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Assignment: Women’s Health and Well-Being Experienced Through Literature

For this Assignment, you take on the role of a literary critic. The job of the critic is to read, question, and dissect the technical and substantive elements of a work of literature to gauge quality, effectiveness, and ability to convey information. Imagine, for the sake of this activity, that you are writing an article for a literary magazine on the short stories of two notable female authors. Your article provides an evaluation of each story’s ability to convey perspective on women’s health and well-being.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review characteristics of a short story in the “Glossary of Terms and Techniques for Literature and Creative Writing” document located in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Define health and well-being. Do these terms have different meanings to different people?
  • Compare and contrast depictions of physical and psychological health and well-being in the stories of Gilman and Chopin.
  • Consider how the authors convey their perspectives on health and well-being.

The Assignment:

  • Write a 2-page analysis of Gilman’s and Chopin’s works on women’s experiences of physical and psychological health and well-being. Explain how your own definition of health and well-being can be applied to each piece.

    Note: Do not write a biography of Gilman’s or Chopin’s personal experiences. Instead, write an analysis of their writing using the techniques you have practiced in previous weeks.

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the use of literary techniques in each author’s story. Using literary terms, provide explanations for why it is or is not well written.