To analyze something means to break it down into smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and together. Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.
But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay:. Now all you have to do is choose one.
Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you. If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked.
Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions:. Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole.
Did you notice any patterns? Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book? Did you notice any contradictions or ironies? Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities. Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.
The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length? Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.
For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section. These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.
A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.
A good thesis will be:. Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance? Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely. The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay. One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature.
These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. You can either go subject by subject or point by point. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way or vice versa.
Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences. Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth. Sounds pretty easy, right? All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right?
In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect. In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind.
Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise? For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind. Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in have to say about the government of Oceania? What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government?
As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case. You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction. Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side?
Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case.
Your introduction sets up the entire essay. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure.
An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph. However long it is, your introduction needs to:. The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following:.
A good conclusion will:. The antagonist is usually another character but may also be a non-human force. A protagonist who is not admirable or who challenges notions of what should be considered admirable.
A person, animal, or any other thing with a personality that appears in a narrative. The moment of greatest intensity in a text or the major turning point in the plot. The central struggle that moves the plot forward. The principal character in a literary work or narrative. Language that brings to mind sense-impressions, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched.
A recurring idea, structure, contrast, or device that develops or informs the major themes of a work of literature. The person sometimes a character who tells a story; the voice assumed by the writer. The narrator and the author of the work of literature are not the same person. The arrangement of the events in a story, including the sequence in which they are told, the relative emphasis they are given, and the causal connections between events.
The perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes. The location of a narrative in time and space. Setting creates mood or atmosphere. A secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast or comparison to the main plot.
An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept. Unlike an emblem, a symbol may have different meanings in different contexts. The way the words in a piece of writing are put together to form lines, phrases, or clauses; the basic structure of a piece of writing. An author communicates voice through tone, diction, and syntax.
Heart of Darkness by: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3. Potter Harry Potter Female Characters. Instead of the author's context it is the reader's context that is examined from the feminist perspective […] It is not the intention of this paper to enter into an extensive discussion on the theoretical validity of these different viewpoints.
Suffice to say that it is the less extreme and more open -- ended and integrative form of feminist critique that is considered to be the most appropriate theoretical trajectory to this analysis and which best informs a comprehensive reading of the works of J.
Taking this viewpoint into consideration, the following is a brief overview of the central theoretical facets of an interpretation of the women characters in the novels, leading to an assessment of their importance in the novels as a whole.
On the one hand we have the fairly common critique that, "Many people have complained that there is a serious lack of quality feminist role…… [Read More]. Promethean myth holds a very strong hold upon the literature of the romantic era, a collected era of the rekindling of the ideas and ideals of classical antiquity.
Though within each evolving age there is the incorporation of propriety and modernity into the stories and ideal of the old. Though not alone, in their fascination with creation and even the promethean myth, as the forbearers of the Romantics had a grand fascination with the messages of the Greeks, to some degree influencing the relative importance of any attention it has been paid through literary and philosophical history.
The promethean myth has become such a common thread that the tradition continues to build in nearly every generation of writers. Within this fascination there are many evolving interpretations of the reality of both, what the myth is and what it means to man and God. Classical lessons spoke freely and openly to…… [Read More]. Chris's biblical statement "I am the light of the world. The semantics of the Bible are awesome.
Since it was written in ancient tongues, they can be translated in many ways, and so it is with this passage where John repeats Christ's words, "I am the light of the world.
A am" also has many contextual meanings in the Bible, and together, these words affirm Christ as a deity and the Son of God. Thus, Christ not only affirms his own place and purpose on Earth,…… [Read More]. Aria From La Boheme. La Boheme Giaccomo Puccini's opera La Boheme is a mature work in the verismo mode in which the early aria "Che gelida manina" creates a dramatic situation that colors all that follows even as fragments from the aria appear again and again, tying together the lives of the common people portrayed in the opera.
Thomas Glasow writes, "In verismo scores, such motivic recall is common, putting greater emphasis on the dramatic effect of certain key situations" Glasow These fragments imitate the idea of the leitmotiv from Wagner, a theme that carries thematic weight and that reappears in different places in the opera to extend the deeper meaning of the action.
