Posted: February 23rd, 2016
Subject 1: Anne Bradstreet’s Poetry
Subject 2: Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” and other short stories
Subject 3: William Shakespeare’s “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun” and other poems
Select one of the authors and works from above. Read (re-read) the selected work(s), keeping a close watch for the particular literary element that interests you. You might choose to analyze the character and conflicts, literary devices, or theme and symbolism. As you read and note the presence of the particular element(s) in the work, you should begin to formulate mentally (and take notes on) your ideas on it. These ideas will later be turned into a working thesis or opinion about the work and the element(s).
The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to carefully examine and sometimes evaluate a work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature. As with any analysis, this requires you to break down the subject into its component parts. Examining the different elements of a piece of literature is not an end in itself but rather a process to help you better appreciate and understand the work of literature as a whole. For instance, an analysis of a poem might deal with the different types of images in a poem or with the relationship between the form and content of the work. If you were to analyze (discuss and explain). Analyzing a short story might include identifying a particular theme (like the difficulty of making the transition from adolescence to adulthood) and showing how the writer suggests that theme through the point of view from which the story is told; or you might also explain how the main character�s attitude toward women is revealed through is dialogue and/or actions.
You will want to be sure it includes your ideas about the work of literature (thesis sentence), textual evidence from the work supporting analytic ideas and thesis opinion, and research to gather and incorporate critical works of scholarly analysis that relate to or support your thesis opinion.
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