Analysis of “Pickman’s Model”


Choose one of the following stories to write about: a) “The Outsider,” b) “Pickman’s Model,” c) “The Call of Cthulhu,” d) “The Lottery.”

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Read the story two times to be sure you are familiar with it. Once you have thoroughly acquainted yourself with the characters, setting, plot, and theme, proceed to analyze the story using the lecture from Week Four called “Writing About Fiction.”

Your introduction should be somewhat broad and discuss wider philosophical implications that the story raises. It should also include a thesis statement.

The body of your essay should use specific examples from the text, and ideas from one outside source. Be sure to use at least one direct quote form an outside source. Weave the author’s name into the sentence that mentions his or her ideas, as well as his or her direct words. There is a link in Week Five with potential outside sources for all of the short stories.

As for the conclusion, you will want to harken back to a more philosophical focus (in the intro) and synthesize what you raised in the body to help achieve a sense of closure.

Be sure that you don’t end up writing a plot summary instead of a literary analysis. Writing an extended plot summary would definitely have a negative impact on your grade.

Specific Requirements for Essay Two
Your introduction should have a thesis statement. Argue for this point of view all through the essay.
Look for patterns or themes in the story.
Use evidence (specific examples) from the text.
Study the text with a critical eye. Don’t assume everything is great. Feel free to point out examples that you consider to be flaws in the story and/or the storytelling.
Chose a method for analyzing the text. This can be found in the Handout in Week Four called “Writing About Fiction.”
Your audience is the smartest person in this class, not your professor. Take a definitive stance when you write your essay. Don’t apologize or make excuses for being “new” to the process of analyzing fiction. Write with authority.
Organize your literary analysis of one text.
Try to focus primarily on one element of fiction as the dominant way you analyze your story. The six elements of fiction are explained in a link at the end of the lesson in Week Four called “Writing About Fiction.”
Avoid writing more fifteen percent plot summary. Summarizing the plot of the story for the length of a nice healthy paragraph is necessary to bring your reader up to speed on the story; however, more than a one-paragraph plot summary would fall short of being a literary analysis; instead, it would end up being just a glorified middle school “book report.”
Never assume that the reader has read the story you are discussing. Tailor your essay for those readers who have not read the story. This is a common practice when writing about fiction.
Use of a (Nonfiction) Quotation
In addition to raising some pertinent philosophical ideas (which pertain to the story being analyzed), I would also like you to weave a quote by the author of the story you chose. Use signal phrases to do this. Google “signal phrase purdue owl” if you still are not sure of what constitutes a signal phrase.

Here are some quotations that Lovecraft said:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
Toil without song is like a weary journey without an end.
It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth’s dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.
We must realise that man’s nature will remain the same so long as he remains man; that civilisation is but a slight coverlet beneath which the dominant beast sleeps lightly and ever ready to awake. To preserve civilisation, we must deal scientifically with the brute element, using only genuine biological principles.
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.
I do not think that any realism is beautiful.
Adulthood is hell.
I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.
Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law or cosmic alienage or ‘outsideness’ without laying stress on the emotion of fear.
Here are some quotations that Shirley Jackson said in Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings. Please don’t quote the longer quotations in their entirety. They are too long for an essay the length of Essay Two in WR 121.

“Far and away the greatest menace to the writer—any writer, beginning or otherwise—is the reader. The reader is, a

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