The poem itself has the simplicity of conversation, conveying the situation as Rodolfo holds Mimi's hand and reacts to her plight in a real and direct manner. One critic cites the lyrical elements in the poem and…… [Read More].
Edward Feels Trapped Because He. At first, he wanted recognition, but later he shuns this and turns his thoughts to the fact that he is doing what he set out to do, and doing it better than anyone else. In the end, right before he dies, he imparts information that changes the whole nature of the story, and when this happens one is left to wonder if all of the talk earlier about wanting recognition and appreciation was simply the disguise that the hunger artist had to shield himself from what his actually concerns and problems were.
There are three different ways that "The Visit" can be examined. Roman Catholicism According to Many. Catholic Philosophy Unlike some other Christian faiths, Catholics can approach the concept of evolution from a scientific standpoint. For example, Catholics can believe in evolution as a scientific hypothesis which "seeks to determine the historical succession of the various species of plants and of animals on our earth However, this scientific theory does not concern itself with determining the origin of life, and leaves room for people to believe that life originated with a supreme being.
Therefore, the scientific theory of evolution is not incompatible with Catholicism, with regards to plants and non-human animal life. However, Catholics believe in the creation of man by God, and do not believe that man could have evolved from brute animals, because, unlike other animals, humans have souls. Catholicism, like many of the…… [Read More]. Scarlet Letter Hester Is the. Dimmesdale is often given a pass because he does eventually do the right thing. However, we should not forget that he was by modern terminology, a deadbeat dad.
He may have suffered but his suffering was nowhere near the suffering of Hester's. His appearance changes to reflect what Chillingworth is doing to him; he is becoming thinner and weaker with every passing week and this is just the way Chillingworth wants it. While we might feel sympathy for this man at some point, we should never lose sight of the fact that he could never own up to his sin.
Chillingworth is a man connected to darkness in The Scarlet Letter. From his first mention in the novel, he is a man up to no good and bent on revenge. We read he "strove to go deep into his patient's bosom, delving among his principles, prying into his recollections, and…… [Read More].
Green Michael Evangelism in the Early Church. Evangelism in the Early Church. Michael Green's book "Evangelism in the Early Church," is a well written and multifaceted study of Christian evangelism in the remarkable period between Apostle Paul and Origen. Green, who is conscious of God's role and wonderful intentions for bringing individuals to Christ, is reluctant in his book to assert negatively that the early church successfully completed its mission[footnoteRef: I agree with the author on that point and the fact that his book empowers the reader with a deep understanding and appreciation for the sophistication and energy that the early church contributed to the task of spreading the gospel of Christ.
Green largely cites from quite a number of sources in his book to back his arguments. In fact a minimum of 55 pages of endnotes accompany his work.
However, most of this information he derives from…… [Read More]. Patrick's Cathedral New York analyze experience understand design theories, concepts, historical precedents looked class.
Patrick's Cathedral in New York City: A historical and architectural overview Patrick's Cathedral is a 'working' cathedral in the U. Although it was not originally designed to accommodate such diverse uses but rather to tend to the needs of New York's immigrant Catholic…… [Read More].
Today, however, it is largely considered that a tragedy can be comic in parts, and need not necessarily result in an unhappy ending or death Thorndike, p. Thus, it is evident that types or genres of drama are intended to be categories that are not firm and that many plays may fit into a number of categories simultaneously.
Indeed, the preceding observation is certainly true of many of Shakespeare's plays: This paper compares the themes and tones of the three poems. This paper also lays emphasis on some events that took place in the poet's life and eventually drove him into writing such poetry.
The paper also reviews the conditions, which lead to the death of a great poet, Edgar Allan Poe. Even though he died a long time ago his poems and short stories are still read with a lot of interest. He describes his poems with the most resplendent of imagination and vocabulary. Poe, a great poet and a critic is famous as the first master of the short story form, especially tales of the mysterious and macabre Edgar Allan Poe,…… [Read More].
