2 Definition (Merriam-Webster) ”a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other”(Merriam-Webster)
3 More specifically… An analysis is not… Retelling the storyA review describing what you liked or disliked about a novelInstead, analyzing literature means…Offering your own understanding of the text you have read (sometimes referred to as a thesis statement)Looking at the different aspects of a novel (themes, theme development, characters) to see how they are related to each other and contribute to your understandingSupporting your understanding by using evidence (quotes)
4 Examples of starting points for a literary analysis text: ”In The Book Thief, Markus Zuzak shows us how powerful words and language can be and how words can be used for very different purposes””In Of Mice and Men, the author tries to depict problems in American society by critiquing its double social standards”
5 How to use quotes in literary analysis Using quotes is a vital part of analyzing literature. However, quotes also have to be properly incorporated into your analytic text.Topic sentence – In one sentence, describe why you have chosen to use this particular quote, what it means.Provide context – Briefly mention where in the novel your quote is taken fromCite passage – Always provide page numbers for your quotesAnalyze – Describe and discuss the importance of the passage in relation to your text as a whole
6 ThemesA theme is a central idea or concept in a story. Usually this idea or concept, the theme, can be put into one or a few words (All American: Glossary of Literary Terms,Two examples of familiar themes:Loneliness in Of Mice and Men (generally all characters are troubled by not having any real/true friends).The power of language in The Book Thief (the impact of words, learning to read and propaganda).
7 Theme development How themes are shown in the narrative structure The theme(s) in all literature is in more or less obvious ways linked to specific points in time in the narrative; concrete scenes and key events where the theme is manifested in a story. These points in time can be marked down on a plot line of a story.
8 CharactersA person who is responsible for the thoughts and actions within a story, poem, or other literature. Characters are extremely important because they are the medium through which a reader interacts with a piece of literature. Every character has his or her own personality, which a creative author uses to assist in forming the plot of a story or creating a mood. The different attitudes, mannerisms, and even appearances of characters can greatly influence the other major elements in a literary work, such as theme, setting, and tone. With this understanding of the character, a reader can become more aware of other aspects of literature, such as symbolism, giving the reader a more complete understanding of the work. The character is one of the most important tools available to the author.
9 Ways to describe characters in literature: ProtagonistAntagonistStatic or dynamic (round or flat)Character motivationCharacter traits
10 How to correctly cite a quote: Always remember to use your quote(s) as smoothly as possible. That is, make way for the quote by introducing or explaining the cited part in your text by using topic sentences. Examples:In the following quote you will easily see Sam’s mood: “I don’t like this, I’m scared”.“I hope she is still alive” is one of the things that Freaky says to herself, which points out that she suspects Ried may have hurt Krista (156).
11 Shorter quotes are normally incorporate into a sentence using a tag or signal phrase. Example: Rosenblum and Williamson argue that ". . ." (346).If the quote is longer than four (4) lines you have to use the long quote format. This is a long quote:“Every character has his or her own personality, which a creative author uses to assist in forming the plot of a story or creating a mood. The different attitudes, mannerisms, and even appearances of characters can greatly influence the other major elements in a literary work, such as theme, setting, and tone. With this understanding of the character, a reader can become more aware of other aspects of literature” (Reid, Freaky Green Eyes, 345).When you cite from a work of literature you would have the character’s name in the signal phrase, rather than the author of the book. Example:“Go to hell”, Francesca said (23).
12 Always end punctuation AFTER the page number. A quote may be shortened down, as long as the meaning of said quote is not lost. This is an example of how you do this:Ried said: “I hate you because /…/ and it is all your fault” (34).
13 Preparation workTry to formulate your understanding of the text in a sentence or twoThink of one character and one theme that can be used to convey that understandingIn addition, find at least three telling quotes that can be used as evidence to support the aboveRead through your sparknotes to find inspiration