Ms. Gokturk

Trends in Lit

 

A Formula for Writing Persuasive Literary Analysis

 

A basic outline for your literary analysis would be to introduce your thesis and then analyze each work separately. You might then compare all the works together before concluding.

 

The outline is a roadmap to your essay’s success. Please think your ideas through before writing and organize them in a clear and logical way. Here is a sample outline, BUT REMEMBER: this is a simplified outline. You may need to use more paragraphs for logic and readability:

 

I Introduction. Intro sentence(s): ___________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Interpretation/Thesis Statement + title(s) and author(s): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

a. Supporting point #1 to be discussed in essay: _________________________________

b. Supporting point #2 to be discussed in essay: _________________________________

c. Supporting point #3 to be discussed in essay: _________________________________

d. ETC. i.e., You might have a compare contrast section

 

II A #1 Topic of paragraph or section (focus on supporting point #1 from intro): ____________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

ETC. You might have more examples but no less than three

 

III B #2 Topic Sentence (focus on supporting point #2 from intro): ____________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

ETC. You might have more examples but no less than three

 

IV C #3 Topic Sentence (focus on supporting point #3 from intro): ____________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

ETC. You might have more examples but no less than three

 

IV D #4 Topic Sentence (focus on supporting point #4 from intro): This might be the compare contrast section, which would probably call for multiple paragraphs broken down by topics.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

Supporting point/Assertion: ________________________________________________

            TBE Example _______________________________________________________

Explain Example/Make connections for reader _____________________________________________________________

ETC. You might have more examples but no less than three

 

V Conclusion

(Summary Statement):

 

A PARAGRAPH is just like a SANDWICH. The same logic can apply to the entire essay!

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

TOPIC SENTENCE: Thesis about paragraph that is related to thesis of essay = TOP BUN

 

 

Assertion/statement to support

TBE: quote proof from text

Build a bridge to connect the assertion to the TBE

 

Assertion/statement to support

TBE: quote proof from text

Build a bridge to connect the assertion to the TBE

 

Assertion/statement to support

TBE: quote proof from text

Build a bridge to connect the assertion to the TBE

 

 

TRANSITION or CONCLUSION SENTENCE = END BUN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A literary analysis essay provides a strong thesis and then sets out to prove it with literary works. This analysis can be said to follow a pattern, which includes making a point, providing evidence, and then explaining how the evidence supports the point.  This is the basic formula anyone can follow is, although there may be variations:

 

Sentence 1: Topics sentence (thesis)

Sentence 2: Example 1: Your assertion

Sentence 3: TBE 1

Sentence 4: Explain how example supports your assertion

Sentence 5: Example 2: Your assertion

Sentence 6: TBE 2

Sentence 7: Explain how example supports your assertion

Sentence 8: Example 1: Your assertion

Sentence 9: TBE 2

Sentence 10: Explain how example supports your assertion

Sentence 11: Conclusion or transition

A STUDENT SAMPLE to illustrate the formula

This paragraph compared a song with The Catcher in the Rye. The paragraph has been numbered so you can recognize what the author is doing.

Guster’s "What You Wish For"

1.      Guster’s “What You Wish For” strongly echoes the theme of depression that appears throughout the novel.

2.      Holden’s growing sense of dread grows manic as he senses the futility of his existence in a world full of phonies that don’t understand him, yet he continues on his quest in trying to find someone to talk to who isn’t phony.

3.      “What You Wish For” begins, "Woke up today to everything gray. And all that I saw just kept going on and on.”

4.      The mood of the song is bleak and depressing, which very much relates to Holden’s depression (“Everything is gray”) as he does not see light and happiness around him.

5.      As the days go on, everything keeps getting more miserable and his depression mounts. Everything demoralizes him, even going to the movies, an activity that gives most people pleasure.

6.      He says, "I can understand somebody going to the movies because there’s nothing else to do, but when somebody really wants to go, and even fast so as to get there quicker, then it depresses hell out of me" (116).

7.      In other words, how others (and himself) rush to sit through and be lulled by the phoniness of Hollywood, depresses him.

8.      “What You Wish For” echoes not only Holden’s depressed mood, but also his poor coping skills.

