How to do a short story analysis

how to do a short story analysis

Writing a Critical Analysis of a Short Story

How to Write a Short Story Analysis Paper 1. Choose a story and re-read it. Example: I liked the story “Good Country People”; I?ll read it again. 2. React personally. What aspects of the story do you seem to be most affected by? You should look at more than one aspect. Example: I find when I look at how I reacted in my journal to this story, what I really liked about. Writing a Short Story Analysis 1. Review your notes and outline ideas You’ve spent all that time taking notes, so now is your chance to put them to 2. Draft the arguments Once you’ve established your arguments, it’s time to actually write the body paragraphs. The body 3. Draft introduction and.

Old Fence. A short story has a structure and a message. Can you analyze this picture in much the same way as a short story? A short story is a work of short, narrative prose that is usually centered around one single event. It is limited in scope and has an introduction, body and conclusion. Hkw a short story has much in common with a novel See How to Analyze a How to check balance in videocon prepaidit is written with much greater precision.

You will often be asked to write a literary analysis. An abalysis of a shory story requires basic knowledge of literary elements. The following guide and questions may help you:. Setting is a description of where and when the story takes place. In a short story there are fewer settings compared how to do a short story analysis a novel. The time is more limited. Ask yourself the following questions:.

Characterization deals with how the characters in the story are described. In short stories there are usually fewer characters compared to a novel. They usually focus on one central character or protagonist. Ask yourself the following:. The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story. In short stories the plot is usually centered around one experience or significant moment.

Consider the following questions:. The narrator is the person telling the story. Consider this question: Are the narrator and the main character the same? By point of view we mean from whose eyes the story is being told. The following are important questions to consider:. Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the short story and is related to the main character.

In a short story there is usually one stkry struggle. The climax is the point of greatest syory or intensity in the short story. It can also be the point where events take a major turn as the story races towards its conclusion.

Ask yourself:. The theme is the main idea, lesson, or message in the short story. It may be an abstract idea about the human amalysis, society, or life. In some short stories the tone can be ironic, humorous, cold, analysix dramatic. Your literary analysis of a short ro will often be in the form of an essay where you may be asked to give your opinions of the short story at the end. Choose the elements that made the greatest impression on you.

Skip to main content. Module 4: Literary Analysis. Search for:. Licenses and Attributions. CC licensed content, Shared previously.

What Is a Short Story?

Dec 23,  · The key to smart reading is to be critical. Criticism can be positive or negative. In your short story analysis, you need to have confidence in your own views of the work, regardless of the author’s reputation or whatever anyone else thinks. The bottom line with literary criticism is that there are no right or wrong answers. Printer friendly page. Literary analysis looks critically at a work of fiction in order to understand how the parts contribute to the whole. When analyzing a novel or short story, you’ll need to consider elements such as the context, setting, characters, plot, literary devices, and themes. Remember that a literary analysis isn’t merely a summary or review, but rather an interpretation of the work and an argument . provides a very brief plot summary. relates some aspect of that plot to the topic you have chosen to address. provides a thesis statement. indicates the way you plan to develop your argument (support your claim). Now proceed to introduce and discuss the evidence you mentioned in your introduction, in the order in which you mentioned it.

Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. Literary analysis looks critically at a work of fiction in order to understand how the parts contribute to the whole. This handout will help you analyze a short story or novel—use it to form a thesis, or argument, for your essay.

Knowing Tolkien fought in the Battle of Somme during World War I and that his closest friends were killed helps explain his sentiments about war. Other questions about context can stem from the story itself. Also consider who the narrator is addressing. When and where a story takes place can be profoundly significant. He set his play elsewhere, in part, so he could make social commentary about England without incurring the wrath of English rulers. Story lines usually follow patterns like those in the example below.

Identifying essential plot points will help you to analyze, interpret, and explain the story. Main Problem Conflict : The plot hinges on some major problem, often a conflict between characters or an obstacle that must be overcome.

Characters are the driving force behind stories, both major characters and minor ones, and authors use them to broadcast their most important messages. First, describe the character for yourself; next, consider why the character was portrayed in that way.

The following are some guiding questions:. Various literary devices help convey meaning or create a mood. The following are a few common literary devices. An indirect reference to another artistic work or person, event, or place real or fictitious. Alluding to that speech in the title helps Faulkner set the tone for his story of a family in ruins.

A character used to contrast a second, usually more prominent character in order to highlight certain qualities of the more prominent character. The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in a literary work. If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding-bed.

An implied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant. For example, in Macbeth , the three witches recount the prophecies that must be fulfilled for Macbeth to fall. He therefore believes he is invincible—ironic because these prophecies cause his downfall.

The use of an object or action to mean something more than its literal meaning. The stained dress symbolizes and foreshadows her later loss of purity. A character can also be equated with an object throughout a work, another form of symbolism. Themes are big ideas that authors comment on throughout a work using tools such as context, setting, and characters.

Common themes are good vs. Most books deal with multiple themes, some more obvious than others. It gives you a general topic. However, a theme is general. Once your analysis is complete, develop a thesis that makes an arguable claim about the text.

Sometimes, you will also use the support of other analysts or literary experts. Printer friendly page. The Trunchbull runs away, leaving Miss Honey her house and belongings. In the Harry Potter series by J. Rowling, the character Dumbledore is wise, calm, courteous, protecting, encouraging, powerful, and ambitious.

As the story progresses, his faults and imperfections appear. Rowling creates Dumbledore as a force to protect and guide Harry. Readers find out that Dumbledore was not born wise and all knowing, but was ambitious and egotistical when he was young. His wisdom was gained through pain and tragedy.

To Cornelius Fudge, Dumbledore is a threat because of his power and influence. Theme T. White is different in that he presents Arthur as a political innovator and implies that king is not great because of an aptitude for war, but because of his ability to balance government strength and social justice. Thesis In The Once and Future King , White shows that the ideal leader is not one of military strength, but one who balances government power and social independence.

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