Literary Analysis

Topics: Writing, Literary theory, Literature Pages: 10 (565 words) Published: July 27, 2015
Assignment 2
Literary Analysis Essay
In- Class Assignment
500+ words
27-28 July
15% Week 4

Literary Analysis Essay
• What is it?
– Analyzes literary text. How?
• By tackling any number of aspects of the content such
as the:

Thematic (economic, political, philosophical, sociological,
psychological, etc.)

• It concentrates and uses the text (not real life) as its base.

Literary Analysis Essay
• Why do we write them?
– To help cement our understanding of the text
through the creative process of writing.
– To help me, the teacher, understand what you
have gleaned from the text;
– And how you have reacted to the themes and the
details of the text.

Literary Analysis Essay
• How do we write them?
– There are many ways…aspects. This is the beuty of literature! and no single correct one as long as you prove your point and built your argument on evidence, implication, elaboration ,
analysis of the text .
– You will be given a question or proposition regarding a theme or aspect of the text.
– Some examples of questions include:
• How does Dickens’ portrayal of children differ in Great Expectations from the depiction in Oliver Twist?’
• ‘”Macbeth is a victim of circumstance.” Discuss.

Literary Analysis Essay
• How do we write them?
– When analysing a literary text, it is important to
grasp the main themes.
– So, it’s not only the text we focus on. We consider
many aspects of the text.
– The next question is what do we use to analyse
these aspects of the texts?
– Let’s recall the themes of Mice and Men

What makes a good essay?

• 1. Male relationship

2.Loneliness and isolation
• 3.Power and weakness
• 4.The impossibility of the American dream
5.Social barriers and prejudice
6.Freedom and confinement
7. Gender roles- female characters

Literary Analysis Essay
• What do we use to analyze texts?
• We use analytical and theoretical tools.

Feminist Perspective
Sociological Perspective
Psychological Perspective
Religious Perspective
Economic Perspective
Political Perspective
Cultural Studies
Moral/Ethical Perspective

• It’s important to know which tools to use when you start your analysis.

How Not to Write a Literary Essay
• The worst approach you can take is to summarize the text. Please do not do this!
• Please do not describe the characters.
• You may analyze them –why are they jealous, greedy, etc? What does it mean? But, please no general description.
• Do no give the chronology of the story –again this merely a summary.
• Include details about the writer only if it is relevant to the question. Otherwise keep the writer and his life out of the

• There isn’t one correct way to organize your essay.
However, you should include the following:

A hook to catch the readers’ attention
Each paragraph focusing on a single theme and/or function
Sentences flowing in a logical/meaningful manner
Your commentaries! Refer to the text and then make a
comment (what does it mean, symbolize, etc. ?)
– Conclusion with a restatement of your main points and a
possible question for the reader to think about.

Important Tips
• Answer the question and don’t digress from it.
• Quote from the text but only when needed – to make a point. Always add your commentary/analysis to any quotation.
• Mention issues raised by the text. Also, mention the
implications/consequences of the text.
– Has the text raised any awareness about certain issues?
– Have there been any controversies? Was there an effect on the real world?

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