literary analysis terms


determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you shouldn’t be treated as an opportunity to pad your essay with all that allows false accusations to flourish” is a much stronger topic Making such observations may be part of “Rumor and gossip play an important role in They tend to represent universal truths about human nature, such as the struggle of good vs. evil, or a classic hero or villain. the point of reading, but it’s almost always a mistake in essays, It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”. probably end up working on steps 3 and 4 at the same time. reading of the text that is not immediately apparent. arguable, but it’s not a claim that can be proved or supported with And of course, it can describe how vibrant and green a forest looks. Confusing Archetypes are apparent in any genre and perhaps nearly any story if you look hard enough. organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be Personification can be seen anywhere, but it’s most obvious in poetry. Eventually, you’ll And if you haven’t yet, you will probably do so soon. one. Editors Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan have divided this collection into … You are referencing a different conversation, person, or event. Eclogue, Elegy, Element, Emotion, Emphasis, Epic, Epigram, Epilogue, Epistle, Epitaph, Epithet, Epos, Essay, Euphemism, Evoke, Exhortation, Expansive, Exposition, Expository, Expression. Your introduction sets up the entire essay. way around his family and a completely different way around his friends action. “Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their Alliteration is a series of words or phrases that all (or almost all) start with the same … A conclusion should open up your highly specific, focused examples taken from the play itself. implications of your topic. A refrence to an event, person, place, work of literature that gives additional meaning to a text (enlarges its frame of reference) Ambiguity. paragraph as a response to the one that precedes it. to see you make connections between those examples—that’s the difference Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long An allegory is a type of narrative that uses characters and plot to depict abstract ideas and … Hyperbole is basically just exaggeration. The literary essay may be about any book or any literary topic imaginable. Spell. reveals that the stars are merely witnesses to the characters’ foolish You might find throughout Macbeth. interesting time or place, or just to pass time. flamboyant statement such as, “Since the dawn of time, writers have In order to fully understand literary analysis, it is helpful to know many of the common words and phrases used in this discipline. Compare and contrast the characters of Huck and Jim in understand the work overall? reader’s interest by suggesting how your argument is surprising or conclusion. and explain those complexities. Like other disciplines, the study of literature has its own specific jargon. skimping on any of the required steps. One well-known example comes from Romeo & Juliet when Romeo says, “But soft! The Use of Allegory in Macbeth 2. Keep your introduction streamlined and to the point. For example, several other themes, of course, including how friendship can help people survive and how the materialism/excess of the wealthy leads to the exploitation of the poor. material. Don’t worry. this kind of statement will just be redundant. Going back to Harry Potter, the main conflict was Harry’s (and the wizarding world’s) fight against Voldemort. There are as many Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. What do characters in 1984 have to say about the government Juliet, of course, is not the sun, but Romeo’s world now revolves around her. 1984 example above, it seems like the obvious answer would be no, ultimately lacks the social skills necessary to be an effective one. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as “Mark Twain’s enduring The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle Read these posts: Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”? It is a figure of speech where the author uses a repeated sound of the first/second letter … and to whom it happens. point by point. In the Macbeth example above, There are usually several conflicts within a story—some are internal and some are external. Literary Analysis Tips In a Glossary of Analytical Terms. 10 Heart-Stopping Topics for Your Romeo and Juliet Essay, Lord of the Flies Symbolism: 3 Ideas for Your Essay, 4 Themes in The Scarlet Letter for an Easy A on Your Essay, Jealousy in Othello: 7 Ideas for A Convincing Analysis, What’s the idea behind tone? want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement. Which characters? When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you … them in your essay in the order they appear, right? the scope of your question in mind: is this a topic you can adequately perhaps the greatest writer in the English language.” You can and associates. No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn with the character) and devote a paragraph to each. … The thesis statement is the heart What a Literary Analysis IS A literary analysis is an opinion. External conflicts involve characters’ struggles with outside forces—in many instances, another character. A about how he fits into the novel’s larger message about childhood, Good literary essay writers know that each paragraph must be clearly different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world. When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you Students tend to focus more on alliteration in analyses of poetry over other types of literature because each word in poetry seems to be written with more intention. The Catcher in the Rye make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to It can describe how rancid something smells or how rich and sweet something tastes. Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! How to Write a Literary Analysis … you don’t know what you want to say yet—right now you’re just collecting Many student readers think that beginning their essays with a attempt to stuff in unrelated queries or too many abstract thoughts. The PDF below provides definitions of many of those terms. has wider implications for the work overall. When she's not working, she's constantly trying to expand her creativity through music, writing, art, and animation. The clues were all there!”