Writing a Literary Essay

What Is a Literary Essay?

A literary analysis essay is an academic assignment that examines and evaluates a work of literature or a given aspect of a specific literary piece. It tells about the big idea or theme of a text you’ve read.

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You are not supposed to write about what the text is about, but to offer a personal response, a piece of literary criticism, a response to an essay question.

In the most basic form, these are the steps you should follow:

  • Understand the purpose of a literary analysis.
  • Plan
  • Write (make sure you answer the essay question)
  • Edit

What Is the Purpose of a Literary Analysis Essay?

The main purpose of a literary analysis essay is to prove that you’ve carefully examined and evaluated a work of literature from various aspects. First of all, you must understand the term analysis. It means breaking something up to its essential components, and analyzing how their features contribute towards the overall impression.

Literary devices are things the author uses to tell the story or make a point. They could include alliteration, imagery, metaphors, allusions, allegories, repetition, flashback, foreshadowing, or any number of other devices the author employs to write the story or poem

When you’re reading for pleasure, you’re mainly focused on emotions and visualizations of the scenes and characters. You’ll still pay attention to those elements of the reading process, but you’ll also be analytical towards the book. You’ll consider these elements:

  • Subject
  • Form and Style
  • Main theme and tones
  • Characters’ strengths and flaws
  • Storyline strengths and flaws
  • Point of view
  • etc.

Structure to write an essay

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Inserting quotations

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Linkers and connectors are words that relate one idea or sentence of the text with another. They connect the ideas logically.
Why are they used?
They give direction to the writer. They are also used to guide the reader through his thoughts. They make the meaning specific.

Using connectors

Verbs we need to understand

Introducing quotations

Unseen Paper


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1. Planning

2. Relevant to the question asked

3. Use the author’s name

4. Synonyms for the word ‘suggest’

5. Introduction – don’t spend too long (3 sentences)

6. Isolate a good quote Make a point / embed Identify technique / broad analysis Zoom in / word level analysis Context Sound level analysis (sibilance) Reference to the form of text

7. Infer deeply

8. Structure

9. Sophisticated way of writing

10. Practice writing essays

11. Response – feminist, masculine, modern, contemporary

12. Point of view/voice

13. Summary – a new, short conclusion

Posted in 2019, Senior 3 2019 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ode on Melancholy (Part 1)

TASK 1: What is melancholy? Can you find a definition?

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TASK 2: Find a definition for ODE.

The author: John Keats

John Keats

TASK 3: Read his biography and take notes involving important event in his life that influenced his writings.


Task 4: Read the poem.

What do you think this poem is about?

Ode on Melancholy by JOHN KEATS

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d

       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;

               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be

               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl

A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;

       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,

       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;

       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:

Ay, in the very temple of Delight

       Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

               Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue

       Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;

His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,

               And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

Task 5: Check out this link to understand the poem deeply

Task 6: Now watch this video and amalyse the poem in full using the following guide:

The worksheet is just a guide to help you analyse the poem. you don´t have to fully complete the worksheet, just focus on what is relevant for your poem.

9th Grade Poetry Analysis Worksheet

Posted in 2019, DHsecundaria, Senior 1 2019 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Encuentro #10

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Y llegamos a nuestro último encuentro!!

Algunos de ustedes ya casi tienen su charla lista….y otros aún están escribiendo.

Hoy nos reunimos para trabajar profundamente en cada charla y para despedir este hermoso ciclo juntos!

De ahora en más, nos reuniremos para practicar la charla y hacer cambios pertinentes!!

Gracias por este año!

Posted in 2019, Club de Ideas, DHsecundaria | Tagged , | Leave a comment

There Will Come Soft rains (review)

More ideas that will help you

Relationship between the family (man) and nature

The automated house of Bradbury’s story presents itself as the perfect environment for human beings—a space that readily caters to nearly every imaginable need. To do so, however, it relies a great deal on the natural world, both for inspiration (many of its automated functions, such as the robot mice, are based on animals) and for the raw materials to keep running. By having the house ultimately succumb to a fire and be destroyed by the natural world, Bradbury suggests that nature is more powerful than whatever man can create.

