As general rules for this assignment, (1) your introductory paragraph should include a compelling thesis statement advancing an interpretive claim that is provable. Support your argument using textual evidence and details (use paraphrase rather than primitive, unnecessarily long quotes). (2) Be argumentative and analytic, rather than merely factual or purely descriptive thus producing a bland summary. In order to go beyond the obvious, you have to be a critical reader—another term is close reader. Your essay should not just be a summary or complete description of the plot. Your essay should present a claim that is precise, provable, and debatable—a claim that all readers will not automatically accept. (3) Your argument should be coherent following a logical order. Make no unsupported generalities. Interpret a short story “The Birthmark” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The primary goal of this assignment is to develop an argument of interpretation, help breaking down a fictional work into more manageable units using the basic vocabulary of literary analysis (rather than rhetoric). Focus on a single literary element or technique or two a storyteller or playwright employs in his work (such as tone, narration, character, settings, images, symbols, point of view, and so on). You will take the work apart to see how it works in terms of the element(s) of your choice. You will establish an interpretive argument as to why and how the element, technique, or device contributes to a literary representation of themes. For this short story “The Birthmark”, instead of the old, boring analysis on how it symbolizes the imperfections of man, man vs perfection or nature vs science… Focus on the psychoanalytical ideas of the three elements of the mind, dreams, and identity and how it is used in the story to connect, create and shape each character. Pay close attention to each character’s actions, speech, a particular value that they embodied, the way they approach a certain concept (e.g., love, beauty, etc.) (both in conscious and subconscious mind) which determine the psychology of a character which leads to the main conflict of the story. Take to heart this question as you analyze “How does one’s subconscious thoughts and desire shapes their identity.” Furthermore, how and to what extent is “The Birthmark” a story that doesn’t simply contain symbols but is about symbols. Note every possible symbol employed by the author that could leads to an insight psychology of a character and how these reflects their identity. Also, be mindful of the symbolic resonance of the birthmark, keep track of important descriptions of the mark itself noting its qualities (e.g., where it is located, what it looks like, the red and white colors, when it appears and fades, etc.) Are any of those details connected to each other in a pattern? And how the “birthmark” can be viewed as a symbol of identity.