Crafting An Outstanding Literary Analysis Essay

For a successful literary analysis essay, you have to keep in mind that the authors make specific choices in their artworks for particular reasons. Point out the author’s choices and try to explain their significance. Also, blend the author’s point of view with yours. Express your own opinion as long as you have the original text to defend it. Put yourself in the author’s shoes. For example: why did he pick a certain name for a character. What does the character’s name inspire? Why did a certain event took place in a certain place? Blend your mind with the author’s mind if you want to make a good literary analysis essay.

  • Present the characters in your literary analysis essay. Characters fall in 5 categories :

    1. Protagonist - The character the story revolves around.

    2. Antagonist - A character that opposes the protagonist.

    3. Minor character - Often provides support to the protagonist.

    4. Static character - A character that remains the same.

    5. Dynamic character - A character that changes in some important way. Note that each character will have to be explained , what does his name mean ,what is his role in the literary work of art , which attribute does the character represent.

  • Next step would be presenting and explaining the imagery. The scene is also chosen by the author for a reason. Explain what does a certain place mean for the inspiration of the author. For example why does it have to be a dead tree near the river. Don’t forget to explain chromatics. Colors also have a meaning; for example blue for freedom or knowledge or yellow for fear or jealousy

  • Now with the presentation of the plot. Present the plot and chose the most important parts of it for explaining. Keep in mind the conflict in the novel, explain the suspense, rising actions and crisis.

  • Explain the setting of the novel or poem. The setting provides the historical and cultural context for characters. It often can symbolize the emotional state of a character. It is crucial to expose this in your literary analysis essay.

  • Explain symbolism. Certain events or creatures appear in the plot for a reason. For example the cross representing Christianity or owl representing wisdom. Think like the author and you will understand his art. Don’t forget that your literary analysis essay is as much a work of art as the literary opera that you are analyzing, so you must take this seriously.

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