Literary Analysis

ENGL1020: Literary Analysis of Personal Anthology
Objective – You will apply and demonstrate the skills you have acquired thus far to compose literary analysis of your favorite media to share with peers.
Goal – Compile a list of five works of literature in written, visual, and/or audio forms: a short story, a poem, a song, and a movie/TV show/play with author names. Include weblinks if possible. Explain the dominant theme of each work then select three literary elements and explain how each element demonstrates or supports the theme.
Directions – An anthology is a collection of work. There are anthologies of short stories, music, or poems by different artists. For this project, you will create 5-8 page, MLA-formatted, double spaced personal anthology and apply literary analysis using the writing skills, terms, and concepts you have learned.

Compile the titles and authors of five different literary works not covered in class which can be short stories, comic books, books, songs, nursery rhymes, poems, shows, movies, or plays. You can have any combination of these works: You can have three stories and two songs; you can have a story, a book, and two songs; you can have a story, a poem, a book, or two shows, etc.
For each literary work, you will give a critique. This is your personal opinion about the work and you can use personal pronouns “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.
For each literary work, state the literary theme for each. Remember, the theme in literature is not just one word, like “family.” Theme in literature is a complete idea, message, or lesson that the author is trying to convey, such as “family is important but family dynamics can be complex and strained.”
Explain how the author expresses the theme or message using three literary elements.
Follow MLA formatting rules. You will include a weblink or reference link to the media in each entry in the body of the paper. You will also include a complete Works Cited list at the end of your paper with all entries in MLA format.

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Each entry should have the following:

Type of work – Title of work – Author – Weblink if possible
Give a brief summary of 2-3 sentences.
Your personal critique and theme: How did this affect you or make you feel? You are allowed to use the personal pronoun “I” this time. State the theme: What did you learn or take away from this? What was the author’s intent? State the theme of each work. It must be a complete sentence.
Describe three literary elements of each work and explain how each element shows or supports that theme. Include a quote or excerpt for at least one literary element.
Below is an example of 3 entries but you will need 5 entries.

Last name #
Final Paper: Personal Anthology and Literary Analysis

Short Story –  “Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry –

Summary: A married couple give each other gifts but on Christmas day, they discover the gifts they brought the other were useless. The wife cut and sold her hair to buy her husband a watch chain. The husband sold his watch to buy combs for his wife.
Personal Critique/Theme: When I was young, I thought this short story was dumb and heartbreaking. They should have just had wish lists, but that is a superficial understanding of the underlying meaning. Now that I am older, I understand the irony and the message of the story. When giving gifts, it is truly the thought that counts. The sacrifices they made for each other are worth more than the actual objects they bought for the other.
Three literary elements:

Setting – Christmas is a time to give gifts which produced a conflict.
Conflict – The couple was poor and struggling to find the perfect gift for their partner.
Irony – When they find that their gifts were not useful anymore, it is a twist of irony that is heartbreaking but also profound in its message: Physical objects are less meaningful than the intention behind them.

Song – “Ain’t Got No” by Nina Simone –

Summary: Nina Simone was an influential Black female singer/songwriters and civil rights activist. The song begins with her listing all of the material and physical things that she doesn’t have to show that life is not easy and then it continues with the non-tangible and tangible things she does have to show that she is a human that lives like everyone else.
Personal Critique/Theme: This song is melancholy in the beginning because it recalls the feeling of desperation of not having basic necessities or personal connections, yet it also filled me with a sense of defiance. Even though there is incredible inequality in this country and elsewhere, at the very basis of it, we all have our bodies, souls, and selves. We have our physical selves, our lives, and our thoughts. These are the very basic units of personal possession and freedom.
Three literary elements:

Word Choice, Word Order – “Ain’t got no” is repeated to put emphasis on what she doesn’t have. After listing everything she doesn’t have, there is a transitional stanza. After this stanza, she lists everything she has in her physical and emotional world.

Hey, what have I got?
Why am I alive , anyway?
Yeah, what have I got
Nobody can take away?

Imagery – Simone lists concrete and abstract things that she does not have (material goods, relationships, things to function in society) and then things she does have (parts of her body, her emotions, freedom)
Diction – “Ain’t got no” and “I got” are not deemed to be proper English. Simone’s word choice brings listeners to a world of socio-economic depression and social isolation where we bear witness to the things she or the speaker lacks in life; this follows with her evaluation of what she has and proclaims is hers. She may not have much in life, but she has everything that makes her alive, human, and free.
A Show –Mushi-shi by – Yuki Urushibara Yuki Urushibara –

Summary – In the countryside of Japan, there are strange creatures called “mushi” that exist between the soul world and this physical world. They are invisible to most people except for those gifted with the ability to see them. These fictional living organisms are more ancient than flora and fauna, fungi and bacteria. They simply exist, but the mushi can augment or emphasize a person’s positive or negative personal qualities and create conflict or death. A traveling folk healer Ginko goes around to villages and investigates mysterious phenomena and helps people.
Personal Critique and Theme – Humans are not perfect and the mushi demonstrate the extremes of negative aspects like fear, pride, or desire. Each episode is a thoughtful story of avoiding excess. The show explores the hypothetical situations of what different people would do with supernatural abilities. If we weren’t afflicted with mushi, the uncontrolled or unbalanced negative aspects of ourselves alone might bring about destruction to our personal lives, families, or communities.
Three literary elements

Setting — Against the backdrop of rural Japan, we see humans interacting with the natural world in mountain villages, valleys, and coastal towns but struggling with specifically complex human problems like anger, betrayal, and jealousy.
Characters – Ginko is the main protagonist who travels. With every episode, he appears in a different setting and there are different protagonists, antagonists, and conflict.
Conflict – Every person is afflicted by a different mushi that either creates the conflict or the conflict is in how the person deals with their mushi. There is a man infected with a mushi who is suddenly able to work day and night but working to excess could kill him. There is a mushi that causes a man to be able to tell the future with his dreams but if he doesn’t stop, reality will become a nightmare. There is a man infected by a mushi who is able to kill animals by touching them, but this power makes him abusive. Mushi affects women and children as well in this episode series, but the show critiques and examines themes of abuse and power.

Directions Recap:
Make a list of 5 works.
Give a critique for each.
Explain the literary theme for each.
Explain how three literary elements the author uses to show or express the them.
Have a Works Cited list.

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