An Annotated Bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is


An Annotated Bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation
is followed by a brief (usually about 200 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph—this is
known as the annotation. The purpose of each annotation is to inform the reader of the
relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source cited.
Your assignment:
Develop an Annotated Bibliography using at least THREE relevant sources from the GMC
Remember that you are writing a paper on literature, so while you may find a historical
document important to your research if you are performing a Historical Analysis, your
sources should generally come from the Literary Resource Center in the GMC Library.
Your bibliography will come in two parts:
1. A 100 word (or more) discussion on a text (or texts) from the
course, and the critical perspective you plan to use in order to
create a strong, detailed, analytical thesis statement. 2. 3-5 MLA Citations, with 200 word annotations for each (annotations include the following elements):
a. Initial Appraisal
b. Content Analysis
First, you will write 100+ words explaining the text(s) you’ve chosen to analyze and why, as
well as the critical perspective you intend to use. 3. While choosing your text or texts, pick one of
the following options below… • A topic focusing on one of the texts from class (if only writing on one text, try to focus on a
different work than the ones you wrote on for Response Papers 1 and 2 unless getting my
approval first). • A topic focusing on multiple texts (no more than 3) by the same author
• A topic focusing on multiple texts (but no more than two) by different authors
Then, you will write your annotated bibliography. For the citation for each source, carefully
follow the MLA format provided by the Purdue Owl. For each source annotation, be sure to
read the materials in week 5’s Online Learning Resources for help with bibliographies and
annotations. The annotations will consist of the following:
a. Initial Appraisal (50-75 words)
You may address things like: What are the author’s credentials,
educational background, or experience? Is the source current or out-of-date for your topic? Is the writing affiliated with any academic institutions,
corporations, organizations, etc?
Content Analysis (150-200 words)
You will ANALYZE the source, asking questions like: How is this work
relevant to your chosen text? What is a particularly strong quote from this
source? Why would it be helpful to your thesis idea? Does the source related
to the critical perspective you’ve chosen? Specifically, your analysis should
address the portions of the source that relate directly to what you are
discussing; you don’t need to speak to the entire document unless all of it is
relevant to your claim.
As with all your submissions, this is a formal assignment that should be submitted using
MLA format for style, spacing, heading, pagination, etc.
Since you will be submitting a working thesis statement, a (minimum) 100-word discussion
of that idea, and (minimum) 200-word annotations for at least three (and no more than
five) sources, this submission should be at least 700-1200 words.TEXT TOPICS ARE REVELATIONS, a SORROWFUL WOMAN, and REDEPLOYMENT REVELATIONS


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Literary Reference Center – powered by EBSCOhost
Record: 1
Title: A Sorrowful Woman
Source: Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition; January 2004, p1-2
Article Author: Rosefeldt, Paul
Document Type: Work Analysis
Biographical Information: Godwin, Gail
Full Name: Gail Kathleen Godwin
Gender: Female
National Identity: United States
Language: English
Publication Information: Salem Press
Abstract: A summary and analysis of A Sorrowful Woman.
Literary Genres/Subgenres: Fable; Short fiction
Subject Terms: Babysitting or babysitters
Family or family life
Gender roles
Twentieth century
ISBN: 9781587651403
Accession Number: 103331MSS22049620000422
Database: Literary Reference Center Plus
A Sorrowful Woman
Gail Godwin
Born: June 18, 1937; Birmingham, Alabama
Quick Reference
First published: 1971
Type of plot: Fable
Time of work: The mid-twentieth century
Locale: Unspecified
Principal Characters:
A woman, a young wife and mother who withdraws from her family
Her husband
Her three-year-old son
A baby-sitter…
Literary Reference Center – powered by EBSCOhost
The Story
One winter evening a young wife and mother is sickened by the sight of her husband and child. The next day
she looks at them and starts crying and retching. Her husband puts her to bed and gives her some sleeping
medicine, letting her sleep through the following day. The next day she tries to resume her duties, but her
young son, playing like a tiger, scratches her. At the sight of her blood, she locks herself in her room and calls
her husband, who brings in a baby-sitter. Several nights later, she hits the child and throws herself on the floor,
saying she is sorry. Realizing that his wife is sick, the husband hires a live-in baby-sitter.
The hired girl is highly energetic. She takes care of the child and household, jokes and dances, plays chess
with the husband, and does the woman’s hair. Meanwhile, the woman withdraws from family life, sitting in the
big room in her old school sweater, reading novels. The husband renews their courtship and asks her out to
dinner. Things seem to get better, until one afternoon when the girl brings the child to see his mother, and the
child hands the mother a grasshopper that spits brown juice on her. The mother is distressed and tells the
husband that the girl upsets her, so the girl is fired.
