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Writing the Thematic Analysis E ssay. f or English 12. First things first…. We need a thematic thesis. The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy. Had he and I but met By some old ancient inn, We should have sat us down to wet Right many a nipperkin! But ranged as infantry,

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the man he killed by thomas hardy
The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy

Had he and I but met

By some old ancient inn,

We should have sat us down to wet

Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,

And staring face to face,

I shot at him as he at me,

And killed him in his place.

slide4

I shot him dead because—

Because he was my foe,

Just so, my foe of course he was;

That’s clear enough; although

He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,

Off-hand-like—just as I—

Was out of work—had sold his traps—

No other reason why.

slide5

Yes, quaint and curious war is!

You shoot a fellow down

You’d treat, if met where any bar is,

Or help to half a crown.

Thomas Hardy

to identify theme move away from subject
To identify theme, move away from subject…

Subject

Theme

What does Hardy have to say about the subject, war?

Participating in war causes people to act in ways they never would otherwise.

What is the poem about?

War

creating the anglo saxon theme
Creating the Anglo-Saxon theme…

Remember, a theme is a statement of universal truth; it doesn’t tell us how to behave or state a moral.

Example: Without loyalty, relationships don’t survive.

Not: Be loyal or lose relationships you care about.

task creating thematic statements
Task: Creating Thematic Statements

Write a thematic statement that could be applied to Beowulf for each of the following subjects:

  • Fate
  • Loyalty
  • Faith
  • Greed
  • Man’s journey
once your know your theme then it s time to move forward
Once your know your theme, then it’s time to move forward!

You are ready to create the thematic thesis for an analytical paper!

the importance of a thesis
The importance of a thesis
  • We can usually blame a bad essay on a bad beginning.
  • If your essay falls apart it is usually because it has no thesis.
  • If your thesis is a good one, it will control your paper.
create your thematic thesis by
Create your thematic thesis by…

1. Adding an acknowledgement of the opposition.

2. Making clear the because…

creating your thesis
Creating your thesis

Think about what the opposite belief might be and write your opposition.

For example:

(theme) Without loyalty, relationships don’t survive.

(opposition) In regard to the survival of nations, one might think that leadership is the most crucial ingredient.

slide13
Next…

Think about how you might support your theme using the Beowulf story—keep it general.

Example:

(theme) Without loyalty, relationships and cultures can’t survive.

(opposition) Many believe that leadership is all a nation needs to survive.

(because) Hrothgar and Beowulf, both strong leaders, also needed the support of their men to be successful.

finally
Finally…

Put it all together and be prepared to revise!

While many might believe that dedicated leadership is all a nation needs to survive, the Beowulf story’s two kings suggest that without loyalty, relationships and cultures can’t survive.

(because) Hrothgar and Beowulf both needed the support of their men to be successful.

the beauty of the thematic thesis
The beauty of the thematic thesis

While some people view Beowulf as a perfect hero,it is actually his imperfections that make him memorable, because it is only when we overcome selfishness and fear that we become truly heroic.

First, by acknowledging the opposition, we make ourselves appear informed and smart!

Second, we set up the structure of our

paper.

get rid of the opposition first
Get rid of the opposition first!

While some people view Beowulf as a perfect hero,it is actually his imperfections that make him memorable, because it is only when we overcome selfishness and fear that we become truly heroic.

  • Use the opposition to start the body of your paper.
  • Then move on to develop that your idea about his imperfections is a better way of looking at the character Beowulf.
end paragraphs
End Paragraphs
  • Starts out narrow with some version of the thesis
  • Expands and elaborates beyond the confines of the thesis itself
  • For analytical essays about literature, this is a great place to relate the thesis to the “real world.”
  • In short papers, no need for a summary of key points.
developing body paragraphs
Developing Body Paragraphs
  • Each body paragraph should have a strong topic sentence.
    • Topic sentence should connect to two things:
      • Your theme statement
      • The information that will follow in that particular body paragraph
      • Doing this creates coherence and focus for your essay.
the structure of your essay
The Structure of Your Essay
  • Remember that your essay is following what we call a “key hole design”. We talked about that in your introductory paragraph, and it continues into your body paragraphs.
okay so what do i put in my body paragraphs
Okay, so what do I put in my body paragraphs?
  • Develop your thoughts
  • Provide specific, illustrative details
  • You all have a theme statement – now, it’s a matter of finding the textual evidence from Beowulf that supports your theme.
use a combination of direct quotations and summarizations
Use a combination of direct quotations and summarizations

Don’t just plop a quote into your text and expect your reader to know its significance.

Instead, try this:

  • Use only the most significant words from the line of text you’d like to quote. Try to avoid using an entire line(s).
  • Build your sentence AROUND the quoted material.

Also: Don’t start or end a paragraph with a supporting quotation.

here s an example before you try your own
Here’s an example before you try your own…
  • I’ve written a theme statement using a subject different from the options you had. I used modestyas my subject. So here’s my theme statement based on modesty…
  • While some believe that personal glory and arrogance are one and the same, Beowulf’s superior character when compared to other warriors proves that modesty is an essential characteristic for those desiring to be truly great.
here s a body paragraph based on that theme statement
Here’s a body paragraph based on that theme statement…

In the Beowulf story, it is made clear by the actions and comments of the character Unferth that not all warriors were as gracious and altruistic as the hero, Beowulf. When Beowulf comes to Hrothgar’s kingdom intent upon slaying the monster Grendel, Unferth greets him with bad grace, questioning Beowulf’s version of his own past accomplishments and his current motivations. The Beowulf poet negatively characterizes Unferth when he tells us that Unferth was “vexed by Beowulf’s…courage, and angry that anyone…had ever acquired glory and fame greater than his own” (235-238).Unferth’s jealousy is made clear in his own words when he tells Beowulf that, “You’ve been lucky in your battles…your luck may change if you challenge Grendel” (258-259).By contrast then, it is clear that Beowulf was something special; he doesn’t appear nearly as jealous or as ill-tempered as some characters in the text.