Avoid second person “It makes you think. It leaves you with questions.” “Another theme is that you cannot protect everyone in this type of life.”
Avoid generic statements All statements must add something to your point. “In the literary universe, there are an incalculable number of stories that vary in length, style, genre, and most importantly, merit.”
Vary your beginnings The most important characteristic[s] of “The Shawl” that makes it interpretive is[are] the symbolism and the themes. The theme of the story is loss of innocence. The shawl is a symbol of innocence, and Stella represents society. The story shows how …
Avoid fluff and stuff [It] is an incredible story that was beautifully inked.
Names Never call an author by his first name. All literary analysis essays are formal. You would not call the author by his first name if you were talking about him to someone or if you met him. “Cynthia uses compression in her story, which makes it simpler to create symbolism.”
Comma Splices must be banished. There is no melodrama, the emotions are real, just as Gordimer wanted them to be.
Proofread “As more and more dire events happen to and hear about happening to those who live around them, the more safety equipment and systems the family brings in to their own property...” “…the hotel that the narrator is saying in…” “…the hotel where the narrator is staying…”
Begin each paragraph with a clear and specific statement. Another way to tell is all of the questions the story causes the reader to have.
Don’t just repeat what was said in class Offer new insight Add your own viewpoints Dig deeply into the point Why? Why? Why?
Introduce your characters before you discuss them There are several recognizable traits of an escapist story. A story in this category, such as “A Municipal Report,” sticks to one subject. There are no complex subplots to follow. The narrator meets Azalea and wants to help her. Major Caswell is a terrible person and is punished for it.
Don’t plop in quotations In this fairy tale there is a family who has a seemingly perfect life. “In a house, in a suburb, in a city, the were a man and his wife who loved each other very much and were living happily ever after……….” Make a portion of the quotation flow with your own sentence.
Don’t plop in quotations The men demonstrate their sense of superiority in their patronizing conversations about the women: “The sheriff threw up his hands. ‘They wonder whether she was going o quilt it or knot it?’ There was a laugh for the ways of women” (Glaspell 417).
If you state it, you must explain it. The indirectness of the description of the characters makes the story require thought and analysis, thus making it interpretive.
DON’T JUST STOP… The court attorney says there is nothing but kitchen things, giving “a little laugh for the insignificance of kitchen things” (Glaspell). Good inclusion, but this is the last sentence. It stops before it explains the significance of the point.
Add analysis – Finish your point After Mr. Henderson’s comment, the women decide to hide several items of possible evidence that could have been used in a trial against Minnie Foster. Such evidence includes the broken bird cage with the strangled bird, but also the odd ending for the beautiful quilt Minnie had been working on. These were the concluding lines of a paragraph.
DO EXPLAIN YOUR POINTS! Gordimer illustrates that actions done with the purpose of shielding someone or something from all the world’s evils are futile because danger and harm cannot be avoided because they are a part of life. Most people stop here. Read on… This theme is exemplified through the entire story by the stark contrast created by the use of seemingly perfect static characters and settings with the bitter reality that ignorance to the world’s evils still results in the inevitable evil.
…this story uses commonly held connotations that accompany the stock characters. For example, Gordimer uses the hackneyed storybook phrase “they lived happily ever after” three times in her bedtime story. Most people would stop here. Don’t stop. Tell me the importance. And here is why…… >>>>>>>>
…this story uses commonly held connotations that accompany the stock characters. For example, Gordimer uses the hackneyed storybook phrase “they lived happily ever after” three times in her bedtime story. The context in which Gordimer uses this phrase is also an indicator that this is not an escapist story. Gordimer uses this phrase to portray how humans have a tendency to give themselves a sense of false security in which they feel that nothing can hurt them so they will be able to live without any hardships.