Frankenstein an Analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Frankenstein An Analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote in her introduction to the reprint of Frankenstein that "supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world" x. These words not only indicate the manner of her thought on the night she conceived the idea for her gothic novel, they also reflect, as she notes, the ideas discussed between her husband Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.
This paper will show how Mary Shelley uses form, theme, character, tone, language and metaphor to convey why Dr. Frankenstein, in his attempt to "recreate" creation, creates instead the basis of Shelley's cautionary…… [Read More].
Bible the Ten Commandments and. This is the Jealous God that Huston carries throughout his film as a representation of Godly power.
This view also raises many associated questions; such as the fact that God must also have been the originator of the snake. In this section and in the others that follow it seems that the central impetus in the film is in reality a critique and an indictment of the God of the Old Testament, as the lecture notes suggest. Section 2 In the film the Bible it is the humanism and the sensationalism of the biblical text or rather the reduction of the Biblical text to the human level in terms of motivation that characterizes Huston's Interpretation of the characters.
The central theme of jealousy is continued in the story of Cain and Abel. The murder of Abel by Cain is also a question of jealousy in that the one brother is…… [Read More].
Cupid Eros and Osiris Giza. However, even though their paintings, carvings and sculptures probably served a more functional purpose than otherwise, this does not mean that they didn't want to add aesthetic value to those things. In the case of this funerary sculpture, however, there is very little aesthetic value added to it, which makes one think that its purpose was purely functional and that it served a very specific purpose.
Eros, on the other hand, made out of terracotta was most likely created for a different usage than that of Osiris. Muratov states that terracotta figurines in Ancient Greece were used in houses as decorations or they sometimes served as "cult images in small house shrines; some of them functioned as charms to ward off evil.
James Joyce's the Dead and a Portrait. Joyce often utilizes society as a symbol of entrapment for his characters, and through moments of realization, they often experience an epiphany that allows them to escape their paralysis. Each man undergoes a transformation through a moment of realization that changes his life. Through setting, language, and point-of-view, Joyce explores different concepts of entrapment and how they affect his characters.
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen learns over the course of his life to escape, or fly toward his freedom. The significant moment for Stephen occurs late in the novel as he stands on the…… [Read More].
Panther by Reiner Maria Rilke and Travelling. In the case of Rilke's poem, the interaction is intentional: In the second poem, the interaction is unintentional: Even if so different, the animals are symbols for the same world: The Panther, expresses the image such an impressive creature as a panther evokes when seen behind bars.
The eyes of the panther draw the onlooker, leaving a lasting impression on him. One of the most powerful gazes in the animal world has lost its meaning for the one who sees it behind bars. It is as if the world,…… [Read More].
Life It is important to acquire goodness in order to understand the meaning and purpose of life. Distressed and hopeless people do not consider or think about the meaning of life. For them, the meaning of life becomes inappropriate when their existence is at stake and when their life is a mixture of worries and perplexities. On the other hand, people who are not desperate mull over the meaning of life. It becomes a problem for such people to reflect on the meaning of life who count on endurance, relief, safety measures, and pleasure.
For desperate people, life is to be lived one moment at a time. However, those who consider the meaning of life as important consider it every day and very well know that they should step back from the moment to see and observe life in a long-range context Baumeister 3. It is a fact that every…… [Read More]. Character in Gilgamesh Undertakes a Journey Which. This kind of journey is a quest, a quest for self. Gilgamesh is trying to learn who he is and to understand his place in the world, and this is the quest he begins, a quest that takes him far and that takes a lot of time to complete.
The physical journey he takes is only the visible part of the quest, while the main part is internal, a journey into his own soul to find himself. The time of the story is one in which human beings felt close to the gods and felt that the gods intervened in their lives. Gilgamesh is a ruler who is considered to be too devoted to war, and the gods hear the lament of the people and send their own created hero, Enkidu, to do…… [Read More].
Christian Doctrinal Statement Christianity Has. At the same time, Jesus offered human beings hope for salvation. It was not just through his miracles and his teachings that Jesus proved he was the true son of God. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus illustrated that mankind is in dire need of divine assistance in overcoming evil.
