• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

University Degree: Literary Criticism

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Read the following poems by Thom Gunn and Thomas Flatman in The Faber Book of Beasts (pp.5-6). In no more than 600 words, compare the ways in which the two poets represent cats.

    / They rub my leg and purr' (Muldoon, 1997, p.5). On the other hand, the use of rhymes is clear in Flatman's poem, 'Only cats when they fall / From a house or a Wall' (Muldoon, 1997, pp.5-6), according to the evidence provided is possible to say that Thomas Flatman is using rhyming couplets, where it usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter. Gunn uses a freer usage of structure in his poem, but his lineation is essential to the flow of the verse.

    • Word count: 731
  2. IN Faulkner's As I lay Dying What Would You Say To The Characters?

    Self-interest is what drives all the characters in the novel, but you top them all. Considering the only true thing that matters to you is Anse, I want you to see some examples of your insanity and how you can change it now that you have no other option. Addie requested before she died to be buried in Jefferson although you act sincere in wanting to fulfill your promise to her, all along you were being driven by another motive for getting to Jefferson.

    • Word count: 927
  3. Comparing Themes of The Doll Queen and Metamorphosis

    He eventually rejects her for his books, symbolizing a more rational way of life. When he visits the house, he pretends to be other people in order to hide his real emotional intentions. Even the mother's rosary beads and 'doll queen' shrine, representing religion, disgust him. Whereas the theme in 'The Doll Queen' is alienation from the emotional, the theme in 'Metamorphosis' is alienation from the physical. Once Gregor's body has been transformed into an insect, his entire family rejects him. His father locks Gregor in his room after seeing his transformation and throws apples at him, wounding him.

    • Word count: 671
  4. Jane Eyre

    Ingram believes that woman's role is to look beautiful and attractive enough to appeal a man with wealth and look. Because Jane senses how woman like Ingram is looked upon others, she struggles to alter this image. Jane rejects to marry Rochester when he proposes by stating, "'Think of his misery; think of his danger; ...Who in the world cares for you? Or who will be injured by what you do?'"(Bronte 342) She implies that she does not want to marry a man due to his absence of wealth.

    • Word count: 996
  5. Speaker Analysis

    Towards the beginning of the passage he uses one such instance when talking about the truth saying, "The truth may cause consternation; the truth will be attacked" (Obama 127). The point of this repeated sentence structure is to reinforce within the reader that there exists a correlation between doing what is hard and telling the truth, that the easy road involves avoiding and circling around the facts. Later on he uses parallelism, particularly mimicking word order to bolster the dichotomy of style and substance in modern politics.

    • Word count: 999
  6. A Women's Temptation

    The theme of temptation in the form of women appears throughout the poem. After much agony at sea, Odysseus finds himself on the doorsteps of Circe. Circe is a temptress who proves that conquering sometimes just involves a show of force. To us she looks like a beautiful witch, but it is important to remember that she is not. She is, according to Homer, a goddess. In the Odyssey (book X) the encounter between her and Odysseus's men is described: "She gave them all comfortable seats...but she put dangerous drugs in the mess, to make them wholly forget their native land.

    • Word count: 999
  7. Free essay

    The Development of the Character David Lurie in John Maxwell Coetzees Novel Disgrace.

    One does not know whether one should sympathize with him or not. He is difficult to understand and one can interpret him in many ways. At the beginning of the novel one learns that he is a man who has been divorced twice, and who has found pleasure in women his whole life. On chapter two, in the book, he states: "Because a woman's beauty does not belong to her alone. It is part of the bounty she brings into the world. She has a duty to share it" When he begins an affair with his student Melanie, half his age, the pleasure he finds sharing her beauty, soon comes to lead to his personal downfall, his disgrace.

    • Word count: 700
  8. A Comparison Between the Short Stories A Family Supper and The Kite with Regard to the Issue of Identity and Migration.

    The conflict between generations in a changing Japan is the primary theme of the story. His father is a very traditional man and finds it difficult to understand these changes. In the story he states to his son: "Obviously you don't see. You don't see how it is for some parents. Not only must they lose their children, they must lose them to things they don't understand" The conflict between generations, between a father and a son, can be seen in "The Kite" as well, when the Puerto Rican protagonist, Rick Sanchez, cannot recall a memory of a kite his father made him when he was small.

    • Word count: 700
  9. How I Met My Husband by Alice Munro

    When the children find out, she is careful to "bind them to secrecy." She is also able of keeping secrets from them as well. After Edie has met Chris and he refers to a time she accepted a cigarette from him, she "made a face to hush him, because you never could tell when the children would be sneaking around the porch, or Mrs. Peebles herself listening in the house." Chris and Edie's relationship is based on secrecy. There is suspense when he first meets her and she has Mrs. Peebles dress on.

