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Literary analysis:
Comparison and Contrast
Purpose
To gain insight into the development of literary
works
To analyze authors’ uses of literary methods to
establish...
Focus on theme comparison
The most common and often most meaningful
analysis.
Read the two pieces of literature and brai...
Example comparison of Kate Chopin’s
“Story of an Hour” and Gilman’s “The Yellow
Wallpaper”
 Make a list of possible theme...
Choose some commonality from the
list
 From our list, we have several possibilities, so we can choose one of them
and sha...
Choose a comparative element for
the essay.
 Brainstorm some approaches that the authors take in their stories to give
th...
Expand the thesis to include the
comparative element
Kate Chopin in her “The Story of an Hour” and
Charlotte Perkins Gilm...
Write an outline for the essay
 I. Introduction:
 A. Hook: Provide an interesting sentence to draw us into the analysis....
Discuss comparison
 III. Gilman’s theme and use of symbol connected to Chopin’s
 A Use quotes from the story to establis...
Comments on contrast
 IV. Conclusion
 A. Provide a transition that links to the contrasting elements of the
use of symbo...
Variations in approach
 The previous slides showed one approach to the essay.
 There can be some variety of approach.
 ...
Writing a Comparison contrast literary analysis
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Writing a Comparison contrast literary analysis

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Shows how to write a literary analysis with an example of Gilman's "Yellow Wallpaper" and Chopin's "The Story of an Hour"

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Writing a Comparison contrast literary analysis

  1. 1. Literary analysis: Comparison and Contrast
  2. 2. Purpose To gain insight into the development of literary works To analyze authors’ uses of literary methods to establish meaning To see how literary works compare thematically To realize the perspectives that authors take to establish a theme To appreciate the complex nature of literature
  3. 3. Focus on theme comparison The most common and often most meaningful analysis. Read the two pieces of literature and brainstorm a number of ideas about themes for each Compare your list of theme ideas and find one that is similar and works for both. Articulate that theme in a way that it goes with each work to be compared.
  4. 4. Example comparison of Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” and Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”  Make a list of possible themes for both  The Story of an Hour  Oppression of a wife  Mortality as no one knows when a loved one will die  Relationship issues between husband and wife  Gender comparison as the wife is known only by her husband’s name and lives only in light of him  The Yellow Wallpaper  Subordination of the woman in her marriage  Importance of freedom to express yourself  Madness as a response to oppression
  5. 5. Choose some commonality from the list  From our list, we have several possibilities, so we can choose one of them and shape it into a statement about the common theme for both stories.  Kate Chopin in her “The Story of an Hour” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her “The Yellow Wallpaper” explore the problems that married women have in asserting their independence.  OR Kate Chopin in her “The Story of an Hour” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her “The Yellow Wallpaper” show how the oppression of women in marriage can lead to disastrous consequences  OR some other phrasing that would work for discussion.
  6. 6. Choose a comparative element for the essay.  Brainstorm some approaches that the authors take in their stories to give their message.  Both of them use symbol to show the problem that the women encounter.  The symbols are different and used in different ways to establish the theme.  Chopin’s story uses the heart trouble and the mallard duck as symbols. The duck is a symbol of male oppression as the woman is only known in her husband’s identity.  The physical heart trouble symbolizes the emotional heart trouble for an unfulfilling and oppressed life.  Gilman uses the yellow wallpaper to symbolize a number of things but it shows the confinement the woman has at the hands of her husband.
  7. 7. Expand the thesis to include the comparative element Kate Chopin in her “The Story of an Hour” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her “The Yellow Wallpaper” use symbols in different ways to show how the oppression of women in marriage can lead to disastrous consequences.
  8. 8. Write an outline for the essay  I. Introduction:  A. Hook: Provide an interesting sentence to draw us into the analysis. Perhaps a general statement about the fate of women dominated by their husbands or the injustice of men oppressing women in marriage.  B. Thesis II. Chopin’s theme and use of symbol A. Use the story and quotes from it to show the theme. B. Explain her use of symbol and how that connects to showing the theme C. Provide a transition to connect this story and its comparison of theme and symbol to the Gilman story.
  9. 9. Discuss comparison  III. Gilman’s theme and use of symbol connected to Chopin’s  A Use quotes from the story to establish Gilman’s theme  B. Compare her theme with Chopin’s with discussion and explanation.  C. Provide a transition to explore Gilman’s use of symbol  D. Use quotes from the story to show and explain Gilman’s use of symbol  E. Compare Gilman’s use of symbol to Chopin’s as you link both to the common theme. .
  10. 10. Comments on contrast  IV. Conclusion  A. Provide a transition that links to the contrasting elements of the use of symbol  B. Provide discussion about the different uses of symbol and perhaps some on the slight variation of theme  Wrap up the essay restating the main emphasis on theme and the use of symbol.
  11. 11. Variations in approach  The previous slides showed one approach to the essay.  There can be some variety of approach.  One could discuss both stories themes one after the other, then both stories use of symbols one after the other, then provide a bridge to compare the themes and symbols connecting them to one another.  The important thing is to provide a meaningful and focused point for the essay.  Develop a comparative element or two to discuss in the authors’ meaningful presentation.  Organize in a logical way providing transitions to help the reader follow the argument.

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