Preparing The Literary Analysis Essay
You will be writing a five paragraph essay that defends a thesis or argument.
You will be showing how the author has used three different literary devices/elements of fiction in order to create and support a central theme.
In order to succeed in this task, you must narrow down a theme statement.
Theme Statements vs. Concepts
Death is a concept, NOT a theme statement. Belief is a concept, not a theme statement. Be careful you don’t use a one or two word concept as a theme.
“People will go to incredibly lengths to try to defeat death,” is a specific theme statement. It talks about a tendency that humans have, and incorporates the idea of the American Dream. “Belief in God can help humans survive seemingly impossible conditions,” is a theme.
To prepare for your essay, I would like you to take the following concepts and try to extend them into theme statements. I have given you an example to study. Please take the concepts from column I and extend them into full theme statements in column II.
I. General Concept II. Possible Theme (statement or idea about the human condition) Possible support for this theme from the book (plot, conflict, quotes, symbols, dialogue)
-Try to provide three examples of each
-Try to quote each example from the text when possible
Belief in God can help humans survive the seemingly impossible
Characterization; a) Pi believes in not one, but three religions, showing just how extraordinary his power of belief is (“I just want to love God, p.76).b) Pi is able to believe in his new name strongly enough to train his classmates (“I repeated the stunt with every teacher,” p. 24 c) The only people Pi can’t stand are agnostics, those without belief.”To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
Conflict: a) Pi’s belief is tested during his time at sea, as his physical environment repeatedly turns hostile(character