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.

From the Inside to the Outside

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The main goal of any literary work is to show the readers the reality they are not aware of. One of the most suitable literary forms to achieve this goal is an autobiographical story because it helps to tell a story of a person, describe his/her inner world and its reaction to the challenges and prob...

Reading Response

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“Jewish Sacred Music and Jewish Identity” provides an insight into the decline of the davening (prayer) phenomenon and the development of congregational singing. The discussion generally focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, putting into consideration that these two centuries are clo...

Homeless Mothers and Supportive Services

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Introduction

The area of human services can be defined as the one focused on the remediation and prevention of problems and meeting human needs using an interdisciplinary knowledge base. It promotes improved service delivery systems and is aimed at enhancing the overall quality of life. The sphere of human se...

Business Success and Organizational Similarity

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Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell reflected on complex information regarding the idea of similarities between organizations in their article. At the beginning, the authors pay attention to the role of bureaucracy in the development of an organization. In fact, they emphasize that bureaucratization is a result of competit...

The House on Mango Street

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The work The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, who was one of the first Chicana novelists, attracts the attention of the global community because it includes autobiographical details and tells the story of a girl living in a poor Puerto Rican urban area in Chicago. The House on Mango Street is a u...

The Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff

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The short story describes two brothers, Donald and Pete. On one hand, Pete is the elder brother and an American citizen of the middle class, having money from investments in real estate. On the other hand, Donald is the younger brother who lives alone and owes money to his brother. The short story begins when Donald is...

Funeral Blues

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Auden’s Funeral Blues is a captivating poem that can hardly leave anyone indifferent. Filled with sorrow and grief, the poem lines become a reflection of the deep feelings that cannot be expressed with the words. In fact, they do not have to make an impression that each person has something individual and pers...

The Idea of Self in Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

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Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" is one of the most popular and influential poems that explores the idea of the self. The poem bears the peculiarities of the American narrative of the nineteenth century. In the poem, Whitman treats it as a complex entity that embraces many different social, individual...

Unveiling Life’s Challenges Through ‘River in the Snow’

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I am a hobo now roving in South China. My days consist of fading images from the past. They produce a deafening sound of silence. My life is still wrapped in the majestic mountains of Yongzou. Despite their life-saving presence, I keep wondering what makes human existence consistent. To tell the truth, I currently have...

Evolution of China’s Travel Literature

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Chinese literature, which has a history of over 3,000 years, has proved to be paramount in the civilization of China. The use of written literature and Chinese characters has been very significant and has had an impact on the Chinese culture. The transmission of literary tradition has been a result of the act of collec...

Female Gender Roles in Literature

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William Shakespeare paid much attention to different issues connected with gender roles in many of his plays. This essay will focus on the analysis of female gender roles and stereotypes in Twelfth Night (1601-02) and The T...

The Art of Fielding

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The debut novel The Art of Fielding is the most popular work of American writer Chad Harbach. After reading the title of the novel, one may conclude that the story will focus on sport, especially baseball; however, these are only first misleading impressions. On the contrary, the novel has a classic theme, namel...

Poem Analysis

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Part I

  1. In the narrative poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson, the citizens who admire the main character’s arrival play the role of the speaker. The speaker dwells on the man, Richard Cory, who is "richer than a king" and, despite all...

Human Influence on Extinctions in ‘The Sixth Extinction’

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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is a non-fiction book written by Elizabeth Kolbert. The book highlights the view that humans have been at the center of all extinctions experienced around the globe. In the book, Kolbert chronicles previous extinctions of som...

Justice Themes in Alan Moore’s “Watchmen”

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The novel, Watchmen, by Alan Moore has been presented as a narrative of postmodern comic and tends to posit a dystopian globe whereby superheroes become part of people’s lives. In the novel, the hero’s devotion towards justice tends to override his devotion to law. The novel is also a clear revelation that s...

Tragicomedy in “The Cherry Orchard”

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The Cherry Orchard stands out clearly as a tragicomedy, as it contains some elements of humor mixed with tragedy. It leaves the audience laughing and crying at the same time. This essay seeks to explore the play The Cherry Orchard and provide concrete evidence supporting the play's genre as a tragicomedy....

