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

Resultado de imagen para sandwich structure for 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

Analyse the following writing

Read the essay question and the essay

Essay question

“Watching For Dolphins” is a poem that deals with dreams and achievement of dreams. Comment closely on this.

Essay

David Constantine describes the passage of a ship into port and the hope among its passengers that they will spot dolphins on the journey. 

This work describes the joys, disappointments, and ways of coping, that exist throughout ones life. From the beginning to the end of the journey one will experience a number of different emotions, these are detailed by Constantine through an experience on a passenger ship. 

The poem begins with the passengers being drawn to the bow where they hope to see dolphins. They have all come together at this point and speculate about what it will be like to see these animals jumping up and out of the water. Before they know it they have returned to port having seen nothing.

In conclusion, dreams are not always attained and we, human beings, need to learn to overcome disappointments.

Task 1

-Does the essay answer the question?

-Are there linkers?

-Are there quotations or any kind of evidence?

Task 2

Pair work: Write a better version of this essay

 

 

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

Analysis of THE DEATH BED by S. Sassoon

The Death Bed BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.
Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water—calm, sliding green above the weir;
Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer: drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.
Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a gummering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.
Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.
He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leaped like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared.
Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He’s young; he hated war; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?
But death replied: “I choose him.” So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.
What is the poem’s setting? See stanza 3.

Task 1

Watch a short film that depicts the poem

Task 2

Read the poem and find the following words/phrases from the poem, and identify which technique has been used.

a) “…silence heaped/Round him…”
b) “Aqueous like floating rays of amber light”
c) “Silence and safety…”
d) “Night…was in the ward…”
e) “…drowning eyes.”
f) “…the pain/Leapt like a prowling beast…”
g) “…gripped and tore/…with grinding claws and fangs.”
h) “And death…paused and stared.”
i) “he hated War”
j) “…the thudding of the guns.”

Task 3

There are some dominant images in the poem. These are images that are used on more than one occasion, usually because the writer thinks they are important and add more to the MOOD (atmosphere) of the poem.
Having read the whole poem, what would you identify as TWO of the dominant images that Sassoon has used?
( Look for things that happen more than once and in different parts of the poem)

Task 4

Writing

Sassoon’s “The Death Bed,” like many of his poems written during his service in World War Two, is an account of an unnamed young soldier who has been mortally wounded. Comment closely on the techniques used by the author to convey his message.

 

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Project: Art as a form of creation

War Poetry

Task 1: The following questions are just a guide for you to prepare a presentations on war poetry.

  1. What is war poetry?
  2. Name some war poets and famous poems.
  3. How are soldiers typically portrayed?  Is there a common theme which unites the various countries?  What do these representations tell us about  the society which produced such an image?
  4. What are the roles which children played in wartime propaganda”  Why were children “essential victims” in the war?
  5. What was the role played by women in war times?
  6. What is the typical message/imagery in war poems?
  7. What are Sassoon‘s views of the war, of the soldier, and of death created in his poems?
  8. Some literary historians have argued that of the war poets, Wilfred Owen is the better poet.  Do you agree or disagree, and why?
  9. Overall, what value does poetry have for the historian of war?  Can poetry be used to examine the nature of the war experience, and if so, how?  Are there other sources which are “better” for the study of war, and if so what/why?

Some links to help you prepare your presentation:

http://www.warpoets.org/home/what-is-war-poetry-an-introduction-by-paul-oprey/

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/70139/the-poetry-of-world-war-i

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/FWW_index.html

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/index.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z38rq6f

Task 2: Together we´ll analyse the following poem

The Death Bed BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.
Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water—calm, sliding green above the weir;
Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer: drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.
Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a gummering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.
Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.
He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leaped like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who’d stepped toward him, paused and stared.
Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He’s young; he hated war; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?
But death replied: “I choose him.” So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.
Source: The Old Huntsman and Other Poems (1917)

Task 3: Group work

Each group will be in charge of analysing a war poem and teach it to the class.

Task 4: Think of a war, or conflict today. Find a poem which deals with that topic. Share it with the class.

Task 5: Prepare a post in your blog which includes the presentation on war poetry, the poem analysed in class , all the poems presented by each and every group and the poem on a current conflict or war!

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

To the Evening Star

To the Evening Star is a poem by William Blake.

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Task 1

Find out information about William Blake. Make a list of 5 events that may have influenced his writings.

Task 2

Read the poem

Thou fair-hair’d angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And then the lion glares through the dun forest:
The fleeces of our flock are cover’d with
Thy sacred dew: protect them with thin influence!

Task 3

-What do you think the poem is about?

Task 4

Take a look at this explanation by the poem prepared by Luli Giambruni: https://prezi.com/kcyaxpbtf0cp/to-the-evening-star/

-In 2-3 lines: What is the poem about?

Task 5

Answer the questions in the form of a poster and post it in your blog. Illustrate the poem with photos.

1) How does the poet address the evening star?
2) What does the poet mean by the blue curtains of the sky?
3) How does the poet say that the ambiance in the night is very calm and quiet?
4) What poetic technique does the poet use to highlight the change of darkness into silver?
5) How does the poet indicate that the evening star appears only for a short period of time?
6) What words indicate the poet’s uncertainty and fear when the star disappears?

Tools to create poster

Tool 1

Tool 2

Task 6

Share your poster in your blog!

