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Goal: To show an understanding of the text and NOT simply re-tell or summarize the plot.

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Presentation on theme: "Goal: To show an understanding of the text and NOT simply re-tell or summarize the plot."— Presentation transcript:

1 Goal: To show an understanding of the text and NOT simply re-tell or summarize the plot.

2 Basic Literary Analysis Choose a way to analyze a text: – Ex: Theme Symbolism Character Analysis Regional Influence (Naturalism) etc

3 Basic Literary Analysis Use quotations from the text that illustrate your point and then explain them.

4 Format Introduction: – “Hook” to get the reader’s attention. – Title and author of work with brief info about the work. – Thesis which states the literary element you are analyzing and what you hope to prove in your paper.

5 Format Body Paragraphs: – Each paragraph should be focused on a certain idea connected to the thesis – Use “The Three I-ed Monster” to build each paragraph. (We’ll discuss this in a minute!)

6 Format Conclusion – Sum up your argument. – Do NOT introduce any new quotes or information. – Use a strong concluding statement

7 Writing a Strong Body Paragraph The Three I-ed Monster Identify Integrate Interpret

8 The Three I-ed Monster - Identify Identify which words from a text you want to use in your paper. Use the strongest portion of the text that fits your topic. Avoid using quotations of more than three sentence unless absolutely necessary. Use quotation marks around direct quotes Use parenthetical documentation to cite your source.

9 The Three I-ed Monster - Integrate Mix the words of your source in with your own words to introduce your quote. Do not allow your quotation to “float” (to be in a sentence all by itself without words of your own). NO: “The use of fire imagery shows that the main character is in a constant state of turmoil.” (Jones 24) YES: Fire is present throughout the book and it “shows that the character is in a constant state of turmoil” (Jones 24).

10 The Three I-ed Monster - Interpret Think about: How does analyzing literature in this way help us to understand the text, ourselves, and/or our wold in general? Explain: – how this quotation fits into the thesis of your paper – why it is important in understanding the text – What this quote tells us about the text and/or life

11 Thesis formula: _____'s (author) _____ (genre) ______ (title) is about _____ (one-word abstract idea) and reveals ______ (developing idea into thematic statement). In _author__’s __genre__ title, the ___symbol___ symbolizes/reveals/demonstrates the meaning of the symbol through 1, 2, and 3.

12 Example: In Ray Bradbury’s story There Will Come Soft Rains, the post-apocalyptic world and automated house demonstrate the dangers of technological advances in society. James Thurber’s short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about escaping reality and reveals how one man uses elaborate fantasies to combat the increasing inadequacy he feels from everyone in his real life. In James Thurber’s short story TSLoWM, the fantasies reveal one man’s inadequacies through his obsession with being the hero, always saving the day, and lack of power in his real life. In Ray Bradbury’s story TWCSR, the insignificance of humans is illustrated through the house’s ability to do everything, the death of the dog, and words of the poem.

13 Which of these are thesis statements ? a. Because readers sympathize with Sonny, the drug addict in the story, rather than with his brother, the narrator, "Sonny's Blues" presents a complex picture of drug use as a means of coping with sorrow and fear. (thesis) b. In "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin writes about two brothers attempting to repair their relationship. (almost a thesis – missing the how does he write about them?) c. Both of the characters in "Sonny's Blues" -- Sonny and the narrator -- change over the course of the story. (too vague – how do they change?) d. In "Sonny's Blues," Baldwin uses four female characters, three of whom are mothers and one of whom is an artist, to establish his theme that there's no way to avoid suffering in life. (thesis) e. By the end of "Sonny's Blues," the narrator is liberated from his warped personality; he finally begins to feel, which means he will be freed from his fear and sadness. (thesis) f. Though many people would view the narrator as too conservative and, for most of the story, not caring enough toward his brother, the narrator's failings are easy to understand. Often, the only way to gain a foothold in life is to ignore people whose lifestyles or behaviors threaten your stability. (too general and wordy – good ideas, but needs to be narrowed into thesis form) g. Sonny's friend, who approaches the narrator at the beginning of the story, tells the reader a great deal about the world in which the brothers live. (an example, not a thesis)

14 Well-organized paragraphs have four components that work together to produce a coherent, unified product. Think of each paragraph (and response) as a mini-essay endeavoring to prove one aspect of your thesis statement. That is, each paragraph should make a debatable claim (the topic sentence/point) provide proof for that claim (evidence/support/example) show how the evidence supports the claim (the analysis/explanation) contain effective transitions both within the paragraph and between paragraphs so that the reader can follow the logic of the argument (transitions).