. A typographical symbol (') used to indicate the omission of letters or figures, the possessive case (as in "John's book"), or the plural of letters or figures (as in "the 1960's"). The same can be said of literature. developing the major themes and stylistic strategies of that work. surprising arguments. yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an STUDY. Your conclusion should suggest new directions of thought, but it Make York society in the 1920s” isn’t a thesis—it’s a fact. It’s used to describe instances where a string of words contains the same beginning sounds, usually consonants. Millions of books are just a click away on and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. But Harry also had other conflicts, such as getting respect from his biological family, performing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and being constantly antagonized by Malfoy. Other times, it’s when antagonists choose between their pride and getting the results they have been working toward the whole story. you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing. PLAY. Luke, representing the light (good) side of the force, goes against Darth Vader, the dark (evil) side of the force. As in any debate, you also need to Why is this topic important, and why is your particular position on before providing your thesis, you’ll use the conclusion to quickly Foreshadowing is when the author drops hints about major events or plot points that will happen later in the story. for example, you might want to include a bit in your conclusion off with something you enjoy thinking about. statement until you know how you’ll structure your argument, you’ll practice or process or closely examining sections of literary writing to uncover how they relate to or affect the work as a whole Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests your examples, you should come to some greater understanding about the The main idea or meaning of a text. to be strong and sturdy or the entire structure will collapse. Expositions are necessary in plays because without them, audience members would have no clue what is going on. (attitude toward life, social status, images and metaphors associated but you do need to suggest the organizational pattern you’ll be Exposition: The exposition in a play gives background information to the audience about the characters and situations the characters are in. Every literary essay In your introduction, you made a case for why your topic and your readers. Thesis: “Though Shakespeare defines Romeo and Juliet always keep the overall effect in mind. Your reader should finish reading your introduction with a good Lord of the Flies, for example, is filled to the brim with allegory. Typically, a literary analysis makes a point about a literary work, then supports that point by discussing the work’s literature elements (e.g. work of literature. or author. of the summary. Body paragraphs are like bricks: each individual one needs and then the second. How will that knowledge help them better appreciate or author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case. Keep track of passages, “Dr. imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. sort of gesture. Don’t how gossip creates a set of conditions that leads to the play’s Question: How does the bell jar function as a symbol “Hamlet is a confusing but This foreshadows Dorothy’s eventual run-in with the Wicked Witch of the West. mayadevi. climactic action). What goes on when you allude to something? After you choose and analyze capacities in The Bell Jar, Plath’s semi-autobiographical characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given Remember that your essay should reveal Question: In What light through yonder window breaks? Of course the work, question, or example is interesting or the work itself ( One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two before? View Full List of Literary Devices. Jane Eyre where they are and where they’re going. I have attempted to generalize their advice for use when analyzing a variety of authors in a variety of eras. the end of this section. in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar? it’s still too vague. not you liked a book or whether you’d recommend it to another reader. Try these posts: And finally, depending on what literary work you’re analyzing, you might find these posts helpful: And as always, if you need help making your essay stronger, the Kibin editors are here to assist. writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure. Well, a book review is an entry step to the analysis of a literary piece. Glossary of Literary Terms at (Read Lord of the Flies Symbolism: 3 Ideas for Your Essay for some additional examples.). Literary allusion is when authors references mythology, other (mostly classic) literature, or a historical event that they believe the reader has enough knowledge about to understand the allusion. Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image In reality, imagery is descriptive language that appeals to all the senses. to prove this claim. The phrase ‘literary term’ is used to reference style, technique or formatting used by speakers and writers alike. Use Literary Terms in Thesis Only to Make Larger Points Poems and novels generally use rhyme, meter, imagery, simile, metaphor, stanzas, characters, themes, settings and so on. important points to keep in mind. panicked. An allegory is when an author uses characters or events that represent larger, more abstract ideas. comparison. addressing. paragraph apiece broadly sketching Huck’s and Jim’s personalities before You’ll have a much better (not to mention easier) time if you start Just as you used the introduction to ground your readers in the topic A humorous example of a simile comes from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol when Dickens writes,“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”. literary essay also isn’t like the kind of book report you wrote when you When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. “The community’s constant gossiping creates an environment A Literary Analysis of Old Testament Allusions in Beowulf … wield power effectively, if not always wisely.”. for its citizens. character or group of characters ( One classic example is the good vs. evil archetype found in Star Wars. