Write a 2-page elements of fiction essay on one of the short stories, or the poem, from the assigned readings for Module 01. Explain the following in your paper:Key historical events which influenced the piece: Expand on how the key historical events influenced the plot and theme.Setting: Why is the setting important to the story? (The setting is where the story takes place).Theme: What is the major theme or idea of the story? Here are some examples of themes you might find in literature: loss of innocence, love, loss, grief, man vs. nature, man vs. technology, death, old-age, coming of age, alienation, overcoming the odds, a hero’s quest, etc.
Note: The theme of a work of fiction is different from the plot—the plot tells you the sequence of events or what happened. The theme tells you the main lesson or message of the narrative. It is the main point that the author wants you to understand from reading the short story, poem, or novel.Also, select one of the terms to include in your story analysis from your Literary Terms Exercise in this module (Allegory, Ambiguity, Antagonist, Archetype, Diction, Flashback, Foreshadowing, Protagonist, and Regionalism). Explain how this was used in the story, with examples and lines illustrating your claims. Use in-text citations where needed.Your paper must be written in APA format. Use the APA template from your Course Guide to complete this assignment. You should have an APA cover page; 2 full pages of essay text with in-text citations, quotes, and lines from the readings; and a References page. No additional resources other than the assigned readings are required; however, you may want to include additional resources from the Rasmussen library. All papers are to be written in Times New Roman 12 pt. font and be double-spaced.Reading -40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology – “Reading Short Stories Closely”, Writing About Short Stories”, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’BrienHaddon, M. (2003). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, first 50 pages. Note: this text does not have traditional page numbers.Brock’s folk. (2014). In G. Cuthbertson, G., Wilfred Owen (p. 200). New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press.Interview: Mark Haddon discusses his book “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” (2003). Washington, D.C.: NPR.A Worn Path
It was December—a bright frozen day in the early morning. Far out in the country there was an
old Negro woman with her head tied in a red rag, coming along a path through the pinewoods.
Her name was Phoenix Jackson. She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark
pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps, with the balanced heaviness and
lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock. She carried a thin, small cane made from an
umbrella, and with this she kept tapping the frozen earth in front of her. This made a grave and
persistent noise in the still air, that seemed meditative like the chirping of a solitary little bird.
She wore a dark striped dress reaching down to her shoe tops, and an equally long apron of
bleached sugar sacks, with a full pocket: all neat and tidy, but every time she took a step she
might have fallen over her shoelaces, which dragged from her unlaced shoes. She looked straight
ahead. Her eyes were blue with age. Her skin had a pattern all its own of numberless branching
wrinkles and as though a whole little tree stood in the middle of her forehead, but a golden color
ran underneath, and the two knobs of her cheeks were illumined by a yellow burning under the
dark. Under the red rag her hair came down on her neck in the frailest of ringlets, still black, and
with an odor like copper.
Now and then there was a quivering in the thicket. Old Phoenix said, “Out of my way, all you
foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! … Keep out from under these feet,
little bobwhites… . Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don’t let none of those come running
my direction. I got a long way.” Under her small black-freckled hand her cane, limber as a buggy
whip, would switch at the brush as if to rouse up any hiding things.
On she went. The woods were deep and still. The sun made the pine needles almost too bright
to look at, up where the wind rocked. The cones dropped as light as feathers. Down in the hollow
was the mourning dove—it was not too late for him.
The path ran up a hill. “Seem like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far,” she said,
in the voice of argument old people keep to use with themselves. “Something always take a hold
of me on this hill—pleads I should stay.”
After she got to the top she turned and gave a full, severe look behind her where she had
come. “Up through pines,” she said at length. “Now down through oaks.”
Her eyes opened their widest, and she started down gently. But before she got to the bottom of
the hill a bush caught her dress.
Her fingers were busy and intent, but her skirts were full and long, so that before she could
pull them free in one place they were caught in another. It was not possible to allow the dress to
tear. “I in the thorny bush,” she said. “Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let
folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you was a pretty little green bush.”
Finally, trembling all over, she stood free, and after a moment dared to stoop for her cane.