Bradbury physically establishes the animosity between the house—a symbol of technology—and the natural world. The house protects its residents from the forces of nature: its walls close out harsh weather, its kitchen machines spare humans from hunting and foraging in the wilderness, and the cleaning mice ward off the chaos of the outdoors, cleaning up the mud, dust, and hair that accumulate in a natural environment. This house even seems to take its responsibility to battle nature a bit too far. It shuts itself whenever “lonely foxes and whining cats” get too close. Comically, the narrator describes the stern response of the house to a sparrow brushing up against the window: “No, not even a bird must touch the house!” This protective impulse turns sinister when the house dispassionately disposes of the family dog’s carcass, treating the pet as nothing more than some smelly bio-matter.

When nature threatens to destroy it, technology is able to put up a comprehensive defense. For instance, when a fallen tree causes a house fire, machines come out in full force to battle the hostile foe. Mechanical doors shut against fire in an act of self-defense. “Blind robot faces” spray green fire repellent. And when fire-fighting fails, voices cry out in warning, as a lookout might upon spotting enemy troops. Yet even as technology tries to subdue nature, it can’t help but rely on it. This technology is created in nature’s image and fueled by natural resources. Machines in the house are often likened to animals, suggesting that nature has already created perfect “machines” that humanity simply is attempting to copy for its own ends. Furthermore, technology cannot exist without the raw materials that nature provides: the house has been built out of oak, wired with metal tubes, and it’s powered by the natural force of electricity. The house ultimately fails because its water reserves are depleted, meaning that it can’t put out the fire that consumes it.

Despite presenting an alternative to the natural order, technology ultimately looks weak compared with nature. After a day of fussing over the artificial environment that the house has created, the home settles in for the night. While the house is sleeping, nature launches its attack by letting a tree fall on the home, causing the fire. Though the house attempts to defend itself, the fire is described as “clever” and ultimately overpowers the upstart domicile. Bradbury seems to suggest that the victory is justified—that the arrogance of technology is finally being subdued. The eventual ease with which technology is outdone by nature suggests that it was arrogant and foolish to attempt to challenge the natural order in the first place.

In the end, nature can persist without technology, but the reverse is not true. The poem by Sara Teasdale paints a picture of nature persisting even when everything men ever created has died away. Since nature is vast and self-sustaining, it cannot brake or run out of fuel the way machines do. And even in the face of the overwhelming and devastating effects of technology—the atom bomb, which has reduced the natural world to a radioactive wasteland of “rubble” and “ashes”—Bradbury suggests that nature will prevail. There are still trees, birds, foxes, cats, and dogs at the end of the story, implying that nature may, in time, thrive once again. Meanwhile, people and their technology have been wiped from the face of the Earth, showing that nature is the ultimate winner of this struggle.

Analysis of the poem

What happened to the people?

“At 10:15, the sprinklers turn on. The water runs down the west side of the house, whose white paint is completely charred except in “five places”: the silhouettes of a man mowing, a woman gardening, and a boy and girl tossing a ball “which never came down.”

This passage confirms the reader’s suspicion that the residents may be dead. Bradbury includes the silhouettes of the McClellan Family (readers learn the surname later) to demonstrate how fleeting life can be. Based on the everyday actions, each person seems not to have expected that his or her life was about to end. Death comes faster than gravity, as readers see with the “ball which never came down.”

Ideas for question 5

At 2:35, the house spreads out bridge tables on the patio. Playing cards, martinis, and egg-salad sandwiches materialize as music plays. Nothing is used, and at four the tables fold away “like great butterflies back through the paneled walls.”

The playing cards, martinis, and egg-salad sandwiches that the house sets out for the McClellans characterize the family as ordinary, since these were all popular items for Bradbury’s contemporaries. He fills the house with games, food, and drinks that feel normal to indicate that this family is like any other. In so doing, Bradbury implies that any conclusions the reader draws about this family apply to society at large. On another note, the bridge tables resemble butterflies. They are another example of technology imitating nature.

