” No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master.
As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.
” “Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ? ” “How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?
” Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the book for things that will help you answer the question.
These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.
When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement.
A literary essay also isn’t like the kind of book report you wrote when you were younger, where your teacher wanted you to summarize the book’s action.
A high school- or college-level literary essay asks, “How does this piece of literature actually work? ” and, “Why might the author have made the choices he or she did?
When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment.
You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time.