The Literary Analysis Essay
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The Literary Analysis Essay

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The Literary Analysis Essay




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Slide1

The Literary Analysis Essay

An introduction

Slide2

What is a literary analysis essay?

It is an essay that analyzes a novel, poem, play, short story, etc. and explains how and why the author uses specific literary elements to achieve his purpose (theme).

Some essays may focus strictly on characterization while others may list specific literary elements to be analyzed.

Slide3

What are the parts of a literary analysis essay?

For your essay, I am requiring the following:

An introduction:

with a brief plot summary of your book

(in your own words, please do not copy this from the internet. If you do, turnitin.com will pick it up and you’ll be flagged for

plagrarism

.)

A thesis statement that includes the two literary devices you will discuss and a thematic statement.

2 body paragraphs

:

Each paragraph will discuss a literary device

with ONE quote

showing that device and how they contribute to the theme.

A Conclusion:

that ties the paper together and restates the theme.

Slide4

Introduction: what it should look like…

Edith

Wharton’s, 

The Age of Innocence, 

tells the inside story of New

York’s high

society at the turn of the century. The main character, Newland Archer, is a privileged bachelor who enjoys his place among the city’s elite and revels in the

the

rituals and expectations that his social circle entails. However, all of that is challenged when he meets the alluring cousin of his

fianceé

Countess

Olenska

.

Olenska

and Archer fall in love, however, they can never be together because Archer is engaged and

Olenska

is still married to her estranged husband. Though both characters learn from one another, they are ultimately trapped because of the scandal and ruin their affair would cause their family.

Edith Wharton uses dynamic characters to reveal the theme that when people’s true desires are stifled by rigid societal expectations, the person, and ultimately the society, are doomed to suffer from discontent.

Slide5

Body Paragraphs: This specific essay will have 2 Body Paragraphs

In

the beginning of the novel, the character of Newland Archer is

contented in

his status amongst the elite of New York City’s upper-class. He is engaged to

be

married to May

Welland

who is a sweet and innocent girl who is his social equal. However, when he meets her cousin, Ellen

Olenska

, he becomes infatuated with her despite his being engaged. His love for Ellen causes him to not only question his upcoming marriage, but also the life he once loved. When he is visiting Ellen in her modest, but liberated home where she can fully be herself, he is suddenly filled with regret about his own life.  Wharton writes, "The young man felt that his fate was sealed: for the rest of his life he would go up every evening between the cast-iron railings of that greenish-yellow doorstep, and pass through a Pompeian vestibule into a hall with a wainscoting of varnished yellow wood. But beyond that his imagination could not travel" (Wharton 63). Here, Archer realizes for the first time that he will be fated to a mundane life that he no longer wants. His mindset is beginning to change.

.

Slide6

Next, your body paragraphs

You must find at least 2 quotes that reveal the specific literary element and theme you are discussing. Your goal is to try to embed your quotes.

Remember your quotes must always include citations at the end.

Also

, remember to put your quotes in context so that the reader can follow your essay.

In the beginning of the novel, the character of Newland Archer is contented in his status amongst the elite of New York City’s upper-class. He is engaged to be married to May

Welland

who is a sweet and innocent girl who is his social equal. However, when he meets her cousin, Ellen

Olenska

, he becomes infatuated with her despite his being engaged. His love for Ellen causes him to not only question his upcoming marriage, but also the life he once loved. When he is visiting Ellen in her modest, but liberated home where she can fully be herself, he is suddenly filled with regret about his own life.  Wharton writes, "The young man felt that his fate was sealed: for the rest of his life he would go up every evening between the cast-iron railings of that greenish-yellow doorstep, and pass through a Pompeian vestibule into a hall with a wainscoting of varnished yellow wood. But beyond that his imagination could not travel" (Wharton 63).

Slide7

Commentary

This is your thoughts, your analysis. They include interpretations of the quotes you are embedding in your paragraphs as well as how the specific literary element you are analyzing reveals the theme.

For example:

Here, Archer realizes for the first time that he will be fated to a mundane life that he no longer wants. His mindset is beginning to change.

Slide8

All together it should look like this… (Each paragraphs is two CAPE’s)

Transition/ Context:

Later

on in the novel, he fully realizes his love for Ellen and he vows to be with her. However, Ellen has also changed. Newland, who was advising her on how to free herself from her cheating husband, helps Ellen see the protection that her family can provide for her. Because of this, she decides not to divorce her husband to avoid a scandal for her family. This also means that she must give Newland up even though she loves him as well.

Evidece

: In

one of their rare moments alone, she says, “’it was you who made me understand that under the dullness there are things so fine and sensitive and delicate that even those I most cared for in my other life look cheap in comparison.” (106). She then explains that her new way of seeing the world means she can’t be with him, “so that others may be saved from misery.” (106).

Explanation:

Ellen

, who once didn’t care for society’s oppressive mandates, is now a part of its fabric and she must give live without Archer even if it makes her unhappy.

Slide9

Connecting device to meaning

Step III.

Connect Device to Meaning to Theme!

For each quote, you can explain

how

the device in the quote has significance and

how

that significance contributes to

Beah’s

message using the steps below.

C

ontext: Provide important plot details surrounding the quote you’re about to analyze.

A

ssertion: Assert what SPECIFIC literary device

Beah

uses in your text evidence.

P

roof: Include your embedded, cited text evidence—only the most important parts!

E

xplanation: Connect the dots! How does the literary device in the quote prove the theme?

CAPE Model

Slide10

Conclusion

Your conclusion restates your thesis and includes your final thoughts on why the author used specific literary elements to reveal the theme. Explain what the author wanted his readers to learn through the specific theme.

For example: Both

Ellen and Archer have been given, a “glimpse of a real life,” in each other. However, both must “go on with a sham one

”(107)

because they’re trapped within the bonds of their privileged society. And, while both characters feel, “it's beyond human enduring

,”(107)

they do what they must (107). Wharton solidifies these characters as symbols of how unyielding societal expectations can cause overwhelming discontent.