At 4:30, the walls of the nursery transform into a moving picture of a safari, complete with “yellow giraffes, blue lions, pink antelopes, lilac panthers…the patter of okapi feet and the murmur of a fresh jungle rain.” After a while, the animals retreat to watering holes and thickets. This is “the children’s hour.”

The safari theme in the nursery is the most visually overwhelming example of technology that depends on nature. Even though technology is trying to create a more entertaining replacement for the world outside, it cannot help but show content made in nature’s image.

The End

At dawn, as the sun rises over “heaped rubble and steam,” the clock cries out over the wreckage. It says, “Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is…”

The sunrise serves as a grim reminder that there is a new beginning daily—whether or not the legacy of mankind reaches that new day. The house has been reduced to a pile of rubbish, which makes the reader skeptical that technology or the impact of humans will be a part of the future. Even though time, death, and nature all seem to have succeeded where mankind and technology failed, one voice still grasps for control in vain. The clock that spoke at the beginning of the story tries to claim one last day with its dying breath.


Posted in 2019, Senior 1 2019 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

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Virginia Woolf

Answer the following questions in your blog. 

  1. Notice how the mirror in the first paragpraph is set up as the frame for a kind of a portrait.
  2. The unnamed narrator attempts to construct a portrait of the Isabella Tyson that consisits of her outer self and her inner self. The portrait is reflected in the objects inside and outside the house as they reflect in the mirror. Describe the images reflected in the mirror.
  3. What kind of contrast is there between the objects inside the house and outside the house, as they are reflected in the mirror?
  4. Describe how the narrator attempts to compose the portrait through the mood inside the room, through her own imagination, and through the presentation of Isabella in the mirror
  5. What are the known facts about Isabella’s outer self?
  6. What material objects inside and outside the house does the narrator use to imagine Isabella’s life?
  7. What are Isabella’s letters supposed to conceal, according to the narrator? What would one know if one could only read them?
  8. At the end of the story, according to the narrator, is it possible to know objectovely one’s inner reality?
  9. In this story Woolf questions whether the inner self of an individaul is finally knowable. What do you think is her conclusion? Provide support for your statement.
  10. What do you think is the role of the mirror in the story? How has the mirror been used as a metaphor in literature?
  11. Describe the charactersitics of this story that resemble stream-of-consciousness narrative technique.

Find a picture of a room inside and a garden to illustrate the house in the story

Read the following text. How is this related to the story?

Post your answer in your blog. Due Date: May 22

Posted in 2018, Senior 4 2018 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Clubes: Encuentro #9

¿Cómo sonar inteligente en tu charla?

En parejas:

-Esxuchá la charla de tu compañero

-Valorá su charla en base a la Escalera de Feedback de Daniel Wilson (1999)

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The Danger of a Single Story

Take notes of her main ideas, for example:

3 Lessons From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”

Let´s work on this chat!!

1. Why did the first stories Chimamanda Adichie wrote include children eating apples & playing in the snow?
A She thought apples must be much better than mangoes and snow was the best weather.
B. She thought books always included activities like that, like all the stories she had read.
C. She had lived in England when very young and remembered apples and snow as very special.
D. She didn’t have any imagination, so she just copied what she read.

2. Why did Adichie tell the story of her first college roommate (the girl assigned by her college to share a room with her when she started at the university?)
A To show how geographically uninformed American young people are
B. To demonstrate how much more she knew about American life than her roommate knew about Nigerian life.
C. To show how much her roommate didn’t understand about her since she only had a single story in her mind about Africans.
D. To illustrate the importance of learning about American music before starting university study in the U.S.

3. In minute 8:20-9:00 Adichie tells about visiting in Mexico and being surprised to see people happy in their daily lives. She said “I realized that I had been so immersed in the media coverage of Mexicans that they had become one thing in my mind, the abject immigrant. I had bought into the single story of Mexicans…” What does she mean when she says “I had bought into the single story of Mexicans…”?
A. She had paid for newspapers and cable so she wanted to accept what they showed.
B. She had accepted without questioning that what she was hearing about poor Mexican
immigrants was the whole story about Mexico.
C. She had bought one book about Mexicans and that was enough.
D. She had bought tickets to travel in Mexico.