The husband rearranges his schedule so that he can fix the meals, take care of the household, and take the
child to nursery school. The mother stocks her room with food and cigarettes and withdraws further from the
family. Finally, she decides that she cannot even see them anymore and communicates with them through
notes left under her door. Her husband continues to be understanding as she spends her time sitting in her
room, brushing her hair.
One day she comes down from her room and bakes her family a loaf of bread. When she reads their notes of
gratitude, she feels pressed into a corner. She suddenly starts working busily, cooking a sumptuous meal,
doing laundry, creating paintings and stories, and writing love sonnets. Overjoyed, the husband flings back her
door only to find her dead. The story ends with the child asking to eat the turkey dinner his mother has cooked.
Themes and Meanings
Gail Godwin is a feminist author who explores the trials and ordeals of modern women. In Dream Children
(1976), a collection of her early short stories, she examines the lives of women who are disappointed,
betrayed, and lost, women who are desperately trying to escape their unfulfilled lives. “A Sorrowful Woman,”
which comes from this collection, creates an ironic fable about a woman who can no longer accept her role as
wife and mother, the role that patriarchal myths have defined as the proper role for women. Feminists have
pointed out how women are trapped by a feminine mystique that holds them up as perfect nurturers and
caretakers. To rebel against such a role was once diagnosed as a sickness. This trap or mystique is what the
story’s protagonist is fighting against, but she sees no alternatives, nor can she define or clearly express her
problem. The sorrowful woman represents a type of woman who was not meant to be defined as a wife and
mother and who finds herself trapped with no options. The fable maintains its sense of universality. The
woman’s problem is not created by a husband who is demanding and restrictive; the husband is all too
understanding, and the child adjusts well to his separation from the mother. Their acceptance, however, only
seems to put more pressure on her to conform to her role.
The remedies proposed to solve the woman’s problems are all counterproductive. First, she seeks rest and
reprieve from her duties, but a temporary respite is not the solution. Her problem is not overwork; it is the
inability to accept her position. Even having a sitter come in to assume her duties does not relieve her from
contending with her husband and child. Although she is eventually relieved of their physical presence, their
written communications still hem her in.
Her life of withdrawal is equally unproductive. She puts on her old school sweater and escapes into novels,
idling away her days and taking sleeping medicine to get her through the night. She seems to have no options
open to her but withdrawal. Nevertheless, her withdrawal goes beyond the simple psychological problem of…
Literary Reference Center – powered by EBSCOhost
depression. Because the story gives no psychological reason for her withdrawal, it is clear that she cannot
tolerate the role that has been given her, nor can she find herself in any other role. Her final attempt to return to
her duties kills her, for she is trying to live out a role she can no longer sustain.
Gail Godwin tries to capture the confusion of modern women trapped in worlds they cannot control. “A
Sorrowful Woman” is a simple parable that shows how a woman with narrow options unsuccessfully tries to
escape her condition through withdrawal and isolation. It has many affinities with a classic piece of feminist
fiction, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” In both stories, women try to escape the
restrictions of family life. Both are upset and cannot see their children. The husbands in both stories seem to
act in the best interest of their wives but only drive the wives into further isolation. The heroine in “The Yellow
Wall-Paper” escapes into fantasy and madness; the woman in “A Sorrowful Woman” retrenches and works
herself to death, exhausting her energies in trying to fit a role that does not suit her.
Style and Technique
The story is told in the form of an ironic fable. It begins with the simple fairy-tale opening: “Once upon a time
there was a wife and mother one too many times.” This opening introduces both the tone and the theme of the
story. The fablelike tone is maintained in the author’s terse style. The sentences are short and simple, and the
overall tone is matter-of-fact and objective, adding to the irony of the situation. The nameless characters take
on a universal or fablelike quality, and the immediate time and locale of the story are undisclosed. The
understanding and self-sacrificing husband is “durable, receptive and gentle,” a fairy-tale prince who is unable
to save his wife. The child is a “tender and golden three,” almost angelic. Even the young girl who is hired to
take care of the child is described as perfect. The characters have an unreal quality as though they represent
types, not real people. They set up the model of a perfect family, a model that the woman cannot accept.
