Literary Analysis Essay

Attach this cover sheet to your essay.

Date Rough Draft Is Due†††††††††††††

Date Final Draft is Due†††††††††††††

 

††††††††††† About this assignment

††††††††††††††††††††††† This essay will be about your book.Don't summarize the plot.Instead, focus on some aspect of the fiction that casts light on the human condition (in a literary sense).Possible ways to approach your idea: a character's growth and development, the central conflict or dilemma and its importance in your view, or what you thought it meant (not "what happened?" but "what's the meaning of what happened?").†† Base your essay on one of the following:

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Show how a character or characters in the story casts light on some idea or ideal in either a positive way or a negative way.You might show how the character relates in some way to some aspect of our culture.How does the character fit in what we see as the American way of doing things?

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† Or show how the plot helps carry forth not only the story, but an idea.What meaning comes through in the plot, whether it is a meaning of substance or not.You might show how conflict is an important part of the plot:conflict between people, conflict between people and society or nature or some other element.Make sure you develop an idea from this.

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††††††††††††††††††††††† Or show how setting is an important aspect of the story and helps the reader see an idea evident in the story. Is the setting realistic or does the author make sure the reader thinks itís realistic and how does this help us understand an idea in the story?

 

Or explain how the author uses symbolism, metaphor or some other literary technique in a way that emphasizes an idea you see in the story or poem.

How to do this:

1.†††††††† Write an introduction in which you accomplish the following:

††††††††††††††††††††††† a.†††††††† Catch the interest of the audience.

††††††††††††††††††††††† b.†††††††† Identify your book and author and the main purpose of your essay.

††††††††††††††††††††††† c.†††††††† Let your reader know what your main idea is and the points that will support it.

2.†††††††† The body of the essay will argue your point using evidence from the novel.

††††††††††† 3.†††††††† Write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reminds your reader of your main idea, your thesis.Don't add new ideas.End with a sentence that comes full circle back to your thesis, but be careful to reassert your main ideas; don't merely repeat them.

Length: three to four pages.

Grading:

Focus, development and how well itís argued†††††

Mechanics, grammar, sentence structure

Style, language