Literary Analysis Essay

Examining the different elements used in a book enables you to understand literature broadly. Writing a literary essay is about forming an idea and then convincing your reader that your work is factual by providing evidence from the text. Unlike other writings, it must have a core idea, organized into paragraphs that are generated from the core idea and help the reader understand that concept.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

In a literature class, a lot of reading and writing is involved, and the complex analysis of books is required. However, most students confuse a literary analysis essay with a book review or report. To stay on the right track, you need to be aware of the structure and the specific styles used in writing. Below are a few guidelines to simplify your work:

  • Know why you are writing this text

  • Learn about the layout of the essay

  • Make preparations

  • Write

  • Make corrections

What is the Purpose of a Literary Analysis Essay?

The most obvious is to illustrate the points the author was trying to convey by the use of different literary approaches such as imagery, metaphors, and symbolism. It enlightens the readers on the message of the analyzed literary work.

It helps you to appreciate the deeper meaning of the book by making the story and the characters real. You are able to understand different scenes and character behaviors.

A literary analysis essay gives students a chance to offer their individual views and supporting them using proof from the book. This will show the reader that you have analyzed the literary work thoroughly. Knowing why you are writing this essay will enable you to make adequate preparations and research on how to write a literary analysis essay.

The Design of a Literary Essay

This type of essay is organized into three distinct parts.

  1. The Introduction

The introduction should be aimed at catching the reader’s imagination. Quotes, anecdotes or a surprising statement are all great ways to start. Providing simple background information that emphasizes your thesis statement will let your reader be able to understand the approach you are taking. Include the name of the author as well as the title of his work. A good introduction must have a strong thesis statement which is the last sentence in your of this section.

  1. The Body

The body contains all the details that describe and emphasize your thesis statement. It contains paragraphs which give details of the main idea from the evidence in literary work, for example, summaries and appropriate quotations. The first sentence shows how the topic and the thesis statement are connected. It also gives proof of how the theme supports the central idea. If you find it difficult asking questions such as, what is the purpose of a literary analysis essay, will get you back on track.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion makes your readers aware that your piece has come to an end by giving your work a touch of completeness. You can restate the thesis in your own words, make important observations about the work you are analyzing, or make a summary of all the points you have included in the essay. Like all other essays, new concepts cannot be covered in the conclusion. However, concluding your work is not the last step. You need to proof-read and make corrections.

Before Writing a Literary Essay, Remember the Following Points

  1. The title is an illustration of the direction your essay will follow.

  2. Keep your readers in mind. Write in a descriptive manner that seeks to interpret the work in the text.

  3. Make use of evidence from the narrative. In a literary analysis essay example, you may choose to use direct quotations or a unique detail to emphasize your points.

Sample Literary Analysis Essay

John Steinbeck’s The Winter of our Discontent

When values are forgotten

Trust, equity, and kindness are all morals that prevail in our community. Nevertheless, these ethics are overlooked when it comes to reaching a state of economic prosperity. The erosion of such principles brings discontent to civilization. John Steinbeck’s The Winter of our Discontent analyzes the adverse impacts of a money intoxicated civilization and how a lot of prosperity does not equate to gladness.

Ethan Alley, an individual of good morals, finds himself caught between an enticing old life, present and a prospective period characterized by ego and selfishness. Despite this he still has ‘the old society allure’ (39) of decency and honesty, he is unique in a state that accepts corruption as the norm. Money grabbers such as Mr. Baker now roam the lanes freely. Whereas he refuses to accept the truth, Ethan now recognizes that the folks in his town are only interested in acquiring money rather than their wellbeing or that of others. People discriminate and mistreat those who refuse to adopt society’s standards of amassing wealth.

He talks about a season of discontent due to the corrosion of a corrupt nation that is trying to gnaw at his standards which are sincerity and kindness. When his boss strives to get Ethan to gain profit at the cost of the clients, he argues that he does not exploit others to earn materials or resources. His employer says that conning buyers is good for his venture ‘reliable operation is unmatched in the market’ (21) he claims that ‘trade is based on cash’ and that ‘cash is not amicable’ (23) His illegal business deals is a clear representation of the society’s unethical practices. Ethan fights and resists these sets of values by declining to associate with his employer. Although he tries to escape from these vices in the community, at home his wife and off-springs demand the luxuries that he is unable to afford. He tries to convince his kin that money will not satisfy them that it will only provide a temporary high, but they do not listen to his advice. However, when he cannot convince them that money will not bring happiness, due to their constant pestering, he abandons his principles and decides to act like everybody else in the town.

In an attempt to follow the corrupt public, Ethan’s misery increases and he grows more depressed. He sells his good habits for luxury and nobility to reinstate the name of his kin; instead, he ends up feeling revulsion. Ethan betrays his employer, but after he discovers that he perceived him as a good character, is overcome by remorse and the assets he owns seem useless. He also sell out Danny to acquire riches and prosperity, but he is later filled with shame one that proves impossible to be erased by the comforts provided by wealth. No matter how much he tries to be like everyone else in society, he still can’t leave his original beliefs and value system. He claims that his choices take him over ‘a tunnel of reality’ (231) the one that demonstrates how he destroyed other people’s lives for material gains. Disgruntled by this he decides to get rid of his wealth which he finds difficult because he can’t stop desiring more.

He is on the blink of suicide when he notices that his daughter is the medicine of his regret. His boy Allen is obsessed with plagiarism and Ethan cannot fathom how his prodigy would do such an evil act. When he understands that his kin has followed society’s immoral acts, he decides to end his misery by committing suicide. Before he commits suicide, his offspring approaches him and implores him not to do it. Nevertheless, Ethan is convinced that death is the solution and retreats to his secret hideout. He comes back to his senses when he notices his daughter’s talisman. It reminds him of the affection he has for her. His daughter’s love convinces him that there are modest individuals left in the town. He knows that the future lies in the hands of innocent people like Ellen. He rushes out of the cave because he remembers that his daughter requires him ‘otherwise another lamp might burn out’ (276)

The author illustrates how the American nations of the 1960s have led themselves into a state of displeasure owing to their selfish and dying morals. Many years onwards, his words remain accurate people with a lot of assets strive to acquire more, and even that cannot improve their happiness. Many people concern themselves with acquiring wealth no matter the lengths they have to go to get it. Society needs to overcome its insatiable nature to avoid disastrous outcomes.


A literary essay is not the easiest to write but with deep reading to understand the message of the author will make it a walk in the park. Remember to follow the correct layout when organizing your work. You can also enlist the services of professional writers to help you better grasp the tricks of writing a good literary analysis essay.