Compare And Contrast Essay Samples On Stories

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Analyze two short stories

Theme of the story: The main idea of the story defines the line that exists between fantasy and reality. Fantasies are stunning, beautiful and pure while realities are harsh, cruel and brutal. It is portrayed through two main characters Connie and Arnold Friend.

6 pages (1500 words)Essay

Analyzing two short stories

Two of such stories are “Man and Wife” by Chasie Kate and “Why don’t you dance” by Raymond Carver. Both of these stories focus on the themes of love and relationship and the message is conveyed by building up the story around a major character. The language and style adopted by these writers make the story appear extremely appealing and real for the readers.

3 pages (750 words)Essay

Comparing and Contrasting two different stories

In “Everyday Use” the book represents a mother, Mrs. Johnson, who is anxious about her two daughters, Dee and Maggie who are coherently different in term of thinking, behavior, decision making and their view on traditional norms. In this case, maternal anxiety was represented by the mother when she tried to instill to Dee that culture was important in the African society reason being, she was the daughter who was to acquire the quilts but she was not responsible enough.

6 pages (1500 words)Essay

Two short stories

This is precisely what both Hecker and Packer do in “The Stolen Party” and “Brownies,” respectively. Indeed, a close reading of both

3 pages (750 words)Essay

Comparing Short Stories

Monsieur Lantin got married and lived a happy, worthwhile life, while the banker placed stakes on money at the expense of another for his own amusement. However, after everything had been said and done, neither man was really

2 pages (500 words)Essay

Comparing short stories

rkable in their historical significance considering the age when these were written as well as the uniqueness and ingenuity of the subject matters and treatments of the same. “The Yellow Face” is a story about Mr. Grant Munro and his wife. They were a happily married couple

8 pages (2000 words)Essay

Comparing and Contrasting Two Images

global economy into a tailspin of deflating asset prices, wiping out savings and investments of most people and leaving a majority of the workforce without jobs or income. It had begun on October 29, 1929 as the big stock market crash and ended only in the early 1940s. It threw

3 pages (750 words)Essay

The Characters in the Short Stories Home Burial and Editha

The author of the essay depicts the images of the “Home Burial” and “Editha” characters. Hence, "Home Burial" is a poem about a marriage that is hugely affected by the death of the only child. On the other hand, “Editha” is a short story about a young lady, Editha, who compels her boyfriend to fight as a soldier in the Spanish-American war that has been declared.

4 pages (1000 words)Essay

What is a compare-contrast essay?

Have you encountered an essay prompt that directs you to compare or contrast two elements (e.g., two characters in a story, two different political theories, two different religious doctrines or scientific explanations, two different historical events, and so forth)? This is called a compare-contrast essay, and it is a form you are likely to encounter often.

Comparison essays tend to focus on similarities, while contrast essays focus on differences. Realistically, either type of essay will usually address both similarities and differences.

3 keys to a compare-contrast essay

  1. Explain precisely what you are comparing, defining terms as necessary
  2. Narrow your focus; be specific about what you are and are not comparing or contrasting
  3. Keep the comparison or contrast alive throughout the essay

Example of a compare-contrast essay question

Here is a compare/contrast essay question from Excellence in Literature’s English 3, American Literature, Module 2, considering The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Miles Standish.

Essay prompt: Write a 750-word essay comparing and contrasting the courtship strategies of Irving’s characters, Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones, with Longfellow’s characters, Miles Standish and John Alden. Be sure to address the following issues:

  • What was each man’s strategy and how well did it work?
  • In what ways, if any, could the losing candidates have improved their chances for success?
  • How did the young ladies who were being courted communicate their preferences to the young man of their choice?
  • How did each courtship compare with an ideal courtship?
  • Optional: How did the courtships reflect the ideas and concerns of the Romantic era?
  • Be sure to use quotations from each work to support your viewpoint.

One way to approach the essay question

You could approach the multi-part question above with a graphic organizer or by charting the answers as in the table below. Just use a notebook, draw a line down the middle of a page and write in the answers to the questions below. The resulting outline can be used as a basis for the essay.

Ichabod and BromMiles and John
Courtship strategy: how did Ichabod try to show Katrina that he liked her? Give examples from the text.Courtship strategy: how did John try to show Priscilla  that he liked her? Give examples from the text.
Did it work? How do you know? Who actually won? Did it work? How do you know? Who actually won?
What made the winning man’s courtship successful? What could the losing suitor have done differently?What made the winning man’s courtship successful? What could the losing suitor have done differently?
How did Katrina show who she preferred? Were her suitors surprised?How did Priscilla show who she preferred? Were her suitors surprised?
What is an ideal courtship like? How was Ichabod’s or Brom’s courtship different from or similar to an ideal courtship (would you have wanted to be Ichabod or Brom or be courted by either of them)?What is an ideal courtship like? How was Miles or John’s courtship different from or similar to an ideal courtship (would you have wanted to be John or Miles or be courted by them)?

Establish a foundation with a thesis

A thesis statement takes a position on a debateable point. It can be a response to an essay prompt or simply a statement of a paper’s argument. In a compare-contrast essay, the thesis can either (1) state a preference for one of the two things being compared or (2) make an interpretative assertion about the differences or similarities between the two.

Example for the essay prompt above: Of the four courtship strategies employed in these two stories, the most effective ones seemed to focus on the young lady in question, and the least successful focused on the suitor himself.


Once the comparison and the basis of the argument have been defined, then you need to organize the sequence of paragraphs in the main body of the argument. In setting up the sequence of the paragraphs, you have some options, as follows:

  1. Keep the comparison alive in every paragraph, so that the argument discusses each half of the comparison in each paragraph.
  2. Alternate between the two subjects, point by point.
  3. State your entire argument for one side first, then consider the other side of the comparison.

Here is another sample outline of a compare contrast essay.

This article was adapted from the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers, which is available from Everyday Education, LLC (Janice Campbell’s site).


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