    • Word count: 931
  10. Oroonoko and characterisation

    Using the place of Suriname, Behn sets her story in a place of reality, with a context and history of its own while also delving into the realm of romance. However, there is a third genre that has inspired Behn in regards to the structure of her text, and that is drama. Therefore as Figlerowicz notes in her article 'it proves both viable and fruitful to read Oroonoko as a highly creative, consistent attempt at recreating, the medium of prose fiction with the dramatic effects generated by the interactions between

    • Word count: 598
  11. Nineteenth-century Russian critic Vissarion Belinsky famously called Eugene Onegin an encyclopaedia of Russian life. Do you agree with Belinskys assessment? Why or why not?

    The work was described by Vissarion Belinsky as an 'encyclopaedia of Russian life', suggesting he believed Eugene Onegin was a realistic portrayal of all aspects of life in 19th Century Russia. In the 19th Century, the cultural divide between the city and rural parts of Russia was a huge one, with social hierarchies being even more obvious outside of the large cities. When a new person or family arrived at an estate, the local community would become highly interested in them, clamouring to find out the latest trends of the cities and searching for their children's future spouses.

    • Word count: 828
  12. The City of Ladies

    The Book of the City of Ladies is Christine's portrayal of womanhood. She shows that females are equal to men in intellect, spirit, and physical attributes. She cites various achievements of warriors, pious wives, devoted daughters, scholars, and poets from mythology, literature, and the Bible whom uphold the reputation and good nature of women. These women of the past and present are the building blocks of the community that the City of Ladies will inhabit. The author uses symbols connected to the allegorical figures Reason, Rectitude, and Justice. Reason holds a mirror adorned with jewels that symbolizes wisdom and self-knowledge.

    • Word count: 828
  13. Much Ado about Noting

    Although he is Don Pedro's brother, he does not seem to fit in with his brother or his friends. Since he "cannot hide what I [He] am[is]" (1.113) in society, he resents the world and its social convention. When he hears of an intended marriage from Borachio, he immediately asks whether the marriage "serve[s] for any model to build mischief on," (1.1.44-45) showing his resentment of the legitimacy of the marriage between Claudio and Hero. Don Pedro's conspiracy to stop Claudio and Hero's marriage by telling false stories is merely pathetic, whereas the ease with which Claudio is convinced is frightening.

    • Word count: 819
  14. Catherine Mansfield Her first ball

    This means he must follow the sequence of images and perceive the accuracy of each image and the impression it makes on Leila or, better than it, perceive how Leila project her feelings and perceptions to the described images. For instance, when Leila is taking the cab and first experiencing going out to a ball the cab is described as her first partner, because it was all part of the ball, every little detail was a part of her first big dance and she wanted to experience it all: "Perhaps her first real partner was the cab.

    • Word count: 762
  15. The Yellow Wallpaper

    His mind is so firm with his beliefs that there is no room for experiment or change. There are many instances in the story where the woman tries talking to her husband about her need to work in order to keep busy and giving her a purpose for existence but he ignores her completely. She believed that "congenial work with excitement and change would do me good but I am absolutely forbidden to work until I am well again". She has been given a schedule which she follows as exercise would do her good and her diet is also monitored.

    • Word count: 653
  16. Paul's Case and Sunny's Blues

    The ending in the stories is the surprise element. The difference in the point of view of the characters changes the ending, completely. Sonny's outlook is of hope and the future is bright because of positive thinking while Paul's end is a long tunnel of depression which ends in despair where he gives up his life. In "Sonny's Blues", Sonny is a rebel who in his very young days became a drug addict. His brother, the narrator of the story, had not met him for a very long time.

    • Word count: 801
  17. Human Evil as Seen in Lord of the Flies

    There is no true innocence, not even in children, for they too ridicule others without reason. Ralph says jeeringly to Piggy "sucks to your Ass-mar!" and "sucks to your auntie!"(13). He says these mean words thoughtlessly, without care or awareness of the hurt they are inflicting on Piggy. Ralph makes fun of Piggy without even thinking of the effect of his words. Piggy is different and there is no mercy for an outsider. Not one boy is immediately nice to Piggy.

    • Word count: 755
  18. The dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell challenges my view that history is fixed and unchangeable.

    Winston's position in the Ministry of Truth is that of forging the past into something unrecognizable to any person with an accurate memory, so that each forgery "becomes" historic fact. One moment, Oceania is and always has been at war with one enemy, the next moment it is and has always been at war with another, and the people of Oceania accept the information as true.

    • Word count: 520
  19. Growing Up

    and "stacked packages" (221) or Queenies world which is full of "bathing suits" (220). In "Teenage Wasteland" Donny has to decide between being a good student and going to "every class" (648) or having fun and "cutting classes" (649). In both stories a decision must be made between doing what society expects and doing what you want to do. In "A&P" and in "Teenage Wasteland" the decision made to not conform to societies ideas resulted in social problems for the main characters. In "A&P" the main character Sammy decides that he does not want to work at the grocery store anymore and his boss tells him that he "doesn't want to do this to his mom and dad" (223)

    • Word count: 901
  20. The importance of Goethe as an author whose ideas influence the development of western literature cannot be overestimated

    Instead he had a more simple, sincere and natural way of expressing himself. All of these changes are reflected in his play Gotz von Berlichingen. As George Lewes states in his biography of Goethe, "this play scorned the fashionable literary correctness of the time." This play gained Goethe instant recognition because it was so unlike anything that had come before. This very influential piece is thought to have inaugurated the storm and stress movement in Germany, which was a literary rebellion against the principles of Neo-classical writing. Goethe Also introduced and changed styles of writing.

