Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case. Your introduction sets up the entire essay. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure. An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph.
However long it is, your introduction needs to:. Your introduction should situate the reader and let him or her know what to expect. What book are you discussing? Which characters? What topic will you be addressing? Why is this topic important, and why is your particular position on the topic noteworthy? Literary essays make unexpected connections and reveal less-than-obvious truths.
Beware of the two killer words in literary analysis: interesting and important. You know what?
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It actually sounds pretty amateurish. Another typical mistake student writers make is extolling the work or author. Keep your introduction streamlined and to the point. The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following:. A good topic sentence not only alerts readers to what issue will be discussed in the following paragraph but also gives them a sense of what argument will be made about that issue.
Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants Essay
Body paragraphs are like bricks: each individual one needs to be strong and sturdy or the entire structure will collapse. Make sure you have really proven your point before moving on to the next one. Good literary essay writers know that each paragraph must be clearly and strongly linked to the material around it.
Think of each paragraph as a response to the one that precedes it. A good conclusion will:.
In your introduction, you made a case for why your topic and position are important. You should close your essay with the same sort of gesture. How will that knowledge help them better appreciate or understand the work overall? Your essay has most likely treated a very specific element of the work—a single character, a small set of images, or a particular passage. In your conclusion, try to show how this narrow discussion has wider implications for the work overall.
A conclusion should open up your highly specific, focused discussion, but it should do so without drawing a sweeping lesson about life or human nature. Themes Motifs Symbols. Writing help How to Write Literary Analysis. Introduction When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. Contents 1. Ask questions 2. Collect evidence 3. Construct a thesis 4. Develop and organize arguments 5.
Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: What struck you? What confused you? Did you notice any patterns? Did you notice any contradictions or ironies? Frankenstein and his monster alike? Elements of Story These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. Plot All of the events and actions of the work. Character The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work. The main character of a work is known as the protagonist.
Conflict The central tension in the work. Setting When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and economic conditions. Narrator The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own voice.
SparkNotes: Hills Like White Elephants: How to Write Literary Analysis
Themes The main ideas or messages of the work—usually abstract ideas about people, society, or life in general. A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another. Elements of Style These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.
Structure and organization How the parts of the work are assembled. Some novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip around in time. Some plays follow a traditional three-or five-act structure, while others are a series of loosely connected scenes. Some authors deliberately leave gaps in their works, leaving readers to puzzle out the missing information. Point of view The perspective from which a story is told.
In first-person point of view , the narrator involves him or herself in the story. In third-person point of view , the narrator does not participate in the story.
Omniscient narrators see and know all: they can witness any event in any time or place and are privy to the inner thoughts and feelings of all characters. Remember that the narrator and the author are not the same thing! Diction Word choice. Whether a character uses dry, clinical language or flowery prose with lots of exclamation points can tell you a lot about his or her attitude and personality.
Syntax Word order and sentence construction. Ernest Hemingway, for example, is known for writing in very short, straightforward sentences, while James Joyce characteristically wrote in long, incredibly complicated lines. Tone The mood or feeling of the text. Diction and syntax often contribute to the tone of a work. A novel written in short, clipped sentences that use small, simple words might feel brusque, cold, or matter-of-fact.
Imagery Language that appeals to the senses, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched.
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Figurative language Language that is not meant to be interpreted literally. A good thesis will be: Arguable.