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Literature Essay Examples and Topics

Essays on literature and languages usually follow stricter structural requirements than their equivalents in other disciplines. You have to show that you are a capable writer that knows the English language well and can create engaging passages.

At the very least, your essay should consist of three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Each of these blocks has to follow exact requirements with regards to contents.

For example, the conclusion cannot add new information to the essay. You should learn and understand the basic structural guidelines if you want to submit an excellent paper.

The introduction is where you describe the topic to the reader to provide some context. As was mentioned above, you should establish the position you are going to promote.

This part ends in a thesis statement, which explicitly describes the specific idea you are going to discuss. All of your arguments should be contained in the next part, the body. In the conclusion, you will sum up your ideas and make a closing statement that finishes your thought.

Here are some tips for writing literary essays:

  • You should be brief in your writing without leaving information out.
  • Nobody likes to read text that does not add anything of value!
  • The introduction and conclusion should both be one paragraph long. The body’s length may vary according to your needs.
  • You should begin your writing process by formulating a thesis. Each point you make has to connect to it directly.
  • Do not be afraid to write a lot in a literary analysis! The investigations of characters, ideas, plot, themes, and other essential components of a work can be long.

You can find language and literature extended essay topics, English literature introduction examples, literature essay examples, and other valuable samples for your essay at IvyPanda.

5261 Best Essay Examples on Literature

“The Last Chance Kid” by Nelson Nye

What Greene does not mention here is that Jesse is her adopted son from Bulgaria and so there is the added responsibility of setting an example of how to live in a society that is [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1031

Principles of Writing Skills

A person who is hesitant to read can never be a good writer, hence I have understood this important thing and I have been working upon it for quite some time now.
  • Subjects: Writers
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 516

“Sylvia’s Death” by Anne Sexton

The poem "Sylvia's Death" by Anne Sexton is devoted, as the title suggests, to the death of poet Sylvia Plath. The poem itself is like a monologue or a short speech devoted to Sylvia and [...]
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 549

“Flowering Judas” by Katherine Anne Porter

The author of the book employed certain aspects that are interesting in nature and this makes the story capture the minds and the hearts of the most audience.
  • Subjects: Dramatic Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 555

“The Beast in the Jungle” by Henry James

The story is not interesting to read and there is nothing left in the memory to share with others. The Beast in the Jungle is definitely not one of the stories to read twice.
  • Subjects: Dramatical Novel
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 574

“Our America” by Jose Marti

A person who is not aware of the date when the story "Our America" was written, will think that Jose Marti wrote the story, which is a speech in its format, in the 21st century.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 555

Crisis, Death and Giving in “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck

However, the first incidence of crisis occurs in the life of the couple with the financial and material demands of Wang's uncle and Wang's obsession to own more property and the drought that results in [...]
  • Subjects: Concepts in American Novels
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 627

“Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton

The women characters in the short story tell each other a series of tales, embedded within the story at different narratives, about the enticements and dangers they face when they were young.
  • Subjects: Gender in Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 560

“Up From Slavery” by Booker T. Washington

Each morning it was the duty of the overseer to assign the daily work for the slaves and, when the task was completed, to inspect the fields to see that the work had been done [...]
  • Subjects: Historical Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 573

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by R.S. Stevenson

Stevenson depicts a flaw of the main character through the theme of dual personality which is closely connected with the evolution process and the contemporary problem of unethical scientific researches.
  • Subjects: American Novels Influences
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1255

What Are Narratives?

A narrative can be termed as a recounting or telling of a series of events which can either be real or imaginative, recounted by a narrator to a narratee.
  • Subjects: Concepts in American Novels
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 792

“Knowledge and Its Place in Nature” by Hilary Kornblith

This paper analyzes the knowledge based on the book "Knowledge and its Place in Nature" by Hilary Kornblith, and the arguments presented by the author that knowledge should be approached naturalistically, as it is a [...]
  • Subjects: World Philosophy Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 847

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd

In "Secret Life of Bees", the references to bees serve as "conceptual cement", because it is namely these references that entitle Kidd's novel with moral wholesomeness.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 12
  • Words: 3183

“Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan

Corn is the food for the cows, the pigs, lambs, the chicken, turkey, and fishes like the tilapia, catfish, and the salmon, which despite being a carnivore is nowadays being fed on corn to prevent [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1636