I look to Jesus as both role model and as symbol of hope, especially in times of darkness and despair. Jesus is all that is good in humanity: I have found that if I look to Jesus and take Him into my heart, I can overcome temptation and ill will and experience a taste of salvation.
Salvation involves as much grace as it does hard work. Salvation always entails faith and unwavering belief. I believe that some suffering is essential for all human beings and that if we are willing to endure our suffering and…… [Read More].
Cummings and Dylan Fathers and. Dylan Thomas In "Elegy," Dylan Thomas uses the connection of his father being blind, to talk about his father's death. This poem is about Thomas's father's death, but explains how Thomas felt about his father. His father was blind, and Thomas felt that he had to see things for his father. The following quotes explain this: It then starts talking about how Thomas saw through his father's eyes.
You see this in the…… [Read More]. Societal Expectations Play a Part in The. This is the real harm that limiting attitudes like racism and sexism have, as Godwin shows us: Not that other people try to limit what we can accomplish in our lives but that we ourselves also begin to believe that we are not good enough to be, as Dickens so eloquently summarized it, the heroes of our own lives.
The story tells about a woman who has become so used to following the societally determined and enforced rules of conduct for a wife and a mother that she is no longer capable of living in an atmosphere…… [Read More].
Young Goodman Brown This Extraordinary. As soon as that objective was achieved the whole theatrics was withdrawn. On the contrary it could well be nothing but his subconscious that expressed his own desire to see the world according to that perspective in which all the nice people embracing high standards of morality are all but faux.
But it could be safe to assume that the whole episode in the forest was the figment of his imagination and his brain concocted everything during the sleep. Towards the end of the story we see that this event had profound effect on his later life and he was never able to recover out of the mental trauma he faced there in the forest that night.
He spent the life of skeptic could never trust anyone in his life and because of his dysfunctional behavior he passed away unnoticed " For his dying hour was gloom" Hawthorne The writer…… [Read More]. Hell Granted Differences Exist Between. As noted, this is an interesting book. However, an introduction to the subject as well as concluding remarks by Crockett would have been helpful. The reader is left in limbo at the end without any concluding comments.
The introduction could have provided more information as a foundation of Christianity and the notion of hell and perhaps even how other religions view this. In addition to these four perspectives, there are other Christian views on hell and they could have been noted here. For example, universalism is the theological doctrine that all souls will ultimately be saved and that there are no torments of hell.
Other books recommended on the topic of hell include: Turner, Harcourt Brace Publishers, Universalism and the Doctrine of Hell, edited by…… [Read More]. Beowulf an Archetypal Approach to. In this context, Beowulf is indeed the preserver of order against the darkness and anarchy brought by the violent, evil forces: However, there are arguments in favor of a Christian interpretation of the text as well.
While the poem evidently blends Christian and pagan symbols, it can be said that the anonymous author may have intended a moral interpretation of a pagan legend. In this…… [Read More]. Culture Literary Imagination and Cultural. This earns him the grudging respect of his peers, who were unpleasantly impressed by what Mrs.
Fretag, his teacher, referred to not as deceitful, but "very creative. That's what they needed. It was going to be easy for me. Fretag, the teacher, had indeed attended the event, and confronted Henry about his deceit. Upon telling the truth about his absence, the narrator is nonetheless praised as "remarkable. In this, the author makes a comment about the society in which the narrator operates, and how to gain power in that society.
His creative work earns him the respect of and power…… [Read More]. Bates to come home, there is a battle between light and dark, heat and cold. These are powerfully suggestive symbols of good and bad. Entering the scene, "the kitchen was small and full of firelight; red coals piled glowing up the chimney mouth. All the life of the room seemed in the white, warm hearth and the steel fender reflecting the red fire" Lawrence. The fire is a good indicator of the anger that burned inside Elizabeth as she expected, once again, for her husband to be late.
Later in the scene however, the fire began to go out and become a dull red. Annie, Elizabeth's daughter, describes it as "beautiful," and "full of little caves -- and it feels so nice, and you can fair smell it" Lawrence.