Cultural Identity in “Native Speaker”

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Native Speaker by Chan-Rae Lee is a story narrated from the perspective of Henry Park, a Korean American belonging to the first generation. The protagonist has reached a sense when he reconsidered every significant moment of his existence. He realized the mental consistence of his parents and their life, his wor...

Hemingway’s Literary Techniques

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Ernest Hemingway was an American writer and journalist. He became famous due to his novels and short stories. One of those short stories is Hills like White Elephants. In this story, author did everything to make the reader concentrate on the main topic of the story – abortion. Therefore, he...

Everyday Use

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“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is a unique story, which represents the relationships between parents and two children that perceive the sense of life in a different way and obtain various human values. The plot of the story compels the reader to plunge into the world of the cruel reality based on...

Understanding Comics Analysis

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Despite the fact that there are only few resources that determine and evaluate the importance of comics from the point of view of the cross-disciplinary aspects, there is no doubt that comics is conquering all spheres of human life and activities, including art, science, and education. In other words, comics quickly pr...

The Last Hope to Survive

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy is an incredible novel that keeps the reader in tension  the last scene of the plot and compels everyone to plunge into a cruel and unjust world of reality and imagination based on constant human sufferings and intentions to survive. The main characters make considerable efforts to r...

Ideal Gender Roles in Fairy Tales

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Fairy-tales represent a complex fictional universe with its own concepts of the good and the bad and its own moral values. With children and adolescents being the target audience, tales aim at shaping certain viewpoints and embedding positive virtues. Due to this, the main characters are designed in a way to reflect th...

Edgar Allan Poe

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Introduction

The theme of darkness and sadness is widely present in most works written by Edgar Allan Poe. It is worth noting that his personal life had always influenced his works. For instance, the misfortunes that took away what he loved and valued most in his life contributed significantly to this theme o...

Impact of Migration on Families

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There is a wide choice of literature on the migration issues; however most of it concentrates on the origin, numbers, and economic success of the migrants. While there is plenty of information about migrants, their families and their histories remain unknown or insufficiently researched. Immigration and the Family: ...

Analysis of Guy de Maupassant’s ‘The Necklace

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Guy de Maupassant’s novella “The Necklace” sheds light on the indispensable role of people's general attitude to life in the daily routines. Apparently, the contextual evidence may confirm that sometimes people are reluctant to regard their lives as meaningful, being absorbed in the thoughts op...

Understanding Willa Cather Through “My Ántonia”

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It is a common knowledge that the best way to get acquainted with the author is to read as many his books as possible. Every creative person shares his or her feelings and beliefs with the outer world only by means of decoding them in the literary works. It is their own manner to communicate with the audience and make ...

Intercultural Communication

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The readings by Barna (1997) bring out the problems that occur in intercultural communication. LaRay Barna highlights the main stumbling blocks to intercultural communication, such  as “language”, “nonverbal signs and symbols”, “preconceptions and stereotypes”, “tendency to evaluate” and “high anxiet...

Gone with the Wind Film Analysis

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Among many great movies of Hollywood’s Golden Era, there is one that stands out. This movie is Gone with the Wind. It was released in 1939 and came to win ten Academy Awards becoming the first color movie to do so (Cutler, 2013). Even now, Gone with the Wind is regarded as one of the ...

Broken Continuity in Rip Van Winkle

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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 previous one. This is how...

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 first year of the Pelop...

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 lasted for a long ti...

Hellenistic Greece Influence on “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 catholic Humanist and his c...

Society and Morality in O’Connor’s Stories

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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 that prevails among different individuals and the a...

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 investigation. They go to ...

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 woman, the men notic...

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. The poem combines humo...

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 the story takes the reader on a journey over a ...

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 becomes her downfall and how ins...

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 for superiority. Th...

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 book revolves around young...

The Raven and Mending Wall

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Edgar Allan Poe and 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. This fact is apparent in the comparison of their works, such as Poe's "The R...

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 he however later changed his name to ...

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 leadership was run, he focused his attention on the ...

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 King Lear's daughters Regan and Goneril ...

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Moral Struggle

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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 how they struggle to ...

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 personal freedom and conventionality. He lives w...

Ramayana Epic Analysis

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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 world today, even if it is w...

Modernism Art Revolution

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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 encouraged artists to experiment...

Symbolism in 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 obtain f...
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