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Comparison of protagonists in the stories May-Lee Chai, Saving Sourdi and Joyce Carol Oats, Three girls (Essay Sample)

spring_2012_p1.doc Coming-of-age story: A type of story in which the protagonist is initiated into adulthood through knowledge, experience, or both, often by a process of disillusionment. Understanding comes after the dropping of preconceptions, a destruction of a false sense of security, or in some way the loss of innocence. Some of the shifts that take place are these: *ignorance to knowledge *innocence to experience *false view of world to correct view *idealism to realism *immature responses to mature responses Gagoberto Giob, “Love in L.A.” (267) John Updike, “A & P” (539) May-Lee Chai, “Saving Sourdi” (handout) Joyce Carol Oats, “Three Girls” (handout) Susan Minot, “Lust” (280) Junot Diaz, “Fiesta, 1980” (150) The assignment: compare and contrast the protagonists in two of the coming-of-age stories listed above. Do they change as a result of the action of the story? If so, how? If not, explain. Decide whether you want to emphasize differences or similarities in your essay, and then frame your thesis accordingly. Here is an example of this type of thesis: “Although Jane and Mary both start out as gullible high school girls, Jane learns from her experience while Mary does not.” Please bear in mind that a thesis is an argument that will be supported in the body of your paper. Note that in this example thesis I have not used the words “similar” and “different.” Rather, I have stated how the protagonists are similar and different. Also, by joining a dependent clause (although both are gullible) to an independent clause, (Jane learns from her experience), I have indicated that the difference is more important than similarity. Since in this case, difference is more important, I will start the paper by discussing gullibility in a paragraph or two and then go on to discuss difference (Jane learns and Mary does not) in greater detail than similarity. AVOID a thesis that simply states Mary and Jane are similar in some ways and different in others. This statement is way too vague to be an argument that you can work with. Also, only discuss similarities and differences that can be used as evidence to support your thesis. You don't want your paper to read like a list of isolated similarities and difference that don't add up to a main point or thesis. source..
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Comparison of protagonists in the stories May-Lee Chai, "Saving Sourdi" and Joyce Carol Oats, "Three girls;
Thesis Statement
When comparing the two protagonists, we see that they both get an epiphany about their lives` directions after a definitive event taking place in their lives the thing that differentiates them is the moment in their life when they fight the realities that are glaring at them. However in both instances we see that their lives take a paradigm shift after the definitive event takes place. This argument is supported the following shifts that emerge in these short stories.
Ignorance to knowledge
In the instance of Nea, we see her ignorance in the way she envisions herself never being separated from her sister Sourdi. Her ignorance is shown in the way she reacts to the possibility of her sister forming a relationship with men. The epitome of her ignorance is seen when she incites Duke to punch Mr. Chhay on the nose. It is after this moment that she makes the transition from an ignorant girl to a knowledgeable one. After this spat, she gets to see that the old man was not as bad as she envisioned him to be. She also realizes that her sister is not opposed to the presence of men in her life.
For the New York University girl, we see her ignorance when she keeps comparing herself with the celebrity, Marilyn Munroe. She states that she was utterly shocked to find out that like her (NYU girl), the celebrity was also alone. Her transit from ignorance is illustrated when she realizes that celebrities are just as human as everyone else.
Innocence to experience
Prior to meeting Marilyn Munroe, the NYU girl was shy about her relationship with her friend. She could never come to terms with the reality that she was in love with her friend. After the encounter with Munroe, the protagonist gathers the courage to express her love for the friend. In this act we see that she sh...
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