“Sun so high!” she cried, leaning back and looking, while the thick tears went over her eyes.
“The time getting all gone here.”
At the foot of this hill was a place where a log was laid across the creek.
“Now comes the trial,” said Phoenix.
Putting her right foot out, she mounted the log and shut her eyes. Lifting her skirt, leveling her
cane fiercely before her, like a festival figure in some parade, she began to march across. Then
she opened her eyes and she was safe on the other side.
“I wasn’t as old as I thought,” she said.
But she sat down to rest. She spread her skirts on the bank around her and folded her hands
over her knees. Up above her was a tree in a pearly cloud of mistletoe. She did not dare to close
her eyes, and when a little boy brought her a plate with a slice of marble-cake on it she spoke to
him. “That would be acceptable,” she said. But when she went to take it there was just her own
hand in the air.
So she left that tree, and had to go through a barbed-wire fence. There she had to creep and
crawl, spreading her knees and stretching her fingers like a baby trying to climb the steps. But
she talked loudly to herself: she could not let her dress be torn now, so late in the day, and she
could not pay for having her arm or her leg sawed off if she got caught fast where she was.
At last she was safe through the fence and risen up out in the clearing. Big dead trees, like
black men with one arm, were standing in the purple stalks of the withered cotton field. There sat
a buzzard.
“Who you watching?”
In the furrow she made her way along.
“Glad this not the season for bulls,” she said, looking sideways, “and the good Lord made his
snakes to curl up and sleep in the winter. A pleasure I don’t see no two-headed snake coming
around that tree, where it come once. It took a while to get by him, back in the summer.”
She passed through the old cotton and went into a field of dead corn. It whispered and shook
and was taller than her head. “Through the maze now,” she said, for there was no path.
Then there was something tall, black, and skinny there, moving before her.
At first she took it for a man. It could have been a man dancing in the field. But she stood still
and listened, and it did not make a sound. It was as silent as a ghost.
“Ghost,” she said sharply, “who be you the ghost of? For I have heard of nary death close by.”
But there was no answer—only the ragged dancing in the wind.
She shut her eyes, reached out her hand, and touched a sleeve. She found a coat and inside
that an emptiness, cold as ice.
“You scarecrow,” she said. Her face lighted. “I ought to be shut up for good,” she said with
laughter. “My senses is gone. I too old. I the oldest people I ever know. Dance, old scarecrow,”
she said, “while I dancing with you.”
She kicked her foot over the furrow, and with mouth drawn down, shook her head once or
twice in a little strutting way. Some husks blew down and whirled in streamers about her skirts.
Then she went on, parting her way from side to side with the cane, through the whispering
field. At last she came to the end, to a wagon track where the silver grass blew between the red
ruts. The quail were walking around like pullets, seeming all dainty and unseen.
“Walk pretty,” she said. “This the easy place. This the easy going.”
She followed the track, swaying through the quiet bare fields, through the little strings of trees
silver in their dead leaves, past
The Things They Carried
[b. 1946]
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount
Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping,
so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a day’s
march, he would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them
with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending. He would imagine
romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste
the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there. More than anything, he wanted Martha to
love him as he loved her, but the letters were mostly chatty, elusive on the matter of love. She
was a virgin, he was almost sure. She was an English major at Mount Sebastian, and she wrote
beautifully about her professors and roommates and midterm exams, about her respect for
Chaucer and her great affection for Virginia Woolf. She often quoted lines of poetry; she never
mentioned the war, except to say, Jimmy, take care of yourself. The letters weighed ten ounces.
They were signed “Love, Martha,” but Lieutenant Cross understood that “Love” was only a way
of signing and did not mean what he sometimes pretended it meant. At dusk, he would carefully
return the letters to his rucksack. Slowly, a bit distracted, he would get up and move among his
men, checking the perimeter, then at full dark he would return to his hole and watch the night
and wonder if Martha was a virgin.
The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near
necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wrist watches, dog tags, mosquito
repellant, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches,
sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations,1 and two or three canteens of water.
