What are the main elements of a literary analysis

Unit 5 Portfolio Assignment: The Modern Era (1901–Present) Literary Analysis

For your portfolio assignment, you will develop a literary analysis based on an aspect of writings in the modern era.

Literary analysis is highly focused reflection on a work of literature. When you analyze literature, you try to determine the author’s purpose for writing it. You dig deeply into the work to find the underlying theme, and you analyze elements like the plot, characters, speaker or narrator, and setting. How do these elements interact with each other?

Other readers will probably interpret the literary work differently than you, so your job with literary analysis is to persuade your audience that your interpretation is correct.

Essential Questions

· What are the main elements of a literary analysis?

· How should the material gathered during prewriting be used in the drafting stage?


Draft a literary analysis incorporating direct quotations

Improve stylistic and rhetorical techniques in writing

Be sure to include direct quotations from the literary work you have selected.

Before you write your draft, take some time to review your outline and thesis statement. Did you delve deeply into the work and form your own opinion about the author’s purpose? Did you analyze how the elements of the text interact and support the author’s purpose? Make any changes you feel are necessary to strengthen your thesis and outline. Remember, you must support your arguments with details and direct quotations from the text.

As you begin to work on your draft, consider the following potential effects of literary criticism.

Literary analysis can improve a reader’s understanding of a text and sometimes alter the reader’s ideas about the issues and characters presented in the text. Literary analysis causes the reader to carefully consider many elements of a text in order to go beyond an initial response to characters and situations to discover the author’s theme and purpose.

As the reader gets to know the characters intimately by analyzing their speech (dialogue), their actions (plot), and their situation (setting), the reader often gains insight into the world and experience of the characters. Sometimes this is a world and way of life previously unfamiliar to the reader. Careful literary analysis of well-written text can give the reader a deeper understanding and broader perspective of the world and people in it.

Occasionally this new knowledge can lead to a change in attitudes and beliefs about certain people, situations, or events. Well-developed, complex characters seem like real people when held under the lens of analysis. Well-constructed dialogue and complex, believable conflicts also help to heighten the reality of a text, making it possible for the reader to apply the themes and lessons gleaned through analysis of a text to real-world experiences and beliefs.

Volcabulary Words – Must use 2-4 words in writing essay of 1000 words. See below:

anarchy absence of law or order

revelation an act of revealing or communicating divine truth

indignant -feeling anger over injustice

vexed irritated; harassed

begotten- sired; procreated

paltry -poor and inadequate

artifice- an artful stratagem; tri

brazening -facing with boldness careered rushed wildly

obstinately -determinedly; stubbornly

inconsiderable -unimportant

iridescent -displaying a rainbow-like array of colors

overwrought – excited to the point of agitation

remonstrated – pleaded in protest

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