4. Which of these quotes most closely expresses the main theme or idea of this talk?
A. “So I was an early reader, and what I read were British and American children’s books. I was also an early writer, and… I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading…”
B. “But I must quickly add that I too am just as guilty in the question of the single story.”
C. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
D. “I teach writing workshops in Lagos every summer, and it is amazing to me how many people apply, how many people are eager to write, to tell stories.”

5. Adichie admitted, “Africa is a continent full of catastrophes” (terrible things going wrong.) Then she added, “But there are other stories that are not about catastrophe, and it is very important, it is just as important, to talk about them.”
After listening a second time to min. 14:08 to the end of the talk, give two examples of other important stories about Nigeria that Adichie gave to balance the stories of catastrophes.

6. Adichie said “All of these stories make me who I am. But to insist on only these negative
stories is to flatten my experience and to overlook the many other stories that formed me.”
Discuss with a partner (or write about) an experience that by itself would “flatten” the story of your life. Which stories do you think are important in explaining who you are?

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There Will Come Soft Rains

Ray Bradbury is the author of this great Sci-Fi story.

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  • Who was Ray Bradbury? Find out




SCIENCE FICTION (Sci Fi)– stories that often tell about science and technology of the future involving partially true fictions laws or theories of science

  • Take a look at the characteristics of sci-fi literature and make a list of 10 important ones.
  • Then, get together with a partner, share ideas and make a list of 8 important characteristics.

Links to help you



Posted in 2019, Senior 1 2019 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Elephant by R. Carver

Let’s get to know the writer

Carver, Raymond


Here a link to the story ELEPHANT

Reading Questions (discuss with your partner)

  1. What kind of metaphorical meaning do we get from the story’s title?
  2. What is the narrator’s dependence or addiction?
  3. What pattern of the narrator’s pathological behavior becomes evident on page 476?
  4. How much threat is there when he says he’s going away to Australia? None because everyone knows he’s a junkie giver, an enabler.
  5. What is dangerous about enablers such as the narrator?
  6. Why can’t an enabler like the narrator “just say no” and establish boundaries with people?
  7. In addition to giving or “loaning” people money, what other kinds of enabling behavior do we see?
  8. How does being a martyr feed the narrator’s ego?
  9. What is the bitter and ironic truth about enabling others?
  10. What are the qualities of symbiosis?
Posted in 2019, Senior 5 Lang & Lit 2019 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection

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Virginia Woolf

Biography 1

Biography 2

Role of women in the 19th C

Victorian women

Women in the 19th C


  1. In pairs, each student will read one article from each topic and will take notes.
  2. Then, you’ll get together and share ideas.
  3. Finally, together, you’ll write a short biography of the writer (include, especially, those ideas that have to do with her writings) and a text which will include 10 characteristics of 19th C women.
  4. Hand in individual and pair work.


Posted in 2019, Senior 4 2019 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

When a student decides to write….

In Language and Literature Tutorials, we read some poems by Benjamin Zephaniah.

Jerónimo and Rochi chose the poem “The British” to analyse and prepare a presentation for the rest of the students.

The British (serves 60 million)

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.
Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.
Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.
Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.
Leave the ingredients to simmer.
As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.
Allow time to be cool.
Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.
Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.

Then, Jero (http://jeronimoleguizamon.cumbresblogs.com/ )decided to write a poem, based on Zephaniah’s structure for The British but about our own country, Argentina!

The Argentinians

Put Some Spanish conquerors with african slaves

and add them native americans.
Let the mixture a while and then you will have a solid bunch of Argentians,

thanks to the help of some powerful ingredients

such as San martin, Belgrano and Sarmiento.

Later, Combine Asado with Vino and you will have an argentino.