The woman, who is suffering from depression, is described as a “cloistered queen” or a “young virgin in a
tower.” These fairy-tale images are also symbols of entrapment, for the virgin in the tower is often imprisoned,
powerless, and waiting to be rescued. Other images of doom appear in the story. The woman focuses on the
child’s gray eyes and the husband’s gray shirt. The playful child turns into a tiger whose “sharp little claws” rip
the woman’s flesh. As the wife looks out the window, she sees images of failure and violence: a boy repeatedly
falling off of his new bike, a dog chasing a squirrel, and a woman foraging in garbage. All these images are
subtle and underplayed, so the story never becomes gothic or moves into the thought patterns of a disturbed
character. The story ends on a note of irony: As the exhausted woman lies dead, the child asks to eat the
turkey dinner she has fixed.
Like such classic short stories as Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of
the House of Usher,” “A Sorrowful Woman” is based on the gradual and inexplicable withdrawal of the main
character from everyday life. The story also follows a seasonal pattern. It begins in winter, a time of death and
withdrawal, and ends in spring, a time of renewal. The renewal is ironic, however, as the woman’s attempts to
return to family life lead to her death.
Essay by: Paul Rosefeldt
Copyright of this work is the property of Salem Press and its content may not be copied without the copyright
holder’s express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used
for access. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user.
Source: Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition
Accession Number: 103331MSS22049620000422…
Dona ld A nderson
You Can’t Come Home Again:
Phil Klay’s Redeployment
’ve long guessed that serious students of “war literature” are not war lovers, that
love of war is not why they turn to the literature. My guess has been that such
readers, in fact, hold to the hope that the best of war literature might work to
curb the all too inherent human drift toward belligerence. If Art, though, were as
powerful as I trust most of us might wish it could be, then the Iliad should have put
an end to inter-human hostility. Alas. Art and Life are different—if they weren’t
we wouldn’t need Art. And if Art generally strains towards making sense, most
of us have lived long enough to know that Life is under no such obligation. W.H.
Auden, who came into his fullness as a poet as fascism was creeping across Europe,
wrote about that scourge and then concluded that “poetry makes nothing
happen,” that nothing he ever wrote saved one Jew from the gas chambers. Yet,
as has been written before, Art markets authority. Why else would officials at
the United Nations have decided to cover the tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica, as
council members met to discuss the start of Gulf War II?
It was with such hope that I approached Phil Klay’s new story collection
Redeployment. I’d come across the collection’s title story in the earlier collection
Fire and Forget, a searing anthology written primarily by veterans of the Iraq and
Afghanistan wars. Klay’s story was the strongest for me among the very strong
pieces in that important volume. It was Klay’s story’s immediately established voice
that caught me. Listen:
We shot dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose, and we called it
Operation Scooby. I’m a dog person, so I thought about that a lot.
First time was instinct. I hear O’Leary go, “Jesus,” And there’s a skinny
brown dog lapping up blood the same way he’d lap up water from a bowl.
It wasn’t American blood, but still, there’s that dog lapping it up. And
that’s the last straw, I guess, and then it’s open season on dogs.
At the time you don’t think about it. You’re thinking about who’s in
that house, what’s he armed with, how’s he gonna kill you, your buddies.
You’re going block to block, fighting with rifles good to 550 meters, and
you’re killing people at five in a concrete box.
We must accept, I believe, that any good writer can take on multiple personas and
write about virtually any circumstance—to include war. There is also no doubt,
I believe, that a combat veteran brings a special visceral authority to his work,
especially if he can write. And Phil Klay, who served in Iraq as a Marine, can write.
The positive comparisons between Redeployment and The Things They Carried, are,
not only fair, but accurate. Dexter Filkins in his New York Times Book Review
reminds us of O’Brien’s work and then writes:
In “Redeployment,” Phil Klay, a former Marine who served in Iraq,
grapples with a different war but aims for a similar effect: showing us
the myriad human manifestations that result from the collision of young,
heavily armed Americans with a fractured and deeply foreign country
that very few of them even remotely understand. Klay succeeds brilliantly,
capturing on an intimate scale the ways in which the war in Iraq evoked
a unique array of emotion, predicament and heartbreak. In Klay’s hands,
Iraq comes across not merely as a theater of war but as a laboratory for
the human condition in extremis. “Redeployment” is hilarious, biting,
whipsawing and sad. It’s the best thing written so far on what the war did
to people’s souls.
The narrator of Klay’s title story, burnished by the fire of war, undergoes a difficult
ride home and then homecoming.
The problem is your thoughts don’t come out in any kind of straight
order. You don’t think, Oh I did A, then B, then C, then D. You try to
think about home, then you’re in the torture house. You see the body
parts in the locker and the retarded guy in the cage. He squawked like a
War, Literature & the Arts
chicken. His head was shrunk down to a coconut. It takes you a while to
remember Doc saying they’d shot mercury into his skull, and then it still
doesn’t make any sense.