Together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds, depending upon a man’s
habits or rate of metabolism. Henry Dobbins, who was a big man, carried extra rations; he was
especially fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup over pound cake. Dave Jensen, who practiced
field hygiene, carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel-size bars of soap he’d stolen on
R&R in Sydney, Australia. Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot
in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April. By necessity, and because it was
SOP,2 they all carried steel helmets that weighed five pounds including the liner and camouflage
cover. They carried the standard fatigue jackets and trousers. Very few carried underwear. On
their feet they carried jungle boots—2.1 pounds—and Dave Jensen carried three pairs of socks
and a can of Dr. Scholl’s foot powder as a precaution against trench foot. Until he was shot, Ted
Lavender carried six or seven ounces of premium dope, which for him was a necessity. Mitchell
Sanders, the RTO,3 carried condoms. Norman Bowker carried a diary. Rat Kiley carried comic
books. Kiowa, a devout Baptist, carried an illustrated New Testament that had been presented to
him by his father, who taught Sunday school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a hedge against
bad times, however, Kiowa also carried his grandmother’s distrust of the white man, his
grandfather’s old hunting hatchet. Necessity dictated. Because the land was mined and boobytrapped, it was SOP for each man to carry a steel-centered, nylon-covered flak jacket, which
weighed 6.7 pounds, but which on hot days seemed much heavier. Because you could die so
quickly, each man carried at least one large compress bandage, usually in the helmet band for
easy access. Because the nights were cold, and because the monsoons were wet, each carried a
green plastic poncho that could be used as a raincoat or ground sheet or makeshift tent. With its
quilted liner, the poncho weighed almost two pounds, but it was worth every ounce. In April, for
instance, when Ted Lavender was shot, they used his poncho to wrap him up, then to carry him
across the paddy, then to lift him into the chopper that took him away.
They were called legs or grunts.
To carry something was to “hump” it, as when Lieutenant Jimmy Cross humped his love for
Martha up the hills and through the swamps. In its intransitive form, “to hump” meant “to walk,”
or “to march,” but it implied burdens far beyond the intransitive.
Almost everyone humped photographs. In his wallet, Lieutenant Cross carried two
photographs of Martha. The first was a Kodachrome snapshot signed “Love,” though he knew
better. She stood against a brick wall. Her eyes were gray and neutral, her lips slightly open as
she stared straight-on at the camera. At night, sometimes, Lieutenant Cross wondered who had
taken the picture, because he knew she had boyfriends, because he loved her so much, and
because he could see the shadow of the picture taker spreading out against the brick wall. The
second photograph had been clipped from the 1968 Mount Sebastian yearbook. It was an action
shot—women’s volleyball—and Martha was bent horizontal to the floor, reaching, the palms of
her hands in sharp focus, the tongue taut, the expression frank and competitive. There was no
visible sweat. She wore white gym shorts. Her legs, he thought, were almost certainly the legs of
a virgin, dry and without hair, the left knee cocked and carrying her entire weight, which was just
over one hundred pounds. Lieutenant Cross remembered touching that left knee. A dark theater,
he remembered, and the movie was Bonnie and Clyde, and Martha wore a tweed skirt, and
during the final scene, when he touched her knee, she turned and looked at him in a sad, sober
way that made him pull his hand back, but he would always remember the feel of the tweed skirt
and the knee beneath it and the sound of the gunfire that killed Bonnie and Clyde, how
embarrassing it was, how slow and oppressive. He remembered kissing her good night at the
dorm door. Right then, he thought, he should’ve done something brave. He should’ve carried her
up the stairs to her room and tied her to the bed and touched that left knee all night long. He
should’ve risked it. Whenever he looked at the photographs, he thought of new things he
should’ve done.
What they carried was partly a function of rank, partly of field specialty.
As a first lieutenant and platoon leader, Jimmy Cross carried a compass, maps, code books,
binoculars, and a .45-caliber pistol that weighed 2.9 pounds fully loaded. He carried a strobe
light and the responsibility for the lives of his men.
As an RTO, Mitchell Sanders carried the PRC-25 radio, a killer, twenty-six pounds with its

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