9.      The next verse states, "Sweep all the pieces under the bed. Close all the curtains and cover my head."

10.  Holden’s avoidance to addressing his problems, he, just like the song, “sweeps all the pieces under the bed” by running away from school, home, and even himself. He also closes the “curtains and cover[s] [his] head by masking his pain in journeying and drinking. The "pieces" and the "curtains" are all of Holden’s problems.

11.  Holden, like Guster’s song, has a sad approach to life, often finding ways to not cope with his problems, which causes his depression to worsen.

USING LIT TERMS

Your essay should also incorporate LITERARY TERMS to demonstrate your understanding of the author’s purpose. The basics, and easiest to incorporate are: theme, setting, characterization, conflict, tone, mood, etc. See below for others that might work. I like to read each definition and then ask myself< “Hmmm. Does this apply to work A? Work B? Work C?

1. prose

language that is not in verse

2. diction

word choice

3. denotation

the dictionary definition of a word

4. connotation

 

the emotional associations or overtones of a word

5. syntax

sentence structure [loose, parallel, cumulative, periodic, inverted, interrupted]

6. coherence

cohesiveness, connectedness

7. a dialect

a regional variety of a language, with a distinctive accent, grammar, and lexicon

8. lexicon

vocabulary

9. colloquial

extremely casual or informal in expression

10. ambiguous

expressing more than 1 meaning

11. bland

lacking in color, liveliness, or individuality

12. euphony

pleasing sounds [adj "euphonious"="agreeable to the ear"]

13 cacophony

disagreeable sounds, discord

14. imagery

language that awakens the 5 senses [sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell]

15. tone

emotional attitudes of speaker/narrator/author toward the subject of a poem/story

16. figurative language

(figures of speech) language that can't be taken literally

17. a metaphor

f.o.s. (figure of speech): an implied comparison between unlike things

18. a simile

f.o.s.: an explicit or stated comparison between unlike things

19. personification

f.o.s. in which something not human is given human qualities

20. a paradox

f.o.s: statement that is self-contradictory yet true [e.g., that the disobedience of Adam and Eve was a "fortunate fall"]

21. an oxymoron

f.o.s: a briefly stated paradox, e.g., ~jumbo shrimp," "the Fortunate Fall"

22. hyperbole

f.o.s.: deliberate exaggeration or overstatement

23. understatement

f.o.s.: deliberately restrained or subdued language (opposite of hyperbole)

24-26. irony
(3 KINDS)

(l) VERBAL IRONY (f.o.s.): the speaker says the opposite of what she means;
(2) IRONY OF SITUATION (plot device): a character's choices bring about a result contrary to the one intended;
(3) DRAMATIC IRONY (characterizing device): A character's interpretation or awareness is flawed, and audience knows it (e.g., when a narrator or speaker is naive: Macbeth saying "damned [be] all those who trust" the witches)

27. sarcasm

bitter, cutting ridicule (sometimes ironic)

28. a symbol

a concrete object that has abstract meaning [a wedding ring is a symbol of love, commitment, and union]

29. an allegory

a story in which characters, events, and objects become symbols in a universal, mythic, or religious narrative (e.g., "the Fisher King" undertakes a "quest" to "the "Chapel Perilous" to recover the "Holy Grail").

30. an allusion

a passing reference to another piece of writing

31. an apostrophe

an exclamatory address to an imaginary or absent person.

32. a monologue

a speech or writing with one speaker [cf. "dialogue"]

33. a soliloquy

a monologue spoken alone on stage

34. a moral

a simple uplifting or warning lesson expressed in a literary work

35. a theme

a complex truth or mystery about life expressed in a literary work

36. the protagonist

the leading character

37. the antagonist

the character opposing the protagonist

38. point of view

perspective of the person telling the story (first-person narration, omniscient narrator, limited omniscience, etc.)

