Literary Analysis Essays

Literary Analysis Essays

A literary essay, unlike a book review, is written for academic purposes. Through practice and learning from experienced authors, you will be able to master the art of writing this essay. Before you start writing your essay, you will need to know how a literary analysis essay is organized.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

For you to have a smooth writing experience, select a topic from that captivates you from the list provided in class. This way you will be motivated to work on it. Whenever you are given the responsibility to come up with your own topic the following questions will help you to generate one.

  • Which scenes and themes caught your attention? If you can answer this question you will have an easy time writing your essay.
  • What did you notice about the things that were repeated? What behavior does the character often display? Understanding the importance and the use of repetition will help you build up the essay. In a literary analysis essay example of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” notice the behavior of the doctor that led him to make his creation.
  • Most literary works utilize the use of contradictions to demonstrate the behavior of characters. When you understand how this is used you will be ready to write your essay.

After answering the above questions you will be ready to get the information you need from the text. This will act as the evidence that you will use to reinforce your essay. Note the symbols, passages, and images used to describe the scenes you are analyzing. The step that follows after gathering the necessary information is the writing process. You can reinforce your knowledge on how to write a literary analysis essay, by reading literary works from great writers.

Learning about the outline of a literary analysis essay will help you not to confuse it with other literary writings. Similar to all other essays the layout follows the same rule. The major parts include the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion.

  1. The Introduction

This is the section where you describe your topic and handle the various questions and claims. Give all the necessary information so that the reader can understand the topic and the text being discussed. Explain why the topic is important by the use of interesting statements. At the end of this paragraph, include your thesis statement which can be proven from the text also include the element of surprise by including a statement that is not easy to notice. A sample literary analysis essay of ” Romeo and Juliet”, you can include the fact that the stars and the planets are not used to convey the aspect of symbolism rather, they are used as witnesses.

  1. The Body Paragraphs

These paragraphs come immediately after the introduction where the main points are described in detail. Start with a topic sentence that will inform the reader about the information included in the paragraph. Explain a single idea in each paragraph and emphasize it with facts from the text. Asking questions such as, what is the purpose of a literary analysis essay will help you to build the basis of your essay. Explain in detail the central idea and use examples from the text to emphasize your ideas. Questions like why something happens, what something means, and how a situation or occurrence affects the characters or the direction of the text will help you to come up with strong essay points. A sample literary analysis essay of The Great Gatsby, you can show why the Author decided to use Daisy as a main character, how her behavior shaped the direction of the text, how she relates to people in the society today, her weaknesses and strengths, and the lessons that can be applied from her and the text generally to society today. Remember you are analyzing the text from your personal view, so it is acceptable to include aspects that many people might not notice.

  1. The Conclusion

Summarize the ideas in your essay and give the general importance of the topic you were tackling. Your conclusion should demonstrate to the readers how they can use your essay to better understand the whole text. Write the thesis in your own words. Explain to the reader how you used evidence from the text to arrive at your conclusion.

A Literary Essay Example

Homer’s Odyssey

Telemachus

According to the Greek Mythology children cannot escape their heritage. Even Zeus, the king of Olympus is referred to as “son of Cronus” (79) To many people being the child of a hero brings honor and a sense of pride but this is not the case with Telamachus the son of Odysseus. He sees his lineage as a burden. He is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Who is elevated to the level of a god by Homer, however, Telamachus knows he is not capable of achieving this and he wishes he were ” the son of a happy man whom old age overtook in the midst of his possessions” (252-253)

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Odysseus who is portrayed as the hero of the story fought alongside other Greeks kings at Troy and is trying to escape from prison to rejoin with his family. He is married to Penelope and together they have a son named Telemachus. Athena who is a goddess comes to his rescue often although Poseidon the god of the sea hates him. Penelope spends her days in the palace waiting for her husband who has been gone for almost two decades. She is intelligent, loyal, steadfast, and flighty. Poseidon, the god of the sea, harbors a grudge against Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclopes Polyphemus. He promises to destroy Odysseus. He does everything to thwart his journey. Calypso is obsessed with Odysseus and keeps him at her island for almost seven years until Hermes is sent by Zeus to convince her to allow Odysseus to go home. Athena asks Telemachus if he is truly Odysseus’ son which he replies that although he is Odysseus’ son, he is nothing like his father. Homer describes him as “young”(248) and “heedful” (293) a boy in a man’s body. Although Ithaca is his birthright, Telemachus lack of a father figure makes him unable to bear such responsibility. Penelope says that Telemachus is “just a youngster still untrained for war or stiff debate” (920-921) His lack of experience is demonstrated earlier in the text because even when suitors come to his home he just looks on. He lacks his father’s fighting spirit and prefers “daydreaming among the suitor” (138) instead of acting against them. Although he is angered by their presence he does not speak because he fears “they’ll grind me down as well “(134) He wishes for his lost father to fall from the clouds to deal with the suitors himself than for him to chase them from the house.

Telemachus is a shadow of his father Odysseus who was a hero and a great conqueror. Unlike his father, Telemachus does not gain the respect and admiration or seen as a true figure of power. The suitors mock and ridicule him for his indecision and cowardice.

Despite encouragement and support from the elders, he does not start the journey to uncover the truth about his father. Later Athena appears to him and offers her trust and support; this is due to the fact that he is Odysseus’ son. She says “few sons are equal to their fathers, most fall” (309). These constant comparisons to this father lower his self-esteem, and he starts to doubt his own ability. He declares openly that he does not believe he is like his father “now we have to man like Odysseus in command” (63) Although he desires to be a great leader just like his father had been, he feels inadequate for the role. This sense of failure causes him to feel small as a man and refers to himself as a boy.

Athena is portrayed as the goddess of wisdom and the daughter of Zeus. She helps Telemachus and Odysseus many times in their endeavor by standing up to the council of the gods on Mt Olympus.

Although most people lack father figures in their lives encouraging and supporting them is a great way to build their self-esteem. Just like Telemachus was aided by Athena on his quest to find out more about his father, there are people in the society today willing to lend a hand. On the other hand, there are people like Poseidon who are out to cause chaos and destruction.

Conclusion

All literary works are challenging and confusing because they are similar yet different in many ways. Writing an effective literary analysis essay can be achieved by using the correct writing formula and following the instructions provided about the delivery of the essay. If you have any questions concerning this guide on how to write a literary analysis essay, feel free to contact us.

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