The fire has become a source of warmth and pleasantness, it is beautiful and it is good. As the coals struggle…… [Read More]. Self Is One That Is. This is all he cares to know about Sonny because knowing anymore might be painful for him. It is also worth noting that the protagonist in this tale has gone on to become successful and live a somewhat respectable life, unlike his brother.
The protagonist does everything he can to escape the street life that held no future, no promise. He fled the pain and darkness of those streets and Sonny was just a painful reminder of his past. Donald Murray writes that there is "no escape from the darkness for Sonny and his family" Murray and the only way to cope is by finding another way to survive with the darkness.
Sonny's brother could not have chosen a more different path in life to take. He is a teacher and feels a certain amount of superiority over Sonny. Sonny was not in the least bit inclined to become…… [Read More]. Many works of science fiction were simply rough copies and following the altready-established patterns of prior authors. However, there has always been authors and creators that push the envelope and forge new questions and storylines that have not been realized or conceptualized before.
As it relates to science fiction, this started in earnest in the late 19th and early 20th century. Perhaps the most well-known name was that of Mary Shelley and her work Frankenstein as published in Many, but not all, people who are scholars…… [Read More]. Concept of God in Judaism and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity both have fairly common as well as totally contrasting religious concepts.
In spite of the apparent differences and divisions it has to be understood that both these religions are like different streams of water merging in the ocean of god. Christianity and Judaism are both religions of abrahamic origin. There are many similarities and differences between the two religions.
Since Christianity originated from Judaism, it lends to the thought that both the religions are very closely related. However, in spite of their common origin, they differ considerably in some of the important issues while at the same time exhibit resemblance in many aspects. Even the monotheistic belief, which both these religions stand for, is quantified by entirely different perception of the attributes of godhead.
Similarly, in the understanding of the messianic concept there is a significant contradiction giving us a hint of the vastly different nature of…… [Read More]. Political or Social Problem Racism has been a major social problem in American history going back to the colonial period of the 17th and 18th Centuries, and by no means only in the former slave states of the South. In fact, the condition of blacks in the United States has always been a central social, political and economic problem that resulted in the nation's most destructive war in and in its most important civil rights movement in the s and s.
As the moral and spiritual leader of the latter, Martin Luther King's place in American history is well-known: Karl Marx was merely a foreign observer of the U.
Civil War, but he understood the issues of slavery and racism very well and was an enthusiastic abolitionist and supporter of…… [Read More]. Perched Above Trouble During the. Some night, however, even though the bombing planes were gone, one would invade my dreams and I would wake up shaking, hiding my head beneath my gray flannel cover.
Two years after the war ended, something I did not plan for happened that left another hole in my heart, when for first time I felt the pain of losing a loved one. Muslims adhere to specific plans regarding their burial sites. Adherents of different faiths are buried in separate places, while non-Muslims are not buried alongside those of other faiths. My family, though not active in the Muslim religion, participated in the religious reituals following the death of a family member "Rituals of Death…," p.
When my grandfather died, the gravediggers dug him a separate grave for him to be buried separately. The practice of burying one person per grave has changed for some families since that…… [Read More].
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #2: The Effects of Imperialism in “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad. The central aim which the shipmates in Heart of Darkness is pursuing is the expansion of their home countries’ empires.
Who is the main character in Heart of Darkness, Marlow or Kurtz? Develop an argument showing how each one can be viewed as the main character. Outline I. Thesis Statement: Marlow and Kurtz each can be considered the main .
My thesis statement for this Literary Analysis Project is that "In Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses the European invasion of the Congo as a demonstration of man's natural will to control those who he believes are weaker and inferior to himself." I intend to show, through 3/5(9). If the book, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, were written in this day and age, would there be 2 educator answers I have to write a word comparitive essay on Madness in Heart of Darkness and Hamlet.
Heart of Darkness essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Best thesis: In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the dense, mysterious landscape of the largely unexplored interior of the African jungle represents the darkness in man’s heart, a darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, and all people struggle to overcome.