Overview: For this essay, you will write a literary analysis on one of the title
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For this essay, you will write a literary analysis on one of the titles listed later in this file. The purpose of this assignment is to get you to move beyond surface level meaning of a text and to analyze its deeper meaning. In your essay, you must analyze the title based upon an element of fiction listed below. Along with the copies of the short stories, there are other files to assist you with this essay. Please review all.
Titles and Element of Fiction
Plot: “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
Character: “Brownies” by ZZ Packer
Setting: “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
Point of View: “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce
Style, Tone, Irony: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Conner
Symbol and Metaphor: “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Choose one of the titles above and analyze it according to the element of fiction
Essay must be 3-4 pages in length, no less than 3 and no more than 4, please
The introduction to your literary analysis essay should try to capture your reader’s
interest. To bring immediate focus to your subject, you may want to use a quotation, a
provocative question, a brief anecdote, a startling statement, or a combination of these.
You may also want to include background information relevant to your thesis and
necessary for the reader to understand the position you are taking. In addition, you
need to include the title of the work of the short story and name of the author.
The Body of the Essay and the Importance of Topic Sentences
In this section you present the paragraphs that support your thesis statement. Good literary analysis essays contain an explanation of your ideas and evidence from the text (short story, poem, play) that supports those ideas. Textual evidence consists of summary,
paraphrase, specific details, and direct quotations Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence (usually the first sentence of the paragraph) which states one of the topics associated with your thesis, combined with some assertion about how the topic will support the central idea. The purpose of the topic sentence is twofold:
To relate the details of the paragraph to your thesis
To tie the details of the paragraph together.
The substance of each of your developmental paragraphs (the body of your essay)
will be the explanations, summaries, paraphrases, specific details, and direct quotations
you need to support and develop the more general statement you have made in your
Your literary analysis essay should have a concluding paragraph that gives your essay
a sense of completeness and lets your readers know that they have come to the end of
your paper. Your concluding paragraph might restate the thesis in different words,
summarize the main points you have made, or make a relevant comment about the
literary work you are analyzing, but from a different perspective. Do not introduce a
new topic in your conclusion.
The Title of Your Essay
It is essential that you give your essay a title that is descriptive of the approach you are
taking in your paper. Just as you did in your introductory paragraph, try to get the
reader’s attention. Using only the title of the literary work you are examining is
Textual Evidence and Using Quotations
For information on this requirement, please read pages 5 and 6 of How to Write A Literary Analysis Essay
Checklist of a Successful Essay:
Will properly introduce the story and author
Will provide a clear thesis that makes a claim about a story and uses evidence to support that claim (see Thesis Statements Literature and Humanities)
Will thoroughly analyze the story, not merely summarize it
Will properly integrate evidence from the story in MLA format
Make sure your final version is in MLA format (Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced) including in-text citations when referring to the reading and a works cited page.
When referring to the reading, remember that the author isn’t necessarily the one telling the story. If it is fiction, it probably has a narrator. Thus, you would want to refer to the “narrator” or “speaker” when referencing the reading..
Come up with your own title. The title of your essay should not be the title of the reading you are analyzing. The title should make it clear what your essay is about. Do not underline, bold, or italicize your title.
There is no need to say “I think” or “I believe” as you are writing this essay. Because you are the writer, we inherently know that these are your beliefs.
In the introduction, be sure to formally introduce the reading that you are analyzing it by mentioning the title and the author. Also, provide a brief summary of the story. For example: In the short story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, we read about a family who goes on a road trip to Florida where a series of events leads to their eventual demise.
The thesis should come at the end of the introduction. It should consist of a claim + evidence. For example: In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the grandmother tries to manipulate her son, her grandchildren, and the Misfit in order to get her way. Because of her manipulative ways, her entire family meets its end.
When writing about literature, one must always use present tense.
Be sure each body paragraph starts with claim and NOT summary.
Claim: The grandmother tries to manipulate her son, Bailey, in order to get her way.
Summary: In the beginning of the story, the grandmother and her son Bailey are sitting at the kitchen table. The grandmother is reading and newspaper and tells her son that they should not go to Florida because there is a misfit on the loose.
You always want to start with a claim and then go to the story for evidence. i.e. The grandmother tries to manipulate her son, Bailey, in order to get her way. One example that shows how the grandmother tries to manipulate her son is when she tells him that they shouldn’t go to Florida because there is a criminal on the loose. She tells him that it would be dangerous to take his children there. She’s trying to manipulate Bailey by making him feel like a bad parent for putting his children in harm’s way when the real reason she doesn’t want to go to Florida is because she wants to go East Tennessee instead. Another way the grandmother tries to manipulate her son is when she…. So on, and so forth.