Put Mate and Choripan and finally Seru Giran.
Mix Borges with La Mona and add them Maradona.
On that mixture, stir quickly Fangio and Darin

with a little bit of Clarin.
With enthusiasm put Ocampo and please don’t be so sad, add Sosa.
If you think, Too much for me, come on, keep on working,

now add Storni.
Mix Lucha Aymar with Ringo, Messi, Ginóbili, Pichot, Vilas

and you will have Cortazar.
To that, add Pastelitos, also Locro, Cerati, La sole, Favaloro and

you will have Patricio Rey y Los redondos.
In a bowl put Folklore and Colon. Add them Caminito, Jorgito, obelisco and El gauchito.
In that mixture include: Susana, add Lujan and Che guevara, and stay “tranca”

how beautiful is Celeste y Blanca.

If you mix some charly with Piazzolla, Olmedo, Tango, Pato and zamba you will have

” el gaucho Martín”. To that also add Quinquela Martín.
Quickly stir Del potro, add it Dulce de Leche, “Birra”, Fernet and you will have Rodrigo El potro.
Pappo & Gardel sang “El fin”, you just need el 2 de abril.

Add Malvinas and get your final work, Argentina

Note: This product doesn’t have an ending, we are still writing the final recipe,

we are still writing history😁💪🇦🇷.

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Friend – Hone Tuwhare

Hone TuwhareMaori poet (born Oct. 21, 1922, Kaikohe, Northland, N.Z.—died Jan. 16, 2008, Dunedin, N.Z.), made an international impression and became the first widely celebrated Maori poet with his initial collection, No Ordinary Sun (1964). Tuwhare’s poetry, written in English, has a conversational tone and incorporates both Maori and biblical rhythms; the subjects range from the political to the personal and often powerfully evoke the beauties of nature. No Ordinary Sun won Tuwhare a fellowship at Otago University in 1969. He published Come Rain Hail (1970) and Sap-wood and Milk(1972) and then helped organise the first Maori Writers and Artists Conference (1973). During the 1970s he was able to give up his job as a railroad boilermaker and devote himself to poetry. Of the many verse collections that followed, Shape-Shifter (1997) and Piggy-Back Moon (2001) won Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Tuwhare was poet laureate of New Zealand in 1999–2000, and in 2003 he, together with novelist Janet Frame and historian Michael King, received the inaugural Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

Task 1: Read the poem and write a sentence that explains what the poem is about.


Do you remember
that wild stretch of land
with the lone tree guarding the point
from the sharp-tongued sea?

The fort we built out of branches
wrenched from the tree, is dead wood now.
The air that was thick with the whirr of
toetoe spears succumbs at last to the grey gull’s wheel.

Oyster-studded roots
of the mangrove yield no finer feast
of silver-bellied eels, and sea-snails
cooked in a rusty can

Allow me to mend the broken ends
of shared days:
but I wanted to say
that the tree we climbed
that gave food and drink
to youthful dreams, is no more.
Pursed to the lips her fine-edged
leaves made whistle – now stamp
no silken tracery on the cracked
clay floor.

in this drear
dreamless time I clasp
your hand if only for reassurance
that all our jewelled fantasies were
real and wore splendid rags.

Perhaps the tree
will strike root again:
give soothing shade to a hurt and
troubled world.

Task 2: Deep analysis (check out this presentations and annotate your poem)

Task 3: Answer the following questions

  1. Who is the speaker in this poem? What kind of person is he or she?
  2. To whom is the speaker speaking, or in other words, who is the audience?
  3. What are the situation and setting in time (era) and place?
  4. What is the purpose of the poem?
  5. State the poem’s central idea or theme in a singular sentence.
  6. Describe the structure of the poem. How does this relate to content?
  7. What is the tone of the poem? How is it achieved?
  8. Notice the poem’s diction. Discuss any words which seem especially well-chosen.
  9. Are there predominant usages of figurative language? What is the effect?
    1. Metaphors
    2. Similes
    3. Imagery
    4. Allusions
    5. Personification
    6. Sumbols
  10. Explain the use of any  devices (mentioned before) and how they help to convey tone or theme.
Posted in 2019, Senior 3 2019 | Tagged , | Leave a comment