“A Room Full of Mirrors” by Charles R. Cross

He was the El Magico, the dreamer, the magician who is a short span of 27 years fought against poverty, racial discrimination and prejudices, a troubled childhood with an abusive father and the loss of [...]
  • Subjects: Writers
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 815

Alfred J. Prufrock, Dr. Jekyll and Judith Hearne

At the turn of twentieth century, more and more educated White people were finding themselves being deprived of psychological qualities that allowed their ancestors to build and to maintain civilization they were becoming increasingly incapable [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1192

Freedom in “Purple Hibiscus” by Chimamanda Adichie

The main character and the narrator Kambili, is virtually silent in the presence of her father, she can hardly express her views, knowing that it may result in a fit of her father's anger.
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 753

“The Sun Also Rises” Novel by Ernest Hemingway

Cohn states, that he is dissatisfied with his life in Paris, and he believes, that the change of the surrounding scenery would help him to fill the void that he feels in the life.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 558

Thomas Friedman’s Book “The World is Flat”

The title of the book is drawn from a conversation that the author has with the CEO of an Indian software company where the CEO describes how his company is taking advantage of the flattening [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1184

Characters in “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles

In this essay, we are going to explore the following issues; first, whether, Oedipus can be perceived as a hero in the traditional meaning of this word, in other words, we have to answer the [...]
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1398

“North and South” Novel by Elizabeth Gaskell

This paper is a review of the main character, Margaret Hale and will also look at the social and economical and political transitions/issues that occur in the story.
  • Subjects: British Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1863

Literature and History in the American Experience

In the pages of history and numerous literary canons in American experience there lies a terrain of societal upheaval and unrest that addresses the questions of segregation and racist philosophy underlying the mainstream dynamics of [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 10
  • Words: 2635

“The Fish” Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

The speaker, out in a battle-worn, rented boat, catches the old fish and after examining the fish closely and sympathetically, in a spontaneous moment of recognition tosses the fish back into the water."The aesthetic nature [...]
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 977

“The Storm” by Kate Chopin and Critical Article

The article related to this short story, "Looking at setting and Atmosphere" analyses and demonstrates the importance of minor details in a short story. The author of the article is right that the story is [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 565

Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

However, Shakespeare, being the absolute genius of an artist was able to conceptualize the basic norms of this sentiment and presented his villain of this play as a monster, for the jingoistic mass, and a [...]
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1121

Sanity vs. Madness (Don Quixote vs. Orgon)

This statement will serve us as the main thesis for this paper, because in it, we will aim to prove that, even though Don Quixote and Orgon seem to be out of this world, it [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1538

The Origins of Poetry of Famous Americans Artists

Realizing this is the origin of his own poems, Whitman may have extrapolated this concept to all poets in the above statement, suggesting that the origin of all poems is in the lives of the [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1606

Stereotypes in Glaspell’s “Trifles” Play

Because they are women, the men automatically assume that they are incapable of understanding the gravity of what has occurred just as the men have apparently ignored the possibility that it was Mrs.
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 552

“On the Sidewalk Bleeding” Story by Evan Hunter

Later they found a drunker who said that he had not even thought that the boy had been dying. Angela and Freddie said that the thought about the chance to be accused of the death [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 546

“Hills Like White Elephants”: Argument Comparison

Bernardo and Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" and the tradition of the American in Europe by D. The early versions of that story put Jig and the American man on the train for which they [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 930

“Beachy Head” Poem by Charlotte Smith

Although Smith does not lose her connection to social and political contexts, the first and foremost describes the discovery of the human self through nature, which means, the natural world appears both a key character [...]
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 712

“In Dubious Battle” Novel by John Steinbeck

The novel is aimed at disclosure of the principal problems faced by the working class in the 1930s and showing how ordinary people had to struggle for their rights. The flow of events presented in [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 827

“The Virgin Suicides” Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides in his well-known book "The Virgin Suicides" tried to show all the difficulties of the existence of the two genders in our cruel world through the eyes of a real hermaphrodite.
  • Subjects: Gender in Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 898

“Night” by Elie Wiesel: Historical Book Review

Given that the events are seen through the eyes of the young person, the major emphasis is placed upon the main character's perception of the violence and death taking place around him and gradual loss [...]
  • Subjects: Historical Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 954

“The Black Swan” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

According to the author, "History proceeds by jumps and is controlled by the tyranny of the singular, the accidental, the unseen and the unpredicted".
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 563

