Nov 17, 2020
An A to Z Guide to Writing a Perfect Literary Analysis Essay

You could find yourself reading for fun, getting interested in an entertaining story, exploring a mystery you never heard of or learning about a fascinating place you never knew. Perhaps you need motivation, direction or contemplation on your life while turning another page of your favorite reading. There are indeed many ways to read a book that one can adopt. However, when you read the literary work in an English language class, you are asked to read the text differently. Analyzing a piece of literature involves splitting it down into smaller parts and then analyzing how these elements work together and separately.

What is a Literary Analysis Essay?

A Literary Analysis Essay is a type of academic work that implies analyzing all the components of novels, films, poems and thinking about how they are used in the study. A literary analysis essay is a particular writing task which any student must complete as a part of the learning process of reading, interpreting and analyzing a literary work. A literary analysis essay allows you, as with any study, to separate the topic into sections. Examining multiple aspects of a piece of literature is not a target, but a method that lets you understand and enjoy the literary work in its entirety.  

For example, an examination of a poem outlines the various kinds of images in it or the relationship between the shape and contents of the work. You might investigate the relationship between a subplot and the main plot if you analyzed a game, or study the character defect of the tragic hero by tracing the discovery of it by the events of the game. Evaluation of a short story could involve describing a specific topic and demonstrating how the author suggests the theme from the point of view that the information comes from.      

     Literary Analysis Essay Definition

A literary analysis implies close study of a text, interpretation of its meanings, and exploration of why the author made certain choices. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing. It is not some rhetorical analysis of the book or a plot summary. It is instead a form of an argumentative essay in which elements such as grammar, context and structure of text have to be examined, as well as the way the speaker uses literary instruments to create results and express ideas.

This varies in this respect from other studies in which the conclusions are supposed to be interpreted impartially. In this type of work, you should describe the “study” as your understanding of the work based on the facts of the literature itself. This is your understanding of the book. Elements such as the subject, character and tone may also be described, as well as literature techniques      

What is the Purpose of a Literary Analysis Essay?

The primary goal of writing a literary analysis essay is to show that a literature work has been analyzed and assessed carefully from many angles. First of all, the concept of research must be known. It involves cutting stuff up and evaluating how the features relate to the overall picture.  Take the example of the famous book, Great Expectations, on which various reviews have been written. You will note that they are extremely personal if you search those ratings. They all talk of how the reader viewed the novel. In a literary review, you should express your own experiences, but they must be part of a more formal format. Above all, all the elements in the book must be evaluated. Therefore, you should primarily concentrate on thoughts and visualizations of scenes and characters while you are reading for enjoyment.

Hence, a literary analysis is directed at examining a certain subject or feature of a book or poetry. You cannot only share your thoughts and feelings about this reading, but also your academic approach. Think about it as follows: you are in a literary critic’s shoes. You will find that if you have ever read the reviews of mainstream magazines, it is objective,      not personal. Your article will be organized in a certain style, but the analytical process you saw from actual critics will be preserved. Hence, you need to reassure your reader that your study is a legitimate argument.           

  • Subject
  • Form
  • Style
  • Main theme
  • The relationship between form and content
  • The relationship between the main plot and the subplot
  • Characters’ strengths and flaws
  • Storyline strengths and flaws

Teachers will also ask you to reflect on one part of the book review. They will ask you, for instance, to examine the character’s qualities and defects. A study, in general, is much broader and more nuanced than an article, the form of which is similar to a scholarly text.

     How to Start a Literary Analysis Essay?

Like any other type of essay, this one starts with an analysis of the reading. These are the steps to be followed in the most concrete form:

  • Firstly, understand the purpose of a literary analysis. If you know the meaning of why you are doing this analysis, you will do it well. You will have a deeper understanding of the topic as well as the theme of the literature. 
  • Secondly, understand the format. You have to learn what type of argument you will put in it. Also, decide on the line of action.
  • Thirdly, plan your analysis in a systematic manner. Analyze the reading in a specific order, keeping the format intact with the specific process.
  • Fourthly, start writing. This is the part where you will get to see the key elements that you did not see earlier, and you will further analyze it. 

Sounds very easy, right? Yet, you will still need more detailed guidance to help yourself tackle this unique mission. A literary essay is not a critique of a novel: you are not asked whether or not you enjoyed a book or whether you would recommend it to another reader. When a literary essay task is given to you, the instructor will also send you a list of directions for writing. If you start with something you want to think about, you will have a lot better (not to mention more comfortable) time. You might as well feel a little panicked if you are asked to come up with a subject by yourself.  Take a deep breath and continue with these questions for yourself. Questions like, what hit you? Have you been thinking for a long time about a specific picture, line or scene? You could draw a fascinating essay from it if it engaged you. Why did you get confused? 

