Essay Questions

Tenth Grade Literature and Composition

College Prep (IIA)

 


"The Monkey's Paw" - W.W. Jacobs

"The Masque of the Red Death" - Edgar Allan Poe

"Two Friends" - Guy de Maupassant

"Damon and Pythias" - Classic Greek Myth

"The Widow and the Parrot" - Virginia Woolf

"Hearts and Hands" - O. Henry

There Will Come Soft Rains - Ray Bradbury

By the Waters of Babylon - Stephen Vincent Benet

The Open Window - Saki

 


"The Monkey's Paw" - W.W. Jacobs

In "The Monkey's Paw," many hints foreshadow future events. In an essay, identify three examples of foreshadowing from the selection and explain in detail the specific future event each suggests.

 


"The Masque of the Red Death" - Edgar Allan Poe

The setting and descriptive details of "The Masque of the Red Death" contain many symbols. Choose at least three symbols from the story, and in an essay, describe what each represents. In your discussion, explain how each symbol gives meaning to the story.

 


"Two Friends" - Guy de Maupassant

In "Two Friends," Maupasssant hints at the climax even though it arrives with a shocking suddenness. Find three examples of Maupassant's use of foreshadowing regarding the climax of the story. In an essay, explain how each is used.

 


"Damon and Pythias" - Classic Greek Myth

In an essay, compare and contrast Dionysius in "Damon and Pythias" with the Prussian officer in "Two Friends." Consider the ways in which both characters assert their authority over people. As leaders, what characteristics do they display? Support your responses with details from each story.

 


"The Widow and the Parrot" - Virginia Woolf

In "The Widow and the Parrot," characters' motivations drive the story's action. What crucial results arise from these actions? In an essay, follow two essential events and describe how character motivation affects each event and eventually shapes the plot of the story.

As readers, we see events through Mrs. Gage's experiences. We experience her disappointment as well as her eventual happiness. In an essay, follow the changing mood of the story in relationship with the story's point of view, and identify specific examples of how the point of view affects the overall mood of the story.

 


"Hearts and Hands" - O. Henry

O. Henry is known for his surprise endings; however, he often foreshadows the eventual outcome throughout the progress of the story. In an essay, identify and explain specific scenes or examples that foreshadow the ending of "Hearts and Hands."

 


"There Will Come Soft Rains" - Ray Bradbury

 

 


"By the Waters of Babylon" - Stephen Vincent Benet

 

 


"The Open Window" - Saki

 

 


 

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