Free Comparative Literature Essay Examples & Topics
Comparative literature explores the relationship between works of fiction of different cultures and times. Its purpose is to establish the connection between specific genres, styles, and literary devices and the historical period. At the same time, it provides an insight into the meaning hidden between the lines of a given text.
What is a compare and contrast essay when it comes to literature? It’s still an academic paper that requires specific methodology and subordinates to conventional rules. Mind that only the pieces that have something in common are comparable.
And this is where all the challenges start. It is not always clear which works can and should be compared. Which aspects should be considered, and which could be left out? The structure of a comparative essay is another stumbling rock.
For this reason, our team has prepared a brief guide. Here you will learn how to write a successful comparative literature essay, and more importantly, what to write in it.
How to Write a Comparative Essay
Comparative literary analysis requires you to know how to correlate two different things in general. So let us start from the basics. This section explains how to write a comparative paper.
A good comparison essay structure relies on two techniques:
Alternating or point-by-point method.
Using this technique, you dedicate two paragraphs for each new comparison aspect, one for each subject. It is the best way to establish similar and different features in two novels. Such comparative analysis works best for research, providing a detailed and well-structured text.
1st Body Paragraph: Social problems in Steinback’s works.
2nd Body Paragraph: Social problems in Hemingway’s works.
3rd Body Paragraph: Psychological problems in Steinback’s works.
4th Body Paragraph: Psychological problems in Hemingway’s works.
5th Body Paragraph: Interpersonal problems in Steinback’s works.
Block or subject-by-subject method.
This approach means that you divide your essay in two. The first part discusses one text or author, and the second part analyzes the other. The challenge here is to avoid writing two disconnected papers under one title.
For this purpose, constantly refer the second part to the first one to show the differences and similarities. You should use the technique if you have more than two comparison subjects (add another paragraph for each next one). It also works well when there is little in common between the subjects.
1-3 Body Paragraphs: Description of rural labor in Steinback’s works.
4-6 Body Paragraphs: Description of rural labor in Hemingway’s works.
Depending on the chosen structure, you will formulate a thesis, distribute the arguments and supporting evidence. You can consult the possible options in our comparative literature essay examples.
How to Compare Literary Pieces
Let us move to the main point of this article: the comparison of literature. In this section, we will discuss how to write an ideal essay in this format.
We suggest you stick to the following action plan:
Choose literary works to compare. They should have some features in common. For example, the protagonist faces the same type of conflict, or the setting is the same. You should be familiar with the works well enough to find the necessary passages. Check the comparative literature examples below if you struggle with the step.
Select the topic, thinking of similarities. The broader the matter, the more challenging the writing. A comparative study of the protagonists in two books is harder than analyzing the same theme that appears in them. Characters may have little in common, making the analysis more complicated.
Find both differences and similarities. Once you’ve formulated the topic, make a list of features to compare. If the subjects are too different, choose the block method of contrasting them. Otherwise, the alternating technique will do.
Formulate a thesis statement that has a comparative nature. It should convey the gist of the essay’s argument. Highlight the relationship between the books. Do they contradict, supplement, develop, or correct each other? You can start the thesis statement with “whereas.” For example, “Whereas Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice are full of pride, this trait leads them to different troubles.”
Outline and list key elements. Depending on the expected length of your essay, select three to six comparable aspects. Then, plan in what order you’ll present them and according to which technique.
Link elements and write. Distribute the features among the comparative paragraphs. If you wish to prove that the books are more different than alike, start with the most diverging factors and move to the most similar ones.
That’s it! Thank you for reading this article. For more examples of comparative literature essays, check the links below.
This abstract symbolizes the matter, that fate achieved the turning point, and the wind of change is blowing. The tears, which she rewards denote that these changes will be rather painful, and lots of effort [...]
Gertrude as Queen is the lead female character opposite Hamlet in the book of the same name. Beatrice has long served as Dante's inspirational muse and in the Divine Comedy it is no different, Beatrice [...]
Even though McKenzie raises important aspects of multiculturalism in the article "The Menace of Multiculturalism", he fails to defend his position because there is a lack of logic and coherency in the presented arguments.
Throughout the two stories, Byron's journey to realize is that of self-reflection, thinking, and apprehension, while Nea's journey is that of striving and pushing hard to change the things how they were.
The cruelty of the revolution and the Taliban regime brought not only a lot of changes and sufferings to people's lives but also provided the literature world with significant masterpieces filled with pain and difficulties [...]
In Bacchae, the denying of the irrational as Pentheus did leads to the demise of personality and society since denying the irrational is denying life itself and encircling it in the 'second nature' which leads [...]
The main difference lies in the characters of Odysseus and the cursed girl "Sadako" in 'Ring.' Odysseus, after going through a hardship of ten years, still opt a normal human life and rejected the idea [...]
On the other hand, to hypothesize and expand the concept of Heaven, it was first necessary to create a general framework of life after death and specify such issues as admissions to the various parts [...]
The present paper looks more closely at "Men in the Sun" and "The Land of Sad Oranges" and argues that the symbols physical disability and road point to the helplessness and powerlessness of the Palestinian [...]