39. a tragedy

a literary work in which persons of greatness are destroyed, in part because of their greatness

40. a comedy

a literary work treating serious subjects in a light manner and ending happily

41. a satire

a work that ridicule vices and follies for the purpose of trying to reform people

42. a parody

a humorous imitation of a serious work

43. sentimental

excessively emotional, weepy, sappy

44. to scan

to find the meter of a poem

45. meter

a set rhythm, a repeated pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem

46. free verse

poetry without meter or rhyme

47. iambic pentameter

"5-foot meter," each foot "iambic," i.e., having 1 unstressed and 1 stressed syllable (the most common meter in English poetry: da Da / da DA / da DA / da DA / da DA)

48. blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter [Shakespeare's usual meter]

49. English sonnet

14-line iambic pentameter poem, 3 quatrains+couplet usu. rhyming abab/cdcd/efef/gg.

50-2. Italian sonnet

14-line iambic pentameter poem, 2 quatrains (an 8-line octave) + a 6-line sestet rhyming "abbaabba/cdecde"; "abbaabba/cdcdcd," etc.

53. alliteration

the repetition of the initial sounds of words

54. assonance

the repetition of vowel sounds

55. onomatopoeia

use of a word that sounds like the denoted noise (e.g., boom, clang, tweet)

56. fable

a simple narrative illustrating a truth about human nature or life in general

57. denouement

the final resolution or "untying" of a plot

58. hubris

excessive pride

59. catharsis

the purging of emotions in an audience

60. novel

a fictional prose narrative

61. plot

the structure of action as presented in fiction or drama

62. foil

63. anachronism

64. antithesis

 

 

a character whose traits serve to contrast and set off traits of another character

       something out of its normal time.

      involves a direct contrast of structurally parallel word groupings,            generally for the purpose of contrast. (e.g., sink or swim)

 

 

 

65. archetype   : The term is applied to an image, a descriptive detail, a plot pattern, or a character type that occurs frequently I literature, myth, religion, or folklore and is, therefore, believed to evoke profound emotion because it touches the unconscious memory and thus calls into play illogical but strong responses.

66. controlling image: An image or metaphor which runs throughout the work.

67. dialect: The form of a language spoken by people in a particular region or group. Pronunciation, vocabulary, and sentence structure are affected by dialect.

68. diction: Work choice. To discuss a writer's diction is to consider the vocabulary used, the appropriateness of the words, and the vividness of the language.

69. epiphany: A sudden understanding or realization which prior to this was not thought of or understood.

70. euphemism: A device where being indirect replaces directness to avoid unpleasantness.

extended metaphor: An extended metaphor differs from a regular metaphor in that several comparisons are being made.

71. flashback: A section of a literary work that interrupts the sequence of events to relate an event from an earlier time.

72. foreshadowing: The use in a literary work of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur.

73. hyperbole: A deliberate exaggeration or overstatement.

image: A word or phrase that appeals to one or more of the five senses-sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell.

74. imagery: The descriptive or figurative language used in literature to create word pictures for the reader.

75. inversion: A change in the normal word order.

76. juxtaposition: A poetic and rhetorical device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed next to one another.

77. metonymy: A figure of speech in which the name of one object is substituted for that of another closely associated with it.

78. monologue: A speech by one character in a play, story, or poem.

79. motif: A simple device that serves as a basis for an expanded narrative. The motif is a recurring feature in the word.

80. paradox: A statement that seems contradictory or absurd but that expresses the truth.

81. parallelism: The repetition of a grammatical structure.

82. personification: A type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics.

83. repetition: The use, more than once, of any element of language-a sound, a word, a phrase, a clause, or a sentence.

84. rhetorical shift: A change from one tone, attitude, etc. Look for key words like but, however, even though, although, yet, etc.

85. understatement: Saying less than is actually meant, generally in an ironic way.

86. catharsis: A moral and spiritual cleansing; an empathic identification with others (e.g., watching a protagonist overcome great odds to survive can create catharsis; confession purges the soul)

87. characterization: The act of creating and developing a character.

88. mood: The feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage.

89. suspense: a feeling of curiosity or uncertainty about the outcome of events in a literary work.

90. theme: A central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work. It is not a condensed summary, but rather a generalization about human beings or about life that the literary work communicates.

91. tone: The writer's attitude toward his or her audience and subject. Tone can often be described by a single adjective. Often referred to as attitude.

92. bildungsroman: a coming of age story usually for males.