Novel Analysis Essay: Naomi Alderman’s The Power
First draft due (hard copy): in conference
Second draft due (hard copy): May 15th, in class for peer review
Final draft due (upload): May 20, 6 a.m.
The theme of a literary work is its underlying central topic, or the generalization it communicates about life. Choosing one of the themes of the novel and track it through the story. What revelation about the behavior of human beings or the conduct of society, or insight into the human condition is the author attempting to convey throughout the novel? At times, the author’s thematic argument may not confirm or agree with your own beliefs, but even then, if it is skillfully written, the work will still provoke emotional responses and generate thought.
Write a well-organized essay that identifies the theme and argument you believe the author conveys through the novel. How does the author use characters, events and literary devices to illustrate the theme? Use evidence from the text to support your analysis. Demonstrate the accuracy of your observations with specific citation.
- What important theme does this literary work contain? What does it argue on this topic?
- What do characters do that helps illustrate this idea?
- What do characters say that helps to illustrate this idea?
- What events take place in the work that help to illustrate this idea?
- Are there any recurrent images or clusters of images? Do these images support the idea or theme that you find in the work?
- How do other rhetorical moves—such as symbolism, narrative structure, foreshadowing, time jumps, visual elements, and framing device—contribute to this reading?
Writing your Essay
- Determine the theme.
- Form a thesis statement.
- Use the outline below to organize your thinking and your writing.
- Use a minimum of two (2) direct quotes from the text to support the main idea of each body paragraph in your essay.Don’t rely on the quotes to explain themselves.Lead your reader into the quote, comment on the quote, and show how the quote supports your main idea.
If you are having a hard time getting started, some possible themes include: power (there are a lot of ways to unpack that theme); historical evidence and its interpretation; human adaptability; causes of conflict; gender politics; political upheaval; cult formation; the role of religion and beliefs, etc.
OUTLINE FOR LITERARY ANALYSIS:THEME
- Introduce the book.Include the title (in italics) and the author.
- Use one or two sentences to introduce the subject of the book
- State the argument on this theme that you conclude from the book (thesis part one)
- Describe how the author expresses the argument on this theme, i.e. by using characterization, symbolism, setting or conflicts, etc. (thesis part two; leads in to your body paragraphs)
- Write individual paragraphs to explain how the author expresses the ideas attached to the theme you have selected. Include the following information:
- Complete sentences
- Punctuation (direct quotes from the text should be in quotation marks with the page number in parentheses afterwards).Ex:When Maggie wanted to leave the party she stated, “I’m not feeling well, I think we should go” (p. 63). This illustrates Maggie’s ...
- Essay should be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font and double spaced.MLA format review is included in the readings.
- What literary devices does Alderman use to illustrate the theme?
- How is this device deployed? Is it consistent?
- What does the use of the device contribute to the overall meaning?
- Unpack a specific example (or more) which demonstrates the rhetorical development you observe.
- Restate your theme and argument
- What did you think of the argument offered? How has it affected you? (Has it confirmed or changed your opinions or thoughts?)
After you complete your final essay, you need to CAREFULLY proofread it, or have someone else proofread it.
Re-read your essay to look for:
TO READ THE BOOK I'M GOING TO PUT A LINK AND YOU CLICK ON THE LINK THEN CLICK ON THE PICTURE AND YOU CAN READ THE BOOK FOR FREE.