Introduction to Lit. No. 6

After reading “Deep Eddy,” I wanted to take this time to discuss writing an essay about a piece of literature. It helps me to frame my thoughts in the form of blog posts like this, and I hope that you will indulge me as I try to learn a little about the best subject in the world, Literature. When I started this blog, I confessed that I wanted to use this blog to discuss Literature and by doing so learn about it. I am learning so much and thank you for coming along.

“Deep Eddy” turned out to be the perfect story to study. I settled down to two options for my thesis.

  1. How does D.T. Lumpkin, the writer of “Deep Eddy,” use diction and sentence structure to create a mood?
  2. Why is the character of the father the hero in the story?

I was torn between these two thesis questions. The first question appealed to me as a writer because I wanted to learn techniques for creating emotional reactions in readers. The second was interesting because it analyzed characterization. This story is character driven, and I am very attracted to that type of stories. I finally decided to flip a quarter to make the decision for me because I was so indecisive about it.

Ok. So, it was a penny. Cruel world. Anyway, the random pick was number 2. I remembered my Professor in AP English talking about how a thesis has to be many things, but it especially has to be interesting, risky and valid. Now, if there have been 10,000 papers written about this story, how can I say something new? The answer is that I can’t as long as I am trying to be original. I just have to realize that I am a unique person in a world full of unique people, so if I just listen to my inner voice I will generate a unique combination of words. It will then be interesting to the audience that I have at heart. I also have to risk something in this essay; I have to take a chance and write something that someone else might find trite or ridiculous. My last requirement will speak to these other two. The validity of my thesis will be proven by my evidence.

Now, I have a question, and I like it because it is simple, but I have to go beyond something that will please me. Plus, it’s just not that interesting. If the question is not interesting, then the answer will be boring.

How does the writer of “Deep Eddy,” D.T. Lumpkin, use tension and conflict to create the dynamic character of the narrator’s father?

This thesis question was a little more complex and provided more meat to chew as I was writing. This essay was going to be 1,600 words and had to have a bibliography that reflected the current MLA Handbook.

Choosing a thesis question is the most difficult part of writing for me because it requires making decisions that I know will inform the rest of my essay. Once I have the thesis question, I can think about the text and go about writing the essay using evidence.

Next, I will reread the text with my question in mind.

For next time, I will need to have a firm grip on the following terms:

  1. Protagonist
  2. Hero/heroine
  3. Freytag’s Pyramid
  4. Setup
  5. Rising action
  6. Climax
  7. Falling action
  8. Resolution
  9. Flat character
  10. Dynamic character

Happy reading! Here’s the link to Deep Eddy again.

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