Blind in Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” Book

The narrator admits from the very beginning of the story that he is nervous about having a blind man in his house, suggesting that he himself is actually quite blind to the reality of the [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1008

Russian Revolution in “Cement” by Gladkov

The novel demonstrates that one of the true insights of Communism is its understanding of the manner in which all human institutions and activities become perverted to the selfish use of particular groups.
  • Subjects: Historical Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1280

Setting in Works by Chopin, Bambara, and Updike

Setting plays a very important role in the composition of the whole work of literature. In general, the setting is a background of the events in the writer's work.
  • Subjects: Aspects of American Novels
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 579

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

The author, as a mother has put a lot of her own reflection and her soul into the novel, still giving her readers the opportunity to form their own opinion about the things in the [...]
  • Subjects: Themes in American Novels
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1107

Analysis of Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz

It traces the developments in the boy's life and the changes and compromises he makes in his life. He is the father to the main character, a scholarly samurai, and a journalist.
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1573

Rasism in “No Telephone to Heaven” by Michelle Cliff

This complexity comes even more difficult when the topic of race and identity is involved in literature."No Telephone to Heaven" by Michelle Cliff is the piece of literature dealing with this topic, and the present [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 572

Emily Dickinson “If I Should Die” Analysis

Thus, it can be stated that the persona of the poem is a confident and peaceful person which is aware of the fact that other people will live and the world will still exist after [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 554

Mirror Image: Heart of Darkness & Things Fall Apart

However, Okonkwo is helpless once he finds British colonization creeping in and destroying the traditional parameters of the village and their culture as a whole along with the ramification of their religion with the invasion [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1001

Don Quixote and Hamlet: Comparative Analysis

It cannot escape our attention that Don Quixote's illusions are strongly associated with his commitment to "protect justice", therefore they cannot be discussed as "thing in itself", as it is the case with Hamlet's illusions, [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1554

Jacob Riis How the Other half Lives (1890) Analysis

Particularly within the last several decades of the 19th century, land speculation and the lack of any coherent urban policies have led to unchecked growth and urban sprawl, resulting in the loss of thousands of [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 836

Three Struggles Faced in the Aeneid

The Aeneid is a struggle between the mortal and God in the pursuit of the mortal to set up a newfound land.
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1711

“Student Companion to Mark Twain” by David E. E. Sloane

Next to the curriculum committee, the teachers and parents are responsible on the selection and decision of the study material. The characters in the story are country folks and the setting of the story is [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1136

Shakespeare: The Complete Works

Shakespeare introduced a shift in focus from the traditional angelic woman, usually blond and 'bright as the sun', as she is replaced with a Dark Lady whose characteristics remain far from the chaste princess of [...]
  • Subjects: British Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1294

“King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Hochschild

The book goes on to detail how Leopold gradually takes the entire lot of the Congo population in his grip, by making it in the nature of his private fiefdom to keep them in a [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1225

“The Monk” by Matthew Lewis

The Age of the Enlightenment adored the samples of the classical art, in which it has seen the embodiment of intelligence.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1350

Wordsworth & Coleridge About External Universe

It was Wordsworth's belief that Nature has the power to subdue the human heart and to mould the moral life of man, thereby emphasizing the influence of natural objects upon a superstitious soul and the [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2313

“The Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Thesis: The poem is about the wanderings of the ancient mariner who is permanently traumatized and alienated by his killing of the albatross and his experiences lead him to the spiritual realization that all creatures [...]
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2447

“Rape of the Lock” the Poem by Alexander Pope

In the times gone by, there was a period when scholars and knowledgeable people on the whole, tended to assume the primary half of the eighteenth century as the "Age of Pope".
  • Subjects: British Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1448

Arthur Miller and Red Scare

Certain connection between Miller's play "Crucible" and what was going on in the world during the Red Scare cannot be denied and by analyzing the play and the definite historical period one can find a [...]
  • Subjects: Writers
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1122

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shicubu

The conflict between his intention to leave the world and his desire to retain the memories of Murasaki is the key issue of the analysis.
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 8
  • Words: 2125

Huxley’s Brave New World Review

Huxley has written in the introduction of his recent print of the book that much of the inspiration for the book was a result of his visit to the high technology Brunner and Mond plant [...]
  • Subjects: Historical Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 885

Seneca, Medea; Euripides, Medea

Seneca describes the wedding in details and on this stage Medea already hates Creusa and Jason and starts thinking over her plans to take the revenge whereas in Euripides's Medea the scene with the wedding [...]
  • Subjects: Dramatic Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1402

