1) Begin by offering some context for the novel, in terms of its historical concerns, its place in the genre, its reception, or perhaps in Shirley Jackson’s career. (That is, begin thinking through which sort of GA you’d like to write…) State some specific, interesting themes or elements that you’d like to think and write about further.
2) Then, ask yourself at least two questions based on the context you’ve just described. Your questions might consider any combination of rhetorical and formal elements: message, purpose, form/genre conventions, social/historical context, rhetor and/or audience. Your questions don’t have to cover everything, but they should focus on HOW one element affects another, not simply what they are.
3) Next, describe your purpose in writing this Genre Analysis essay. What specific skills (research and source integration, close-reading primary texts, developing a strong thesis argument, etc.) and knowledge (cultural and historical background of the novel or concerns therein, conventions of plot and form common to the genre–or subgenre, if you’re interested in the female gothic or psychological horror, etc.) do you want/need to demonstrate in your GA? How will you go about strengthening and demonstrating these skills and knowledge in your writing? How do you want the topic and argument of your GA to contribute to larger classroom discussions of the American gothic?
Haunting of hill house: