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  • HACC Tutoring presents, "How to Analyze Literature."

  • Literary analysis can be intimidating to a lot of students,

  • and it does take some critical thinking.

  • However, it doesn't have to be a mystery.

  • First, let's define literary analysis.

  • Analysis in general means that you are examining something critically by looking at its separate parts.

  • So, if you are analyzing a football team's chance of winning a game, you wouldn't just consider their record.

  • You'd also consider the strengths and weaknesses of the players,

  • the skills of the coaches, possibly the weather conditions

  • or the type of turf, even their motivation

  • like with rivalries or home field advantage.

  • All of these come together to show a bigger meaning.

  • That's exactly what literary analysis is doing,

  • only instead of a sports team, you're analyzing a literary text, like a short story, novel, poem, or movie.

  • Let's work on an example.

  • If we choose to analyze the movie Cinderella,

  • our 1st step would be to consider what is a bigger meaning of the story?

  • This is called the THEME.

  • A theme is a recurring idea or insight found in the text,

  • so it's a hidden meaning within the story.

  • To come up with a theme for a story it might help to consider a broad topic, like love,

  • friendship, or good vs. evil, and then describe what the story is saying about that topic.

  • In our example of Cinderella, one of the maintopics is dreams.

  • So, now we have to decide what the story is saying ABOUT dreams....

  • One answer could be that it's saying "Dreams can come true if you don't give up."

  • So, that's our theme. Now that we've chosen it, let's begin our analysis.

  • Remember, analyzing means critically examining a text by looking at its separate parts.

  • NOT a summary.

  • So, if players, coaches, and weather conditions are some of the separate parts of a team's chance of winning,

  • what would be the separate parts of a story?

  • The answer to that is LITERARY ELEMENTS, which are the parts of stories.

  • Some of the most common literary elements are character, symbolism,

  • plot, setting, imagery, and tone/mood.

  • If you're not sure what those are, take a moment to look them up in your textbook or online.

  • Remember, our chosen theme for Cinderella is "Dreams can come true if you don't give up."

  • So, we need to find literary elements that prove that this is a meaning in the story.

  • Let's start with plot.

  • In the movie, Cinderella eventually gets her dream of going to the ball

  • because she didn't give up despite the obstacles that her family caused.

  • Prince Charming also gets his dream of finding Cinderella

  • after traveling his whole kingdom with the glass slipper.

  • Both of these examples are events in the plot that support our bigger meaning,

  • "Dreams can come true if you don't give up."

  • But you don't want to stop with only one literary element. Try to push it further.

  • Another element we could use is dialogue.

  • We could discuss the words in the song, "A Dream is a Wish that Your Heart Makes"

  • which is from the movie.

  • We'd be able to pull out specific lines, like

  • [music] "No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing,

  • the dream that you wish will come true."

  • This is another piece of our analysis.

  • We could also use the literary element symbolism to prove our theme

  • by talking about how the glass slipper symbolizes a dream that has come true.

  • After all, shoes made out of glass are certainly more dream-like than realistic,

  • but somehow they become true enough for Cinderella to wear to the ball.

  • As you can see, we're studying all of these literary elements

  • to think critically about the WHOLE story---that's literary analysis.

  • You would use this same process to analyze any text.

  • First, come up with a theme which again is a bigger meaning of the story,

  • then pick out literaryelements that prove that your theme is true.

  • Want to learn more tips for succeeding in college?

  • Stop by the learning center at YOUR HACC campus to talk with a tutor.

  • And don't forget to check out our other cool online videos.

  • See ya next time.

HACC Tutoring presents, "How to Analyze Literature."

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B1 literary cinderella theme analysis meaning analyze

How to Analyze Literature

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    Pedroli Li posted on 2016/12/31
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