Essay Prep Brought to you by Ben Schultz
Format for High Level Thesis • “In ____________’s _____________ (italics) the author shows ________________ (this is the message of the work as a whole) by using ___________
Examples • In PSY’s Gangam Style music video the artist uses the imagery of excess in multiple different areas to make fun of the materialist culture.
Examples • In Batman Begins the director contrasts Batman and the Joker to show the audience that a true hero is above all rational.
Examples • In Robert Frost’s The Road Less Travelled the author uses the imagery of a road forking in the wilderness to advocate that people follow their own path in life.
Examples • “In Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess Browning uses the form of the poem to re-introduce the message of the poem. By putting the poem into a rhyme scheme that destroys the meaning of the poem if it is followed, the author shows the chaos operating under the surface of the seemingly ordered mind of the protagonist.”
Student Examples • “In The Lottery, Shirley Jackson portrays humans as people who have evil and weakness inside of them, but are too afraid to stand up to society to confront those evils, and instead revert to hypocrisy and sanctimony in order to deflect blame from themselves.”
Student Examples • In “Blues Ain’t No Mocking Bird” the thoughtlessness of many Caucasians is shown through symbolism, characterization, and analogy, demonstrating the shabby treatment of African-Americans during the time thestory was written.
Student Examples • In the story “The Lottery” every year a lottery is conducted where one person is selected to be persecuted. The dangers of following tradition blindly are visible throughout the story, supported by both symbolism and allusion.
Recommendation • Studying is boring, and you may not enjoy many of the books we have read this semester (though if you think on it, the only REALLY boring one was The Odyssey (and maybe your short stories)) – here is an idea.
Recommendation • Sit down and watch a few movies this week, or listen to some of your favorite songs, or think back on some of your personal favorite books (or all three): • Then….use this sheet to analyze THEM. Think on themes, symbols, etc. and then try and tease out what the authors TRUE meaning for the work is. You may be surprised!