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. Like so many Hawthorne characters, he becomes a cold observer of life rather than a life-affirming participant. His sin is pride. As the story opens, he is innocent, young, and sheltered.
He knows only good. When he sees Faith in the forest, however, he abruptly converts to a belief that only evil exists. Either attitude is simpleminded. He never envisions a complex life that is a mix of good and evil and which in any case must be lived. In this sense, Hawthorne has written a criticism of society like that of The Scarlet Letter.
There is no indication of whether it was all a dream or all that Young Goodman Brown went through really happened that night, but that experience changed Young Goodman Brown for life and shaped his view and behavior towards others. What he experiences that night makes him change and see only dark and evil in all. And that is how he lived his life after leaving faith behind and becoming a bitter, dry and cynical man. Poor Young Goodman Brown!
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When he starts off his journey, Young Goodman Brown thinks highly of his church; he is a man of faith, a religious man who goes to church, the meeting house. Sign in to write a comment. Order by Oldest Newest. Become a Premium Member. More Editorial and Opinion Essays.
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Essays and criticism on Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - Critical Essays.
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne recounts the riveting dream of a young man from Salem. In the dream, Goodman Brown comes to a defi.
Sample Student Essay on Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" The reader must not look at "Young Goodman Brown" as just a suspenseful story but also see the many forms of symbolism the author uses. Hawthorne shows that a strong faith is the greatest asset of a man or woman. Free Young Goodman Brown Symbolism papers, essays, and research papers.
[tags: Young Goodman Brown] Better Essays words | ( pages) | Preview. The Dual Nature of Man in Young Goodman Brown - The Dual Nature of Man in "Young Goodman Brown" In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne tells the story of one man’s loss of faith in the human race. As Goodman Brown travels into the woods one night, he is sees the. The Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown essaysThe Symbolism in "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is a story of a man whose faiths and beliefs are tested by evil and temptation. Goodman Brown loses his faith in humanity when he discovers that ev.