Analysis Of Short Stories Essay

Faulkner’s characters are people who can’t move on, and through them he suggests that the South similarly can’t get past the Civil War and the wrongs of slavery.

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This handout will help you analyze a short story or novel—use it to form a thesis, or argument, for your essay.

Begin by summarizing the basic plot: “ by Roald Dahl is about a gifted little girl in small town America who learns to make things move with her mind and saves her teacher and school from the evil principal.” This will help ground you in the story.

(When you write your paper, you probably won’t include a summary because your readers will already be familiar with the work.

But if they aren’t, use a brief summary to orient them.) Research the author’s background and other work.

Remember, many stories would be irretrievably altered if their setting were different and setting is, therefore, integral for interpreting the story’s meaning.

For instance, the setting for Faulkner’s work—the American South after the Civil War—is essential to his overall message.

Themes are big ideas that authors comment on throughout a work using tools such as context, setting, and characters. evil, human nature, religion, social structure, authority, coming-of-age, human rights, feminism, racism, war, education, sex, friendship, love, compassion, and death.

Most books deal with multiple themes, some more obvious than others. You have to dig a little deeper to identify the author’s statement or attitude about that topic. Specific Theme Other Arthurian writers associate King Arthur’s greatness with military glory and valorous deeds.

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.


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