2 of the 3 short stories I will provide. (they aren’t super long.) Which stories you will read depends on which prompt you will decide to pick out of the ones I will provide below as well as the short stories. Let me know if you have any questions, and if you could submit the draft a little early so I could proofread and check – that would be great. Please read the stories, rather than the quick summary online, they are not long at all.

“How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien
“Happy Birthday, 1951” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
“Killings” by Andre Dubus

Directions/ prompts:

A) How does the treatment of violence in O’Brien’s story compare with that in Andre Dubus’s “Killings”? Write an essay that points to specific descriiptions and explains the function of the violence in each story.


B) O’Brien’s narrator says, “Often in a true war story there is not even a point, or else the point doesn’t hit you until twenty years later”. Discuss how time and reflection change the meaning of war in O’Brien’s story and in either the stories “Happy Birthday, 1951” or “Soldier’s Home.”

Pick one out of the two provided, whichever one you want.

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