15 Topic sentence – The topic sentence  paragraph thesis  entire paper – states the claim or argument (point) of that paragraph. – asserts a claim that will support one part of the paper's larger thesis. THESIS: By the end of "Sonny's Blues," the narrator is liberated from his warped personality; he finally begins to feel, which means he will be freed from his fear and sadness. This paper has a lot to prove. It must begin by proving that the narrator does indeed have a "warped" personality. TOPIC SENTENCE: Though the narrator may be sympathetic because his brother is addicted to heroin, he actually begins as a hardened, unfeeling man. Two scenes show his lack of compassion. Notice that, like a thesis, a topic sentence can be more than one sentence if necessary.

16 Support: Support, evidence, or example usually refers to quotations from or paraphrase of the literary work. Without support, your topic sentence will go unproven and your paragraph will fall flat. (If your topic sentence does not seem to require support, it probably isn't an effective topic sentence to begin with). Working with the topic sentence before, we might use the following two pieces of evidence: – 1. The way the narrator treats and thinks about Sonny's friend (pp ). – 2. The narrator's flashback to his encounter with Sonny in the Greenwich Village (p. 62). These examples are from early in the story because the topic sentence says “he begins.” They illustrate the way the narrator is at the beginning.

17 Analysis: tell your reader how you want him or her to understand the quotation you have provided as support. can't necessarily assume that your reader will draw the same conclusions you have drawn from the evidence. For example: opposite: the narrator's treatment of Sonny's friend is kind, because he gives the friend a cigarette and some money. Blue sentences are primarily analytical/Red ones convey the evidence (cite example) The narrator shows how cruel and unfeeling he is when he meets Sonny's friend on the street. Adopting a sarcastic tone, the narrator questions the friend's motives when he asks, "You come all the way down here to just tell me about Sonny?" This tone demonstrates that the narrator doubts the friend truly cares for Sonny. The narrator also swears at the friend, saying, "you're pretty goddamn smart, I bet," and offers him no sympathy for his "sad story," declaring that he wishes the friend had a pistol so he could kill himself (49). These reactions to the friend show the narrator's anger at the situation Sonny is in, but also convey a stark lack of compassion for those less fortunate than himself. In fact, the narrator's anger seems to fuel his lack of compassion. In the flashback scene, the narrator reveals he has been angry with Sonny before, for when the narrator visits Sonny in his Greenwich Village apartment, he tells Sonny that he "might just as well be dead as live the way he was living" (62). These scenes depict the narrator's warped personality; his anger and fear have made him cruel, almost sadistic, making him unfeeling and inhumane.

18 Transitions: Lets the reader know where the argument is going. "for example," "for instance," "therefore," "however," and "also" More complex transitions can be whole phrases or even sentences that show how the writer is moving from one idea to another. Re-read it now and notice how it incorporates each of the required components Though many readers may sympathize with the narrator because his brother is addicted to heroin, the narrator actually begins as a hardened, unfeeling man. Two scenes show his lack of compassion. The narrator first shows how cruel and unfeeling he is when he meets Sonny's friend on the street. Adopting a sarcastic tone, the narrator questions the friend's motives: "You come all the way down here to just tell me about Sonny?" We can see in this tone that the narrator doubts that the friend truly cares for Sonny. The narrator also swears at the friend, saying "you're pretty goddamn smart, I bet," and offers him no sympathy for his "sad story," declaring that he wishes the friend had a pistol so he could kill himself (49). These reactions to the friend show the narrator's anger at the situation Sonny is in, but they also convey a stark lack of compassion for those less fortunate than himself. In fact, the narrator's anger seems to fuel his lack of compassion. In the flashback scene, we find out that the narrator has been angry with Sonny before, for when the narrator visits Sonny in his Greenwich Village apartment, he tells Sonny that he "might just as well be dead as live the way he was living" (62). These scenes depict the narrator's warped personality; his anger and fear have made him cruel, almost sadistic in wishing for the deaths of his brother and his brother's friend. Not only is the narrator cruel and unfeeling toward those he views as hopeless deadbeats, but he lacks emotion in his dealings with his wife and mother. – Notice here how the transition and the topic sentence (in italics) have been woven together into a single sentence.


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