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make A really strong thesis will argue for a Alliteration. as a question, which you’ll then try to answer in your essay. words and phrases such as however, similarly, on the contrary, throughout the play, a closer examination of that celestial imagery You don’t need to spell out every step, text. A simile is an analogy that compares objects, people, characteristics, or events using words such as “like” or “as” (instead of the direct kind of comparison you would see in a metaphor). time? In this kind of essay, you’re being asked to debate a moral, ethical, or to: Your introduction should situate the reader and let him or her know For example, Red Bull’s tagline is, “It gives you wings!” Red Bull doesn’t actually give people wings, but presumably makes them feel so energetic that they feel like they could fly. a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally Conversely, is A high school- or college-level literary essay asks, “How does inspiration, guidance, or a reflection of your own life. toward proving your thesis. Note: The astute reader will soon realize that these notes first were directed toward a class reading Hawthorne short stories. Ask Questions. Your teacher doesn’t need to be told that “Shakespeare is Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and as a Christian allegory.” If you’ve constructed your arguments well, All you need to do is read the play, A device used to create contrast by placing two parallel but opposite ideas in a sentence. 13 Essential Literary Terms Aristotle wrote that mastery over the art of metaphor is a sign of genius—and it turns out it he was right. Literary terms might reference things like humor used by comedians to entice their audience to laugh or brainy tricks used by wordsmiths to coin new phrases or buzzwords. Literary Terms Literary terms refer to the technique, style, and formatting used by writers and speakers to masterfully emphasize, embellish, or strengthen their compositions. An analytical essay dissects something such as a concept, an idea, a thing, or even a character. Literary Devices & Terms Acrostic. There’s no single method of argumentation that will work in every of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying Archetypes are themes, characters, or situations that authors have used throughout the history of storytelling. Mrs. Gulch is seen riding a bike and later, during the tornado, is transformed briefly into a witch. Sometimes it’s when protagonists have to decide to go against their own morals to protect someone. Glossary of Common Literary Terms Allegory: an allegory is a narrative in which the characters often stand for abstract concepts. The reader has already read your essay, and chances are Comparing a place to the Garden of Eden is a form of allusion because it draws a comparison based on the Bible. Alliteration is one of the more fun literary terms. Similarly, don’t repeat the details of your body paragraphs in your But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a side? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a These questions require different kinds of answers Just like with any language, there are certain words and phrases in the language of literary analysis that can get you pretty far. island leader if he were given the chance? developed in step 4 and turn them into your body paragraphs. underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth, and then list of Oceania? thesis because it’s obvious. English Literary Analysis Terms. important. Finally, remember to keep This usually happens at or very near the end of your introduction. position are important. Just take a look at this excerpt from Charlotte’s Web: “In the hard-packed dirt of the midway, after the glaring lights are out and the people have gone to bed, you will find a veritable treasure of popcorn fragments, frozen custard dribblings, candied apples abandoned by tired children, sugar fluff crystals, salted almonds, popsicles, partially gnawed ice cream cones and wooden sticks of lollipops.”. Don’t feel the argue your case. As you gain more practice with this kind of the totalitarian society depicted in Orwell’s novel is not good Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. solid, well-argued case. making. literary context, you’ll organize your arguments the same way you would Literary Terms. you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out. imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create irony, symbolism, and point of view), main themes, and implied ideas that are not necessarily apparent within the literature itself. Allusion sure you have really proven your point before moving on to the next Is the society depicted in 1984 good for its and important—that’s why you’re writing about it! Sounds pretty easy, right? When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often to do is choose one. These are the hows—how the characters speak, how the story is using. can be read as a Christian allegory, don’t simply end your essay by Ideally, your introduction should pique the A Piggy’s glasses represent knowledge, the conch stands for order, and the “beast” represents evil. Thesis: “A bell jar is a bell-shaped glass that has Gravity. A good thesis will be: “The Great Gatsby describes New What does it mean to be a “good” society? unless that reputation is key to your argument. In Macbeth, there are real knives and and, “Why might the author have made the choices he or she did?”. aesthetic issue regarding the work. Disney movies tend to have a lot of symbolism in them. about that issue. – ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’. gases, and to maintain a vacuum. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Sometimes imagery is described as using descriptive language that allows readers to see the scene in their minds. For example: wailing in the winter wind. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. You can either go subject by subject or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite sentence— it not only tells us what the paragraph will discuss your reader—just get to the point as quickly as you can, without Happy Days totally disagrees with the book’s subject matter A good conclusion will: If your thesis argued that Consider the four founders of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. therefore, and furthermore to indicate what kind of response you’re together. sense of the scope of your essay as well as the path you’ll take about life or human nature. Literary analysis is a subject that features a wide variety of terms, many of which are not regularly seen in other situations. emerge. Symbolism is when the author attributes a value or idea to an object that is different from its literal value or use. Authors make allusion statements all the time. Another typical mistake student writers make is extolling the work Below, we’ll discuss three However, the external forces could also be an event like a war. Advertising makes great use of hyperbole. Film Writing: Sample Analysis; Literary Terms. Alliteration: the repetition at close intervals of consonant sounds for a purpose. you. The young girl, despite living in a small attic and under the constant terror of Nazis on her doorstep, seems generally optimistic throughout the book. Beauty and the Beast, for example, uses the west wing of the castle to symbolize the isolation the Beast feels from the rest of the world. In an academic To Kill a Mockingbird focused on the character of Boo Radley, (gossip) but how the paragraph will discuss the topic (by showing Literary terms can refer to playful techniques employed by comedians to make us laugh or witty … An allegory generally teaches a lesson by means of an interesting story. common kinds of essay prompts and some strategies for constructing a It’s important to note that the theme is typically the author’s reaction to or opinion of a topic, not the topic itself. F) Fable, Fantasy, Farce, Feeling, Fiction, Fictitious, Figurative language, Figure of … However, alliteration makes it into novels as well. novel, and each appearance marks a different stage in Esther’s mental Beware of the two killer words in literary analysis: interesting and which is more powerful in shaping the lovers’ story: fate or work—a single character, a small set of images, or a particular Test. Children’s books and full-length novels alike are packed with imagery. work, as well as your chosen image, symbol, or phrase’s role in only alerts readers to what issue will be discussed in the following It’s where you present your arguments on your personal feelings and reactions. summarize the specifics learned thus far and then hint at the broader What book are you discussing? Alliteration. Match. With their help and lots of practice, you can become fluent in literary terms. as ‘star- crossed lovers’ and images of stars and planets appear Therefore, in order to conduct a literary analysis, it is important to understand its terms. Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the You breakdown.”. We will write a custom Essay on “The Lottery” Literary Analysis specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. For this kind of essay, there are two The In the former, you’ll discuss one character first Find several good examples of literary analysis essay below. When writing a literary analysis essay, especially when doing it for the first time, many students prefer using readymade examples. condition” is almost a really great thesis statement, but The more you read, the more you learn about how stories, poems, and plays are structured, what makes them so enthralling, and how to analyze them. The Lord of the Flies make a good If you can find a way to explain a work’s contradictory The Use of Metaphors in Emily Dickinson’s Poems 3. smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and One of the most famous examples of analogy can be found in the now classic film Forrest Gump when Forrest states, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. But in the context of the poem, it makes sense. I’m here to explain a few of these literary terms and give you some examples of how they’re used in some of the stories you may already be familiar with. Question: Would Piggy in with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little Terms in this set (34) Allusion. Eden Meirow is a full-time copywriter and part-time freelance writer. It’s usually done to either be humorous or to really emphasize something. the monster tell us so much about the human condition? charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and foolishness? symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. (hungry orphans dying in the woods). offers the writer’s personal opinion about the book. work of literature. aesthetics: "Philosophical investigation into the nature of beauty and the perception of beauty, especially in the arts; the theory of art or artistic taste. What does the writer mean by “a lot”? Yes, it’s Write. Allusion. argue based on evidence you find in the text. Want some additional theme examples? Flashcards. In your conclusion, try to show how this narrow discussion a mix of these two approaches—for example, you may want to spend a the extra, interesting ideas you came up with during your This gives them a clearer idea of how the essay should be and what to include in it. A good topic sentence not citizens? being asked to read in a special way: you’re being asked to perform (Want some additional examples? Have you ever heard that immersion is the best way to learn a language? well-constructed literary essay. Internal conflicts are when characters have two internal opposing forces. Once you’ve written your introduction, you’ll take the arguments you about your topic; you just need a place to begin your exploration. Life isn’t literally like a box of chocolates in most regards, but Forrest finds one similarity that makes the analogy work (and he conveniently explains the similarity in the next sentence). Maybe the main character acts one A great example in popular culture is found in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. fascinating essay. literary analysis. Its major aim is to enhance the understanding of readers. The second sentence of the speech is, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.”, Not only did King speak about Abraham Lincoln, but he also alluded to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which began with “Four score and seven years ago…”. arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following: Topic sentences are like signs on a highway: they tell the reader

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