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Provide a 3+ page critical Literary Analysis on one of the novels in the reading selection. You MUST provide primary sources from the text and secondary sources from relevant secondary sources. Follow MLA guidelines for all parenthetical citations (in-text citations) and Works Cited page. Due: December 02, 2021
The Purpose of Literary Analysis:
A literary analysis is not merely a summary of a literary work. Instead, it is an argument about the work that expresses your personal perspective, interpretation, judgment, or critical evaluation of the work.
This is accomplished by examining the literary devices, word choices, or writing structures within the work. The purpose of a literary analysis is to demonstrate how these elements convey meaning.
What Do the Critics Do?
ARGUE a position, slant, or lens using textual evidence. Analysis is argument. And it is far from “mere opinion.” It relies upon close reading and textual evidence, not fluffy meanderings or empty “I FEEL’s.”
Provide a working THESIS that encompasses that textual evidence:
Develop a unique, specific, debatable thesis:
“Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness addresses the exploitation of African natives and resources through the unconventional treatment of the light versus dark motif, as the light takes on ironic negative meanings and distinctions between the light and darkness become ambiguous.”
Avoid a non-debatable, predictable, or simplistic thesis:
“In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, there are many motifs, the most prevalent being light versus darkness.”
Identify a THEME (as it relates to the other elements of fiction) to assign meaning to the text
Remember that literary themes are in essence issues. Without these “issues,” the other elements of fiction – character, setting, imagery, motif, symbolism – don’t add up to anything.
Through the prevalence of a theme, a literary work will often imply or project a view about the issue. In other words, a “major theme” in a literary work usually consists of an issue and an implicit or explicit view about the issue. Your literary analysis is connecting the dots for the reader, answering the question, “But what does it all mean?”
What is Generally Considered Inappropriate to the Genre?
Avoid the use of the second person (the pronoun you) in making your point. Although we do this all the time when speaking, it makes for a sloppy sounding argument in writing. The first person (the pronoun I) is also taboo unless you are supporting your argument with personal experience: Do not say, “I will present the reasons why. . .” or “I feel* that the author is saying . . .”.
Also stay away from writing that focuses on the writing process (“This paper will attempt to explain the symbolism in Huckleberry Finn . . .” or “We were assigned to read this novel and I now choose to explore the theme of…”) instead of directly treating the topic at hand.
Avoid such contrivances as “In conclusion” and “Secondly.” A proper conclusion is an unambiguous closing and should sound like one even without a label. Similarly, the order of your argument should make sense and follow some kind of pattern; it should be clear why a particular support area is second or third, not merely that it is second or third.
The connection and relationship between support areas in your paper should be signaled by transition sentences that guide the reader from one point to the next. There are innumerable ways to do this. Don’t limit yourself to old standbys such as “Furthermore,” “Moreover,” “Next” and “In addition.”
A literary analysis (as well as a review of any book, film or play) is written in the present tense, as if you are the narrator.
* A special note on feel. Feel should be reserved for emotions, and cannot adequately express beliefs or even strong convictions. It is a conversational device we have developed to avoid disagreement in our culture. One cannot, after all, argue against a feeling. If you are expressing an opinion, “I think” or “I believe” may seem appropriate, but often you’ll find that when these are eliminated, your perspective becomes more authoritative, and less apologetic or unprofessional. “I feel” goes with sad, confident, sorry, rotten, pretty, good, pretty good and other abstractions, not with “. . . that a tax increase is unnecessary.” Avoid these QUALIFIER phrases such as: “I think,” “I feel,” “I believe,” or “In my opinion.”
Format: MLA
Original title, only incorporating underline, italics, or quotations if appropriate
12 pt Type and Times New Roman Font
One inch margins
Double-spaced throughout, including the items in the heading as well as between the heading and title and the title and body
Parenthetical (In-text) citation and Works Cited page