The Ugliness of Beauty Interesting title

In following with the traditional ending of fairy tales as applied to Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, the moral of the story is that beauty holds more significance than a thing of character.
  • Subjects: Aspects of American Novels
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1284

Moral Complexities in Things Fall Apart by C. Achebe

In spite of the fact that he was one of the greatest men in Umuofia and a leader of his community he was hence not given the burial ceremony that he deserved as an Umuofian [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1629

Chinua Achebe and His Works

It acknowledged the interdependency of the masculine and the feminine or community values such as the earth and sky. Achebe's stories are also known to use proverbs that incorporate the values of the rural Igbo [...]
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 976

Hedda Gabler vs. Chandara Review

Despite the fact that Tesman tries his best to satisfy Hedda's desires to the best of his ability, she still thinks of him as not being quite worthy of her, because in Hedda's eyes, Tesman [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1031

Tragedy in Greek Plays Analysis

During the ancient times, the Greeks held festivals in honor of Dionysus who was referred to as the god of everything uncivilized where the Athenians tried to control the innate wildness of humanity.
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 962

The Literary Works of W. H. Auden

In later years, a lot of his poems were directed through the style of using firm words to express his strong emotions and to depict the ideas of revealing and concealing the tone of his [...]
  • Subjects: British Literature
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2193

Unhappy Relationships in Hemingway’s Life and Fiction

In "The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber", Hemingway reveals his latent fear of strong women and being dominated as he depicts the story of a middle-aged man who is finally beginning to understand [...]
  • Subjects: Aspects of American Novels
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1233

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger

The first works of the author are devoted to the writer's life experience and disclose the events and facts which were familiar to her that is why many of these works are autobiographical.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 10
  • Words: 3041

Writer’s Responsibility to the Reader

An artist wants to express with the help of his or her art, the economic, political, social, cultural and religious or philosophical conditions of the moment of the creation of the art.
  • Subjects: Writers
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1641

‘Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You’ by Munro

The second story "Material" "opens at a point in time near the end of the action, and the narrator, who is at the centre of the action, moves frequently and easily between present and past, [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 2319

“Allegory of the Cave” by Plato

As Plato was a disciple of Socrates and the source of much of the information we have regarding much of what this man had to say, Socrates' concept of ethics is relevant to an understanding [...]
  • Subjects: Comparative Literature
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2807

“The Glass Menagerie” the Play by Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams, a prominent playwright of his own epoch was born on 26 March 1911 in Columbus where he lived with his family consisting of his grandfather who was a religious man in the church, [...]
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1004

Beatrice from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

Even though the main plot of the story is centered on challenges threatening to sabotage the union Hero and Claudio, Beatrice along with Benedick with their constant verbal jousting finds itself quite an interesting counter-plot.
  • Subjects: Plays
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 568

“The Rings of Saturn” the Novel by W. G. Sebald

The narration of the character as it was illustrated in the book is like a tour on the East coast of England during 1992, as what was stated on the first line of the novel [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1202

Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”

This appears to be the main motif of O'Brien's book and it is readers' existential mode that prompts them to look at "The Things They Carried" as literary piece that promotes an anti-war sentiment or [...]
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 753

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

All of them starting with the principally major to the minor characters are performing some function in the text, bringing it home to the reader and to the other characters the vital lessons to be [...]
  • Subjects: American Novels Influences
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1128

New Criticism in the English and American Literature

Consequently, any effort to state the meaning of the poem appears to be heretical, as it is an affront to the honesty of the complex arrangement of sense within the literary creation.
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1111

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

For example in the chapter on the Great Gatisby she narrates the dreams of people in regard to the future, the dangers associated with fulfillment of such dreams, and the frustration resulting from the dreams [...]
  • Subjects: World Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 835

“On the Road” by Langston Hughes

First of all, it is necessary to mention, that the poem "on the road" by Langston Hughes is the narration of the periods of the Great Depression.
  • Subjects: Poems
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 536

Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” Review

It also goes against some of society and the state's outlook and is opposed to statism and collectivism which is that of conforming to the community and national goals.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 1966

“Fleur” by Louise Erdrich

The reader explores, again, that Fleur's character is surrounded with mystery, when she is violated by one of the players and Pauline is not able to help her even she knows what is happening.
  • Subjects: American Literature
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 621