For John L’Heureux, a former Director of Stanford’s Writing Center, a writer’s u

For John L’Heureux, a former Director of Stanford’s Writing Center, a writer’s u

For John L’Heureux, a former Director of Stanford’s Writing Center, a writer’s use of subtlety and “silence” when presenting dialogue in a story has advantages because it places a greater emphasis on characters’ actions as opposed to their words. In “Writing by Omission,” John McPhee explains the purpose of Hemingway’s Theory of Omission, which is to allow “the creative reader [to] silently articulate the unwritten thought that is present in the white space” and to let “the reader have the experience” of the characters in the narrative.
In contrast, in “Against Subtlety: The Case for Heavy-Handedness in Art,” Forrest Wickham bluntly asserts that “subtlety sucks” because “People feel things, strongly, and creators that underplay that are making it harder for their audiences to connect purely and viscerally to their work.” Taking Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” as your starting point, consider the positive and negative effects of the story’s subtlety and omission on your experience as a reader.
After carefully reading the required texts and assigned short stories, write a 3-4-page thesis-driven essay that thoughtfully responds to the following prompt:
To what extent does a narrative’s use of subtlety and omission enhance and/or undermine your experience as a reader?
Explain how subtlety and omission work to communicate elements of a story’s plot, narration, and characterization
Begin with a summary of your experience as a reader of Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”
Take a focused position that defends or argues against Hemingway’s use of subtlety and omission in the short story – this is your THESIS
Identify the points you need to make to support your position
Identify specific examples from “Hills Like White Elephants,” ONE additional short story of your choosing, and ONE of the critical articles to support your these points
Explain how these examples work to advance your position
Include a title that reflects the content of your essay (your argument)
Include a correctly formatted MLA Works Cited page with all of the sources you have used in your essay
Thesis
Organization/Control
Analysis of Textual Support
Grammar & Mechanics
Excellent/Exemplary
Thesis fully answers essay prompt with unique, bold, and arguable insight and a plausible rationale
Each body paragraph’s topic sentence provides clear and forceful direction in developing the essay’s thesis Concrete details are insightful, well-chosen, and smoothly integrated into the body paragraphs Skillful use of transitions to help create a unified, cohesive piece of writing
Analysis of evidence shows depth of thought and presents unique, interesting insight
Powerful vocabulary with no repetition of key words or phrases; language is consistently fresh and interesting Logical sentence flow and variety of sentence structures M.L.A. citations are correctly formatted and signal phrases are skillfully embedded so source credibility and content are clearly presented to the reader A lively, interesting, and consistent writer’s voice comes through to the audience

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