Reader Analysis—You will analyze one short story at a time. Eventually and by th

Reader Analysis—You will analyze one short story at a time. Eventually and by the end of the winter
session, you will analyze a total of FIVE of the nine short stories listed below to construct each your
Reader Analysis. That is, when Reader Analysis 1 is due you will choose one of the short stories listed
below. Let’s say you choose “Love in L.A.” by Dagoberto Gilb, then you will scroll down to the
questions/prompts for “Love in L.A.” and answer/respond to each and every one question/prompt
related to that short story.
“Lusus Naturae” by Margret Atwood p 258
“Love in L.A.” by Dagoberto Gilb (shared electronically)
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver p 682
“Volar” by Judith Ortiz Cofer p 289
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry (shared electronically)
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez p 428
“Orientation” by Daniel Orozco (shared electronically)
“Good People” by David Foster Wallace p 232
Format an MS Word document according to MLA guidelines. Choose one of the available short
stories listed above and respond to each of the bulleted-point questions or prompts for each of the
Reader Analysis.
For example, some students choose to analyze “Love in L.A.” for Reader Analysis 1. Then for Reader
Analysis 2 they’ll analyze “Volar.” Then for Reader Analysis 3, they’ll analyze “Orientation.” Then for
Reader Analysis 4, they’ll analyze “Good People.” Finally for Reader Analysis 5, they’ll analyze
“Cathedral.”
But you can choose from the list of 9 above any 5 stories to analyze for each of the 5 Reader
Analysis assignments.
You need to include a Works Cited/References page. You may use additional outside sources in
addition to the textbook; be sure to include those sources on the Works Cited/References page.
Remember, every one of your essays (aka writing assignments) requires an original title. The
textbook includes language and tips on how to create a unique, original title for your essays.
“Love in L.A.” by Dagoberto Gilb
 Begin with a summary of the short story, one that utilizes the summary writing skills
introduced earlier.
 The Narrator—using the textbook’s definition, discuss the narrator. What page(s) of the
textbook did you utilize?
 Jake—what kind of character is he? Use the book to discuss. Point to instances in the story to
demonstrate. How old is Jake? Is he from LA or even California?
 Mariana—what kind of character is she? Use the book to discuss. Point to instances in the
story to demonstrate. How old is she? Where does she work, or what kind of work does she
do?
 Discuss the setting. Where are these two characters? How do the setting and the title inform
each other?
 Discuss their (Mariana and Jake’s) differences. Point to the short story to demonstrate your
claims. Use quotes.
 Demonstrate ALL of Jake’s lies. Quote from the story each of Jake’s lies, either to Mariana or
to himself. Include his exaggerations. How many lies and exaggerations does Jake tell in
total?
 Please share any observations you have about the short story.
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
 Begin with a summary of the short story, one that utilizes the summary writing skills
introduced earlier.
 What kind of narrative is used in this short story? Use the textbook to support your answer.
 Why is this short story titled “Cathedral”? What is the connection between content and title?
 Using the textbook’s definitions, what kind of character is the wife?
 Does the narrator change by the end of the short story?
“Orientation” Reader Response Questions
 Begin with a summary, just as we’ve been working on since the get-go.
 In what narrative is the short story written? First person? Second person? Third person? See
your textbook for more on narratives.
 What is the short story about sub-textually? That is, there is the action and the drama that
happens on the surface of the story, but what is this short story really about? Is it
commenting on something or merely reporting on a character’s first day on the job?
 Where does the writer/author of the short reside and teach?
 What is the name of the narrator of the short story? Is that ever provided?
 What are the names of the minor characters in the short story?
 Finally, what is your opinion of this short story? Is it readable, enjoyable, and/or sardonic?
“Boring” or “it sucks” is not an acceptable answer.
“Lusus Naturae” by Margaret Atwood
 Provide a short, one-paragraph summary, one that utilizes the Summary Writing Tips found in
the Document Library
 The Narrator—using the book’s definition, discuss the narrator. What page(s) of the textbook
did you utilize?
 Tone—what is the tone of this short story? Why do you think so?
 Language—make a list of words, phrases, names, or places that are new or not immediately
identifiable for you. Create original sentences using that vocabulary you just noted.
 Discuss what you sense to be the writer’s views on the supernatural (or the
phenomenological or the monstrous).
 Was there anything confusing about this short story?
“Volar” by Judith Ortiz Cofer
 Provide a short, one-paragraph summary, one that utilizes the Summary Writing Tips found in
the Document Library
 Characterization—describe the characters (including the narrator) in this short story.
 Discuss the setting. Where are these characters? How do the setting and the title inform
each other?
 How does the use of Spanish impact the short story?
 Finally, what is your opinion of this short story? Is it readable, enjoyable, and/or sardonic?
“Boring” or “it sucks” is not an acceptable answer.
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
 Provide a short, one-paragraph summary, one that utilizes the Summary Writing Tips found in
the Document Library
 What thematic connection does this short story have with the televised novel? This should be
discussed at great length.
 Characterization—describe the characters (including the narrator) in this short story.
 What is the connection between content and the title of the short story?
 Finally, what is your opinion of this short story? Is it readable, enjoyable, and/or sardonic?
“Boring” or “it sucks” is not an acceptable answer.
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
 Provide a short, one-paragraph summary, one that utilizes the Summary Writing Tips found in
the Document Library
 What is the short story about sub-textually? That is, there is the action and the drama that
happens on the surface of the story, but what is this short story really about? Is it
commenting on something or merely reporting on an angel’s arrival to a seaport town?
 What thematic connection does this short story have with the televised novel?
 What is the name of the narrator of the short story? Is that ever provided?
 What are the names of the minor characters in the short story and how do they impact the
story?
 Finally, what is your opinion of this short story? Is it readable, enjoyable, and/or sardonic?
“Stupid,” “angels aren’t real,” or “it sucks” is not an acceptable answer 

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