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How to tackle the Unseen Paper

Pay a look at this video and take notes

Here some more tips:

Taking a look at many IGCSE Unseen Papers, we can come to the conclusion that they usually deal with 5 Universal Themes:

Coming of Age (maturing, growing up, passing from childhood to adulthood)
Post-colonialism (colonizer-colonized, slavery)
Power Relations (mother-child or son, daughter, father-child or son, daughter, husband-wife, etc)
Displacement, alienation (moving away, isolation)
Inner self vs outer self

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Watching for Dolphins

Listen to the poem read by the author

-Listen to it again. Write a question that comes to your mind.

-Find information about the writer that may be important to understand the poem

Poem: Watching for Dolphins

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In the summer months on every crossing to Piraeus

One noticed that certain passengers soon rose

From seats in the packed saloon and with serious

Looks and no acknowledgement of a common purpose

Passed forward through the small door into the bows

To watch for dolphins. One saw them lose

 

Every other wish. Even the lovers

Turned their desires on the sea, and a fat man

Hung with equipment to photograph the occasion

Stared like a saint, through sad bi-focals; others,

Hopeless themselves, looked to the children for they

Would see dolphins if anyone would. Day after day

 

Or on their last opportunity all gazed

Undecided whether a flat calm were favourable

Or a sea the sun and the wind between them raised

To a likeness of dolphins. Were gulls a sign, that fell

Screeching from the sky or over an unremarkable place

Sat in a silent school? Every face

 

After its character implored the sea.

All, unaccustomed, wanted epiphany,

Praying the sky would clang and the abused Aegean

Reverberate with cymbal, gong and drum.

We could not imagine more prayer, and had they then

On the waves, on the climax of our longing come

 

Smiling, snub-nosed, domed like satyrs, oh

We should have laughed and lifted the children up

Stranger to stranger, pointing how with a leap

They left their element, three or four times, centred

On grace, and heavily and warm re-entered,

Looping the keel. We should have felt them go

 

Further and further into the deep parts. But soon

We were among the great tankers, under their chains

In black water. We had not seen the dolphins

But woke, blinking. Eyes cast down

With no admission of disappointment the company

Dispersed and prepared to land in the city.

-Group work: Debate

Make a chart and complete the following information:

  • Context
  • Voice
  • Theme
  • Tone
  • Techniques (literary devices)
  • Personal opinion
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Reflections

In groups, you discussed, debated and expressed your opinions on different matters related to school life and personal life.

Great work!!!

Now, each of you has a question!

Here we have a space to put ideas and thoughts into writing!

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

Final Project: e-portfolio

ePortfolio:  an electronic collection of evidence that shows your learning journey over time. The key aspect of an eportfolio is your reflection on the evidence, such as why it was chosen and what you learned from the process of developing your eportfolio.

The real value of an e-portfolio is in the reflection and learning that is documented; not just the collection of work.

Check out the different examples of eportfolios and make a list of the variety of resources they use.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

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

Literary Devices: which ones are really new?

We are going to start our classes with a review on Literary Devices.

Many of them are very well-known to you and some others are new!

Let´s have a try!

Time to practice: in groups, take a look at the page I have given you and find between 3 and 5 literary devices!

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Plan de trabajo y contenidos nodales Feb 2019

 

Attachments

Term 1

a. Find 5 gothic elements in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Quote and explain the elements.

b. Answer the following thoughtfully and completely, using examples from the story to prove your points.

  1. What is the setting and mood at the beginning of the story, and how does Poe create this mood?
  2. Describe Roderick Usher’s sister –  appearance,  weaknesses,  attitudes.
  3. Find 3 quotes that describe Roderick and explain them.
  4. Find, a metaphor, a simile, a symbol, a foreshadowing. Quote and explain them.
  5. Explore the various meanings of the “House of Usher.”
  6. How does Roderick Usher die? (What actually kills him?)

Term 2

a. Fate. Explain how this is related to the story and find examples in the story “The Open Boat”

b. Answer these questions on the story:

1.Which character in the story do you most admire? Explain your answer.

3. Why are the characters metonymic?

4. Explain the end of the story. Choose a quote to explain.

c.Write an essay: How does the writer make you feel admiration for Heidi in the poem “For Heidi with Blue Hair”?

Term 3

a. Write an essay.

In Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”, Crane demonstrates that nature always strikes back. Comment closely on this.

b. Answer the questions on “Romeo and Juliet”

Prologue
1. What is the function of the Prologue?
2. Why are the families fighting?

Scene 1
1. How does the scene begin? Who causes the fight? Who tries to stop it? Who keeps it going?
2. Why is Romeo sad?
3. Who tries to help Romeo? What advice is given to Romeo? Quote.

Scene 2
1. How old is Juliet? When does Capulet say Juliet will be ready for marriage?
2. Who wants to marry Juliet?
3. Why does Romeo want to go to the party?

Scene 3
1. Describe the Nurse’s relationship with Juliet.
2. Why does Lady Capulet encourage the arrangement between Juliet and Paris?
3. What does Juliet promise her mother? Quote to prove how Juliet feels.

Scene 4
1. Dreams. What do they mean for Romeo? And for Mercutio?
2. What does Romeo dream? Find an example of foreshadowing in this scene.

Scene 5
1. What does Romeo think of Juliet at first? To what does he compare her?
2. How does Tybalt react when he spots Romeo?
3. At the party, Romeo and Juliet join hands. What metaphor does Romeo use to compare their joined hands?
4. Explain Romeo´s epiphany and Juliet´s epiphany.
5. Give an example of foreshadowing in this scene.

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Senior 5

Attachments

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Senior 4

Attachments

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