A. Analyzing Critics look for meaning in a piece of literature by looking at the author’s choices as a writer, the author’s beliefs, and the author’s experiences as they relate to the content of the novel, short story, poem, or play.
to the author to narrative to human nature to other works elementsAuthor’s Conflicts like Themes like Compare andpersonal “man vs. man” “envy” or “love” contrast worksobservations or “man vs. by the sameabout life nature” authorAuthor’s Setting Character Compare andbiographical Plot strengths and contrast worksexperiences and Character flaws by differentcultural Symbolism authorsbackground Metaphor Characterexpressed Tone motivesthrough story Point of ViewAuthor’s unique Storytelling style Ethical, moral, Influence ofvoice, writing or genre or spiritual other authors orstyle or genre messages in the works story
What sort of questions do you need to ask in order to write about your topic?SAMPLE Topic: Theme of death in Poe’s short fiction.
What is a theme anyway? What is the tone or mood of the stories? Are there characters or items in the stories that might symbolize death? Does anything die or seem to be dying in the story? What do the stories say about Poe’s attitude toward death? How does the plot or characters in each story compare with Poe’s other works?
•Are there literary criticisms that answer yourquestions?•After reading what other critics think were you ableto see what they were talking about as you read thestory?•Did what the critics said give you ideas about how toorganize a paper around your theme?•Do you have other thoughts about the story that aredifferent from the ideas you read?
The theme of death is reflected through the characters, the setting, and the plot of four of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories.
You found several criticisms about the theme of death in Poe’s work. You found criticisms about how characters and items in the story are symbols of death. You found criticisms about how death shows up in the plot. What the critics said made sense to you and you feel that you understand it well enough to write about it.You have read the primary source and can identify passages inthe text that support what the critics are saying.
Poe Link from IPL.orgPrimary Secondary SourcesSource
Author’s last, first name. Title of source. City: Publisher, Date. Type of source.***Don’t forget to double space and use a hanging indent for every line after the first.
• Use Easybib.com to make a citation.• Gale puts the citation at the bottom of the article for you. Cut and paste.• Refer to examples of MLA citation.
Works CitedPoe, Edgar Allan. Fall of the House of Usher and other Tales. New York: Signet Classics, 1998. Print.Wilbur, Richard. "The House of Poe." The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Criticism Since 1829. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1966. 255-77. Print. Modern Critical Views: Edgar Allan Poe. Comp. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. 187-204.Womack, Martha. "Edgar Allan Poes "The Fall of the House of Usher"" The Poe Decoder. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.
I. IntroductionII. Characters A. The Fall of the House of Usher B. The Mesmeric Revelation C. Ligeia D. The Premature Burial Each individualIII. Setting subtopic in an outline A. The Houses is called a “slug.” B. The Crypts EX: III.B. is the slug toIV. Plot use for notes about A. Symbols of death The Crypts. B. Allusions to deathV. Conclusion
II. B. 2 Roderick’s obsession with the Launcelot book predict his death.Outline slug Source
II. B. 1"Not hear it?--yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it--yet I dared not --oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!--I dared not--I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb! Said I not that my senses were acute? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin. I heard them-- Include page number for direct many, many days ago--yet I dared not--I dared quotes not speak!" 87
• Make sure you have a note for every slug in your outline.• Make sure you know where you got your secondary source information.• Make sure you have read your primary source and have identified appropriate quotes to support your thesis.
• Make sure every direct quote is in quotation marks around it.• Make sure longer quotes follow indention conventions• AND• Make that all quoted material has a footnote crediting the source.• Make sure everything else is your original work.
Make sure the works cited page at the end includes all the necessary information formatted according to MLA citation standards.