Literary Analysis Essay Outline

Your research would typically need an outline before you’ll start writing the text. Here is the list of points you can note regarding the form of literature in it:

  • Literature type / genre
  • Character analysis
  • Principal ideas review, plot.
  • Analysis of the topic;
  • Definition of the literary work’s symbolism;
  • Structure, prose type.
  • In some instances, it is required to demonstrate denotation or images if they are necessary to explain the core points.

As any other task, this kind of job involves some planning. However, you can make the process simpler and more fun if you have a clear idea.

Concentrate on the subject

Reading the work you need to critically review, make sure you appreciate the premise, the narrative and the characters of the author entirely. If you wish, read twice. This way, you can better grasp all the writer’s thoughts and  theories to write an excellent literary review. Try to answer the questions as you read:

  • What were the particular sections of the text?
  • Why did the author use these literary instruments?
  • Did you see the character evolving?

     Literary Analysis Essay Examples

In order to fully understand the idea of a Literary Analysis Essay, it is necessary to view some of the examples of essays with literay analysis of literary works. So the following are the links to the websites with examples of Literary Analysis Essay that will help you understand the writing style and structure of these essays:
 

     Useful Tips for Literary Analysis Essay

It is vital to capture your reader’s interest throughout the Essay. Following are some of the useful tips that can help formulate a perfect Literary Analysis Essay. Following these rules will help perfect your essay:

  • It is essential to capture your reader’s interest in the introduction. You will do that by reflecting on the critical topic you intend to make immediately. Analyze the part of the book or poem you can explain to the reader (your professor). Does it have a particular format, individual, or plot element? You can begin with a quote, which gives you an engaging point to dwell on.
  • You can also provide any context information related to the genre or the author of the work you examine. You will include your thesis statement at the end of the introduction, which  should be encapsulated in one phrase. Once the opening with a simple thesis point has been made, the body of the paper would not be that challenging for you to write. You can divide the body into more sections, but the form will look like an intimidating and bulky reading to the reader.
  • Collect all the facts, phrases, and proof in the study to draw a fair inference. In your assumptions, you must have ample evidence to be credible. You should be also making the notes while you are reading . You can also analyze the characters, which will allow you to understand their motives and feelings better.
  • A significant aspect of the writing phase is to detail the literary study. It would help if you understood what you’re about to proceed with and what you’re about to write. Be sure you spend time and do not miss much on all the author’s valuable thoughts. It would help if you proposed a strong thesis to explain the value of the points and how they are relevant to the book’s theories and ideas.
  • Of course, a clear and compelling conclusion is required for your literary analysis. This last paragraph wraps up the article. It would give the reader the feeling that they are eager or reluctant to consent. How do you figure that? In conclusion, do not add new points for debate. The key observations that you made should be resumed and replicated, but they should not be repeated.

     20 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  1.  Paradise Lost’s war between archangels and demons
  2.  George Orwell’s dystopian society and the idea of War and peace 
  3.  Faulkner’s A Fable’s War as human nature
  4.  The Grapes of Wrath ad Stei’nbeck’s search of inequality
  5.  Homer’s portrayal of war
  6.  Good vs Evil – the case of Mr. Hyde
  7.  The poetic language and symbols in William Wordsworth’s works
  8.  Tempest & the Power of natural forces depicted by William Shakespeare’s 
  9.  The Renaissance literature: The Views on death
  10.   Hamlet vs Romeo and Juliet: Tragedies in Shakespeare’s
  11.   Dorian Gray: Death and decay depicted by Oscar Wilde      
  12.   Love, life, and death in Huxley’s dystopian society
  13.   Ernest Hemingway’s depiction of Masculinity in The Garden of Eden      
  14.   Tennessee Williams’s works on masculinity and homosexuality      
  15.   A Streetcar Named Desire’s Gender stereotypes by Williams     
  16.   Depiction of aging by Charles Dickens     
  17.   Depiction of death: John Keats vs William Shakespeare     
  18.   Sexuality in William’s A Streetcar Named Desire
  19.   Medieval vs postmodern literature: The evolution of masculinity
  20.   Milton’s Paradise Lost: The image of Eve

Now that you know what a literary analysis essay is, you are ready to embark on a journey full of new writing experiences. Using the tips outlined in this guide, you will manage to create a compelling piece of writing that will definitely grant you a high mark, so go ahead and use them.