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How to Write Literary Analysis

❶During his lifetime Fitzgerald was not recognized as a purely modernist author. A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another.

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The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length?

Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments. For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section. These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.

These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work. A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.

A good thesis will be:. Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance? Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely. The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay.

One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature. These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. You can either go subject by subject or point by point. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way or vice versa.

Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences. Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth. Sounds pretty easy, right? All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right?

In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect. In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten.

Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind. Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise? For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind. Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in have to say about the government of Oceania?

What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case.

You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction. Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side?

Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case. Your introduction sets up the entire essay. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure. An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph.

However long it is, your introduction needs to:. The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following:.

A good conclusion will:. The antagonist is usually another character but may also be a non-human force. A protagonist who is not admirable or who challenges notions of what should be considered admirable.

A person, animal, or any other thing with a personality that appears in a narrative. The moment of greatest intensity in a text or the major turning point in the plot. The central struggle that moves the plot forward. The principal character in a literary work or narrative. Language that brings to mind sense-impressions, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched. A recurring idea, structure, contrast, or device that develops or informs the major themes of a work of literature.

The person sometimes a character who tells a story; the voice assumed by the writer. The narrator and the author of the work of literature are not the same person. The arrangement of the events in a story, including the sequence in which they are told, the relative emphasis they are given, and the causal connections between events.

The perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes. The location of a narrative in time and space. Setting creates mood or atmosphere. A secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast or comparison to the main plot.

An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept. Unlike an emblem, a symbol may have different meanings in different contexts.

The way the words in a piece of writing are put together to form lines, phrases, or clauses; the basic structure of a piece of writing. An author communicates voice through tone, diction, and syntax.

Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: Frankenstein and his monster alike? Elements of Story These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.

All of the events and actions of the work. The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work. The main character of a work is known as the protagonist. The central tension in the work. When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and economic conditions. The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own voice.

The main ideas or messages of the work—usually abstract ideas about people, society, or life in general. A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another. Elements of Style These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.

How the parts of the work are assembled. Some novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip around in time. Some plays follow a traditional three-or five-act structure, while others are a series of loosely connected scenes.

No one—not even F. Scott Fitzgerald himself—has ever seen "Babylon Revisited" printed in the final form intended by its author.

The reason is astonishingly simple: William Dean Howells was not one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary heroes. Fitzgerald once included Howells along with such figures as Taft, McKinley, Bryan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller in a list of prominent men of the recent past in whom "a little boy could find little that was inspiring. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Jackson R. Bryer, The University of Wisconsin Press, , pp. A kind of change came in my fate, My keepers grew compassionate, I know not what had made them so.

They were inured to sights of woe. And so it was: Scott Fitzgerald, Loyola University Press, , pp. Phillips remarks that the quality of the story suffers with each successive adaptation.

The last time that a Fitzgerald short story was made into a full-length movie for theatrical release, rather than dramatized for television, was in when MGM produced the Scott Fitzgerald uses many references to time in his short story "Babylon Revisited. Hours and minutes are noted during the narrative present of the story.

In the opening, Charlie Wales tells the bartender that he is in Paris for "four or five days" to see his daughter. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories. It opens and closes appropriately in the Ritz bar in Paris, where Paul, the manager, and Charles Wales reflect on the changes wrought by the stock market crash of and the economic depression that followed.

But the two men are locked in two wholly discrete dimensions. Paul conceives the crash and the depression Fitzgerald and the 's. Fitzgerald's Craft of Short Fiction: The Collected Stories UMI Research Press, , p. Scott Fitzgerald The following entry presents criticism of Fitzgerald's short story "Babylon Revisited. Plot and Major Characters "Babylon Revisited" is set against the backdrop of expatriate Europe during the s and recounts the story of Charlie Wales, a onetime wealthy playboy of s Paris whose excesses contributed to the death of his wife, Helen, and led to his stay in a sanitarium for alcoholism.

Joan Turner, for example, has asserted that one of the story's themes is that "the past cannot be escaped. Gervais viewed the story as a lament for the past and its pleasures, as well as regret for mistakes made. Numerous critics have focused on guilt in the story: Harrison and Seymour L. Gross, for example, have debated whether Charlie genuinely wants to change his ways or is still attracted to his former life. Finally, while Rose Adrienne Gallo considered guilt and retribution as significant concerns in the story, she also described the pernicious influence of money as an important theme—both in its ability to waste lives, as it has with Charlie, and to foster envy and resentment, as it has in Marion Peters.

Critical Reception "Babylon Revisited" has been generally well-received since its publication and is now considered a masterpiece. The Short Story The last time that a Fitzgerald short story was made into a full-length movie for theatrical release, rather than dramatized for television, was in when MGM produced the Illustrates the inconsistencies in Charlie's first taxi ride.

Uses the symbolism of Fitzgerald's title "Babylon Revisited" to reexamine the s.


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A Character Analysis of Charlie in Fitzgerald's Babylon Revisited - A Character Analysis of Charlie in Fitzgerald's Babylon Revisited In considering Charlie Wales plight in Fitzgerald's "Babylon Revisited," I believe Charlie is a victim of his own success.

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Babylon Revisited is an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, penned in Paris. It was then published in The Saturday Evening Post in

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Sep 06,  · This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue. A Character Analysis of Charlie in Fitzgerald's Babylon Revisited Essay - A Character Analysis of Charlie in Fitzgerald's Babylon Revisited In considering Charlie Wales plight in Fitzgerald's "Babylon Revisited," I believe Charlie is a victim of his own success.