Key Features of Literary Analyses… • ATTENTION TO PATTERNS OR THEMES --patterns & themes reveal meaning(s) of a text --apply theoretical criticism • A CLEAR INTERPRETATION --your analysis shows readers one way the text may be read and understood --your interpretation will only be plausible if supported by a clear, arguable thesis and adequate textual evidence
Key Features of Literary Analyses… • CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE LANGUAGE OF THE TEXT --note specific words, images, metaphors, allusions, etc. as well as contextual information --your primary sources are the words, phrases, and sentences that make up the text
Performing a CLOSE READING… • Examine the text with the assumption that every word is meaningful • “Explication of a Text” handout; Literary Criticism handout
Key Features of Literary Analyses… • AN ARGUABLE THESIS consider: Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel. vs. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore. vs. Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave "civilized" society and go back to nature.
Introduce the text you’re analyzing and state your thesis Sum up your interpretation in light of your analysis Document your sources (Works Cited page) Cite passages from the text, one by one, explaining how each one supports your thesis and your interpretation Organizing a Literary Analysis Organizing a Literary Analysis