Literary Analysis Essays

A literary analysis essay involves close exploration of a particular literary concept and analysis of its constituents with an aim of demonstrating how each of them influences the whole part. There are plenty of literary analysis essay topics to choose from. A student may be free to choose a topic on his/ her own or write on the topic assigned. Literary analysis assignments involve short stories, novels, and poems alike. Each literary work was written with a specific purpose, therefore, you need to distinguish the author’s aim of writing it and prove why you think so. Moreover, you will also want to prove the significance of the chosen literary work within the historical period during which it was written. 

To provide a high-quality essay, start with writing a literary analysis essay outline. It will greatly help you to structure your thought and ideas if you are wondering how to write an analysis. 

Another approach to writing a literary analysis is to do it from your own perspective. Of course, in such case, you will also need to provide supporting ideas to your arguments. 

All, in all, if you need to analyze some literary work, consider the following steps:

  • Identify the purpose of the literary work. First of all, ask yourself what made the author write this short story, novel or poem. What main idea is hidden behind the plot? What message did the author want to convey with it?
  • Try to analyze the plot, setting, characters, imagery, rhythm, etc. in terms of tools that were used by the author for a specific purpose. Identify that purpose.
  • Finally, ask yourself how the literary devices chosen by the author help readers understand the literary artwork.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

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Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus is a science fiction novel about the danger of man's intellect, as well as the dual nature of a human soul. Its author, legendary Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, represents in her literary piece the society of the early nineteenth century, especially focusing on a...

Broken Continuity: A Story of How Routine Becomes Precious

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From the very beginning, the story flows lazily. It makes the reader feel how Rip Van Winkle’s life is dragging, slowly and monotonously. Rip lives in a protracted, lingering routine. For him, days go by in a continuous sequence, and every day seems exactly the same as the previ...

Rhetoric and Demographic Leadership

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Pericles’ skill as an orator was definitely the key to his success as a leader. Pericles’ Funeral Oration stands as the great example of epideictic oratory, particularly the form, which is known to the Greeks as ‘epitaphios logos’. The speech was delivered in 430 B.C.E., after the fir...

Solaris by Stanisław Lem

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People will always search for something unusual and miraculous on the planet since there are a lot of things to be investigated. The main human interest consists in recognizing the world of dreams better than it is recognized by people. The eternal dilemma of belief and interpretation of dreams has ...

Thomas More’s Utopia

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Saint Thomas More wrote utopia in the Latin language in 1516. The utopia was later published in Louvain which is today’s Belgium (Jacob 57). Utopia is satirical work which criticizes the corruption prevailing among the European political leaders and the religious hypocrisy of the people. A catholi...

Literary Concepts in Flannery O’Connor Novels

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The novel by Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man Is Hard to find” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge”, deals with the aspect of disrespect and aggressions that implicate the moral behavior of persons in the society. Flannery O’Connor implicates on violence t...

Trifles by Susan Glaspell

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This is a one-act play that revolves around investigations into the murder of a farmer named John Wright. He was strangled while he slept and his wife Mrs. Minnie Wright is being held in custody as a suspect. The sheriff (Mr. Henry Peters) and the prosecutor (George Henderson) are leading the invest...

Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God is a story about a woman's self-discovery. "Zora Neale Hurston, a feminist writer, portrays a progressive attitude towards women. This is clearly demonstrated through the choice of her main character in the novel, Janie Crawford. Janie is portrayed has a beautiful black ...

The Death of Ivan Llyich

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The death this is the eventuality of all mankind. We all are familiar with it but it seems to escape our minds, even becoming obscure, basically because none of the living has ever experienced it. We can neither fathom its nature nor substantiate its facets and phases. With this fate comes man...

Poetry Analysis

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The poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost is an invented form of an irregular interweaving three rhyme pattern. It is a two line length poem forming nine lines with each line ending with "-ire, -ate or "ate" rhyme. The poem has got line containing either four or eight syllables in an iambic nature. Th...

The Shadow Lines

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The Shadow Lines is a powerful, captivating story told by an unseen narrator who relies on bits and pieces of his memory to piece the events together. The novel is divided into two parts; "Going away" and "coming home" and therefore portrays the image of a journey. Indeed t...

The Evening Sun

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The evening sun is the story of how life used to be in the southern state at the turn of the century. It is about the life of a black woman who is very attractive to both the black and the white race of Jefferson, Mississippi. It tells a story of how the attraction of a poor black woman become...

Tracks

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Female dominance in the story fleur by Louise Erdrich

"Tracks" is a novel explaining the fusion of religion and spirituality in defining a person's identity. It talks about the lives of two different women being intertwined by fate and at the end, they both fight...

Freedom of Expression

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Susan Brown Millers and Susan Jacoby who happen to be ladies have written essays by the names "Let's Put Pornography back in the Closet" and "A First Amendment Junkie" respectively. Both of these essays are clearly focusing on pornography. The writers try to explain wha...

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

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Alire's work when writing the book was interested in the describing the kind of frustrations that face people after realizing that something has gone wrong. The main character in the story is a young man by the name Zach. Zach found himself taking drugs while he was in high school. The dru...