    • Word count: 682
  21. In what ways do ballads express enduring human condition?

    Also, ballads frequently use humour to make the understanding simpler. Ballads are structured narrations which can almost always be put into songs - songs are much easier to remember and be sung, to and by children, which will later remember it and pass it on to their own. They remind of American country songs in some ways, yet the language is rather archaic, stylizing the form. Mostly, ballads have an AABB or ABAB rhyme and are structured in rather short stanzas (2, 4 or 8 lines). Often ballads have deeper meaning than they show; they usually treat with one or two main themes and give and further describe it by exemplifying.

    • Word count: 981
  22. Alice Walker has modeled the main character in this poem after herself. The poem depicts the inner dissatisfaction, which seems to be imaginary, of writing

    This character is likely to be her conscience with whom she has conversations at 5 in the morning. The language used is simple, understandable and flows along the lines of a conversation, e.g. " I wasn't sad or anything, just restless." That line also shows that Walker cannot live without poetry and only feels complete otherwise. The humorous banter seen may also be an example of a parent-child squabble, which makes it easier to identify with, knowing that the all-knowing parent, in this case, Poetry, will win the squabble, despite all the reasoning Walker gives.

    • Word count: 575
  23. The poem, "Those Winter Sundays," written by Robert Hayden

    The poem had such an in depth meaning, more than the words could even begin to describe. The father in this poem was the perfect loving father. Every morning the poet's father would wake up extra early to make sure that the house was warm by the time his family was awoke. His actions showed the amount of love that the father had for his family. Not only was he getting up early, but he was also going outside into the extreme cold, to sacrifice for his children and gather wood for the fire.

    • Word count: 522
  24. What use does Frank O'Connor make of Freud's theory in "My Oedipus Complex"?

    Many of Freud's concepts were banned because of their sexual connotations and lack of proof. Although today, this theory is not literally believed, it is still referred to quite often. Frank O'Connor created a unique link of this concept to his story. O'Connor did not exactly take Freud's theory very seriously in relation to this story. He seemed to portray the Oedipus complex as a humorous innuendo to his readers. The story is written by the older man who looks back and tells the story from the little boy's point of view.

    • Word count: 773
  25. Commentary on “A Confissão de Lucio”

    Lucio confesses his affair with Marta to Ricardo. The reply is a bizarre one: Ricardo admits that he can only find friendship with Lucio if he can physically feel him, thus he uses Marta is the intermediary between them. It is now that Ricardo grabs Lucio's arm and leads him back to his house. The letter that Lucio remembers in the passage is reminiscent of the invitation that he receives from the wealthy American woman in Paris. The reader never gets to know what the letter is about, nor do we know who it is from.

    • Word count: 759

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the ways in which women are constructed in any two texts on the course.

    "The post-twentieth century societies depicted in Sister Carrie and House of Mirth reward those who are able to adapt to a more independent, self-sufficient way of life. Carrie is able to reconstruct herself as she progresses in society. This is in contrast to Lily, who allows other people to impose their constructions of her upon her but fails to construct an identity for herself. Ultimately the constructions of Carrie and Lily are founded on illusions. They are the perceptions and ideas of other characters, which are imposed upon the female leads of Wharton and Dreiser's novels. Even Carrie's construction of herself is based on illusion. Ironically, the only construction of a character that is rooted in reality is Lily. Death is a tragically real ending for Wharton's heroine. However, Wharton's use of the mysterious word at the novel's conclusion constructs Lily as still being alive, her legacy being a construct based on the mystery of the unspoken word and the imaginings and fantasies of the reader over what the word is."

  • To what extent is the word postmodern an effective critical term for describing late twentieth-century literature and culture?

    "In conclusion, I do not think that postmodern is an effective critical term for describing late twentieth-century literature and culture. The term can be used to describe political theories or philosophies, but for literature and culture it just does not evoke the true essence of the period or movement. I think it suggests too much of an extension of the attributes of modernism, instead of the reaction against modernism that it really is."

  • Discuss the way that children's literature works variations on the theme of 'the missing parents

    "In conclusion, with so many childrens texts containing this theme of 'missing parents', it seems that this theme is necessary in some way to these texts. The centralisation of this theme perhaps adds a level of reality to these stories; on the transition to adulthood a child normally has experiences that are devoid of adult guidance, that though scary, change the child in the long run. This transitional period is often missed by a younger child, and is instead picked up on a later reading of the text. Furthermore, it is perhaps time to ask, 'is this theme what defines a children's book?' On the evidence above, and close reading of many other texts as a child, i argue that although it may not conclusively define a childrens book, it is an important aspect of a childrens book. There are many examples where this theme strengthens the plot of the story, involving the reader more than the author would otherwise have been able."

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.