And then:
Your wife takes you shopping in Wilmington. Last time you walked
down a city street, your Marine on point went down the side of the road,
checking ahead and scanning the roofs across from him. The Marine
behind him checks the windows on the top levels of the buildings, the
Marine behind him gets the windows a little lower, and so on until your
guys have the street level covered, and the Marine in back has the rear. . . .
In Wilmington, you don’t have a squad, you don’t have a battle buddy,
you don’t even have a weapon. You startle ten times checking for it and it’s
not there. . . .
Instead you’re stuck in an American Eagle Outfitters. Your wife gives
you some clothes to try on and you walk into the tiny dressing room. You
close the door, and you don’t want to open it again.
Outside, there’re people walking around by the windows like it’s no big
deal. People who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of
your platoon died.
It comes as no surprise, and does not feel forced when the narrator, grieving over
his dog’s age and ailing condition, feels compelled to relieve its pain and shoots it,
employing, of course, all the weapon discipline learned in war.
In Redeployment, Klay has compiled a collection of discrete stories—stories, that
feature characters of all rank and assignment, and varying issues and dilemmas.
These are not the stories of a single squad or battle. Klay investigates the psyches
of junior and senior enlisted troops, officers, Iraqis, a chaplain, a civilian Foreign
Service officer, as well as families and friends and dogs at home. Klay is interested
in both the actuality and consequences of battle. His characters remind me that
combat is for all soldiers, as it was for young Paul Fussell, an “introduction to the
shakiness of civilization” and the subsequent, overriding knowledge that you were
not and would never be in again “a world that was reasonable or just” (See Fussell,
“My War”).
An International Journal of the Humanities
“I’m tired of telling war stories,” I say, not so much to Jenks as to the
empty bar behind him. We’re at a table in the corner, with a view of the
So begins Klay’s “War Stories.”
Jenks shrugs and makes a face. Hard to tell what it means. There’s so
much scar tissue and wrinkled skin, I never know if he’s happy or sad
or pissed or what. He’s got no hair and no ears either, so even though it’s
been three years after he got hit, I still feel like his head is something I
shouldn’t stare at. But you look a man in the eye when you talk to him, so
for Jenks, I force my eyes in line with his.
“I don’t tell war stories,” he says, and takes a sip of his glass of water.
“Well, you’re gonna have to when Jessie and Sarah get here.”
He gives a nervous laugh and points to his face. “What’s to say?”
Impossible not to recall Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home”:
At first Krebs, who had been at Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne,
St. Mihiel and in the Argonne did not want to talk about the war at all.
Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it. His town
had heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities. Krebs
found that to be listened to at all he had to lie and after he had done this
twice he, too, had a reaction against the war and against talking about
it. A distaste for everything that had happened to him in the war set in
because of the lies he had told. All of the times that had been able to make
him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times
so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man
to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now
lost their cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.
Sarah, one of the female characters in Klay’s story, who has come to interview
Jenks for a writing project, asks the narrator of “War Stories” what his friend Jenks
was like when he first met him, before the war wound, that is.
War, Literature & the Arts
He was like me, I think. But that’s not what I tell her. “He was a bit of
an asshole,” I say, and I smile at Jenks, who stares back with one of those
looks I can’t interpret. “To be perfectly honest, he was a worthless piece of
shit. No subject for a play, that’s for sure.” I smile. “Good thing he caught
on fire, right?”
In “Prayer in the Furnace,” one of the longer stories, we meet a chaplain. That far
into the book, I don’t think I expected easy answers or healing platitudes, and I did
not get them. What you find mostly is pain and battered consciences. And the pain
is hardly confined to the combat zone.
. . . In the last month of the deployment, an IED had blown Ditoro’s
arm off. Though he’d intended to be a career Marine, after a year in the
Wounded Warrior Regiment he’d gotten out of the Corps and gone on to
live in New Jersey for a few years. And then he’d shot himself, left-handed,
in the head.
Lance Corporal Rodriquez had sought out the chaplain in the war zone following
the death of a friend. The meeting did not go well. And neither does the memorial
service. And neither do the on-going battles in the city. People die, on both sides,
necessarily and unnecessarily, innocents and combatants alike. “I know I won’t
make it out of combat alive,” a young troop tells the chaplain. “Every day, I have no
choice. They send me to get myself killed. It’s fucking pointless.” The chaplain tries
to get the soldier to talk about “positive” things. The soldier, however, responds by
announcing that the only thing he wants to do is kill Iraqis.
. . .”That’s it. Everything else is just, numb it until you can do something.
Killi …
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