The characters of Louise Mallard in "The Story of an Hour" and the storyteller for "The Yellow Wallpaper" are representative of what the authors want to express about themselves and their current situation.
Vonnegut is a science fiction writer who tells about Cold War fears and the threat of the Bomb, the lurking dangers of overpopulation and food shortage on the one hand, and on the other government's [...]
He is the founder and leader of Macondo, and during his life, he never stops striving for knowledge. Siddhartha's quest for the Self is developed by three major events including his meeting with Buddha, his [...]
One such device in Hamlet is Shakespeare's placing of the Danish prince in the context of Fortinbras and Laertes as the characters that, like Hamlet, find themselves in the role of having to avenge their [...]
While Shelley's work concerns the fantastic events that took place in the time contemporary to the author, the setting of "Oryx and Crake" is a far future when, as the author predicts, the mankind will [...]
But what is one to do?" Through the course of the story, the woman transforms from an individual who adores the outside and green growing things to becoming lost in the artificial world created by [...]
Similarly to Rama, Odysseus belongs to the descendants of Zeus, the king of all gods, and uses a special bow as his favorite weapon. Another difference between Odysseus and Rama is their attitudes to family [...]
The general impression of Emily Dickinson's poems is that they are very economical with words and the message being conveyed. The general impression of these poems is that the writer feels oppressed and discriminated against [...]
From the suffering of people in Haiti in the wake of several hurricanes that struck them in 2008 to individuals facing hunger and drought in various states of Africa, as well as the war-torn countries [...]
Both Count Orlok and the Other Mother possess the ability to mimic normal people but still are have more powers than these people, yet the disturbing relatability of Beldam's motives and the terrifying goal of [...]
In Shakespeare's play, the motif of discrimination is explored in conjunction with Othello's dark skin color, something that caused the "noble Moore" to be treated with suspicion by other characters throughout the play.
Quotation: "The philosophical dimension of beauty does not depend on the limits of the physical world; true beauty far exceeds our earthly bounds". It is necessary to consider the beauty's "subtle qualities" such as "tone, [...]
For those who strive to gain an in-depth insight into the discursive significance of Greek antiquity, it represents the matter of crucial importance to be able to understand that the Olympian gods of Apollo and [...]
On the other hand, the book, "Sea of Poppies" discusses the cultural shock of neocolonialism in the extensive opium farms by natives in honoring the 'girmit' of offshore labor provision in sugarcane plantations.
The authors of these famous texts show in detail how the main characters Gilgamesh and Prospero struggle with the sense of alienation because of their exile, but overcoming this challenging experience, the characters develop their [...]
This essay is going to compare and contrast the characters of two women, Calixta from Chopin's "The Storm" and Elisa Allena from Steinbeck's "Chrysanthemums", who are in different contexts of the stories.
One of the reasons behind the rising popularity of the "eco-fiction" genre has to do with the fact that the philosophy of environmentalism has now been firmly incorporated in the discourse of post-modernity, which nowadays [...]
Both of them focused on similar problems but used entirely different methods to deliver their ideas while having clear benefits and disadvantages of their choices.*One the one hand, novels like Citizen help build an emotional [...]
Although the theme of shame is central to both Anna Karenina and The Idiot, the nature of this feeling is explained differently: Tolstoy regards shame as the result of a person's actions, while Dostoevsky considers [...]
In Nausea, the main character is a well-traveled 30-year-old man afflicted with intense feelings of the meaninglessness of his own being, an experience he dubs 'nausea.' The main character and narrator, Roquentin, is portrayed as [...]
Analysis of the Similarities portrayed between Alice and Jim and the respective applications of the authors style of literature. In addition, the author uses the different settings of the story and the character traits of [...]
The three features which are discussed in this respect are the division of the two societies into social strata, the use of state power and control over citizens, and the loss of people's individualities.
Transcendentalism was one of the brightest literary movements of the 19th century, in which a few people belonging to cultured and educated American society founded a movement that proclaimed the power and importance of the [...]
Both Jack's and Molly's parents are poor, and the children in the stories are forced to experience difficulties in finding food and trying to survive; therefore, the boy and the girl get into ogres' houses.
Dina's experiences in Japan depicted in Geese contribute to the depiction of her life at Yale from Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, offering valuable insights into the development of her character and search for personal and national [...]
The author perceived the foundation of modern capitalism through war capitalism, which used military strength and technological advantages in order to clear land for cotton plantations and subjugate or exterminate various indigenous races that got [...]
Compensating the Wrongly Convicted is intended to introduce the issue of wrongful convictions that persists in the United States today answering some of the basic questions concerning the problem and informs about the potential solutions [...]
The often promoted idea of nationalism that increases patriotic sentiments during a time of conflict may play a substantial role in the development of wrong ideas regarding war and its purposes, and provoke division of [...]
In his 1922 poem "The waste land", Thomas Eliot attempts to portray how social solidarity of in the modern world is affected by social and cultural changes such as the change in gender roles, dynamism [...]