The Catcher in the Rye

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The catcher in the Rye is a book that was written by renowned author J.D Salinger in 1951. The book became controversial yet highly popular with young adults mainly due to the rebellious protagonist Holden Caulfield who boldly mirrors sexuality and other vulgarities in the modern society. The ...

The Raven and Mending Wall

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Edgar Allen Poe. Robert Frost. These are two of the most widely acclaimed poets in American literature. Indeed, these two writers have made relevant contributions to poetry in America in spite of the differences in their themes and poetics - a fact apparent in the comparison of their works, su...

Heart of Darkness

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The story "Heart of Darkness" was written and published in England in 1898-1899. The author of this story Joseph Conrad was inspired by his journey through the Congo in 1890 and the experience that he had. He was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857, in Ukraine h...

The Short Stories

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Born in Illinois in 1899, Ernest Hemingway is one writer who experienced life from all sides; the good, the bad and the ugly. Apart from being a talented and well-experienced writer, he also had a "big heart". This was evident during the World War I when he voluntarily joined an ambu...

Brooklyn

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In the modern literature world, very few novelists can match the writing skills of Irish novelist Colm Tóibín. As a novelist, he has published some of the best-selling novels like "The Master" and "Love in a Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodóvar. It i...

The Prince

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One of the most widely-read books by renaissance thinkers is "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli's. He was a frontline politician before he retired and became a writer; majorly of the qualities that characterize state leader. Machiavelli was impatient with how state leader...

Into the Wild

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Into the wild, written in 1996 by John Krakauer, is a nonfiction book that revolves around the life of a lad, Chris McCandless in Alaska. The author uses the character, Chris, to drive in the theme of seeking self-actualization by remaining in seclusion. McCandless was a close minded person si...

The Lord of The Rings

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The Lord of Rings is a novel based on epic fantasy. It was written way back in the period between 1937 and 1949. Its setting is in a place known as middle earth and its major focus is the war that rages between good and bad. To bring out the theme, the writer adopts some characters some of whom on o...

Church Folk

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The Church remains an integral unifying institution aimed at instilling ethics and maintaining high standards of discipline, respect, and humility. In her book Church Folk, a publication of the Walk Worthy Press, Michele Andrea Bowen tells of a story of the life and times of youthful energetic...

Familial Conflicts in King Lear

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In King Lear, the main themes are clearly illustrated through the family setting. The play reveals King Lear's and Gloucester's dysfunctional families which are both characterized by conflicts and misunderstandings. In King Lear's royal family, the conflict reaches its peak when Ki...

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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From the text "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Stevenson demonstrates the social moral hypocrisy that prevails in the society. Stevenson has used the character of Jekyll to explain the moral aspect in the society. In the text, Stevenson portrays the nature of human beings h...

Frankenstein

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The novel Frankenstein was written back in the 17th century by one Mary Shelley. The novel is also commonly referred to as the Modern Prometheus and has a number of themes captured in it, among them being galvanism, which refers to occult culture, family relations and intimate relat...

The Veldt

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In this world, many people live with uncertainties in their daily life and just as it happens in real life situations, these issues are brought out in the two short stories "The Veldt", and in "Young Goodman Brown". In Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown struggles between pe...

Gothic Literary Works

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Among the many different genres of short stories, those that heighten the senses have captivated and stretched the imagination of all ages. One of the today's more recognizable short story authors, Edgar Allan Poe, is well-known for his use of Gothic mood to increase the mentality of his r...

Ramayana

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Ramayana is one of the oldest Sanskrit literature in India. It is also one of the two great Indian epics, the other is Mahabharata (Macdonell, 1900). Ramayana is a story united by themes of adventure, love, family and Hindu philosophy. The moral teachings that it poses can be applied in our wo...

Midsummer

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Time lapse in the play "Midsummer"

Theseus impatience

At the start of the play, there are only four days remaining to the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Both Theseus and Hippolyta are growing impatient as reve...

Oedipus the King

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1. Oedipus was enraged by the refusal of Teiresias to speak. He immediately interprets Teiresias's actions as treachery and he later labels him as a villain and at the same time, as a conspirator along with Creon. This reaction of Oedipus is his impulsiveness, which is one of his character...

Modernism

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Modernism is a term used to refer to a form of art that created between the years of 1860s to 1970s. Modernism is a concept of art that was adopted by artists to act as a way of expressing their experiences of the surrounding world and therefore modernism encourage...

Tuck Everlasting

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This is a short children's novel that is written to bring out the issues of immorality in the society. The writer ahs used humorous illustrations to discuss this issue. It is written by Natalie Babbitt. The writer was born in Dayton, Ohio, on July 28, 1932.The book discusses how in today&#...

A Worn Path

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The story a Worn Path by Eudora Welty is one which exposes a lot of symbolism. This is exposed through the main character Phoenix Jackson. The description of the main character is carried out in a very symbolic manner. This story is viewed to be viewed to reflect the struggle of the blacks to ...