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.

The Greatest Emptiness Concept in Moby Dick

The central contradiction which people have been trying to comprehend for ages is between the good and the evil and life and death. An American novelist Herman Melville analyzes this discrepancy in his novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, which was written in the XIX century. The story is considered to be unique because of its […]

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Published in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye, written by J. D. Salinger became one of his most controversial novels and a cultural phenomenon. This book is one of the most widely taught and commonly banned works of literature of all time (Benson & Salinger, 2018). There are debates on the topic of the novel’s […]

Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron

The 20-th century introduced the industrial spirit to almost every country around the world. The change in the mode of production and a switch to an unfamiliar social system was quite difficult for most nations to put up with. High capital requirements, inherent to the industrial era, forced the majority of countries to create the […]

Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour

Feminism is a prevalent phenomenon nowadays that affects numerous life spheres. In addition to that, it is a central concept of various literary works. As a rule, many famous feminist stories, novels, and plays were written in the mid-late 20th century when there happened the most crucial changes to women’s rights. However, there are some […]

Jack London’s The Call of the Wild

World literature consists of numerous examples when prominent writers turn to animal characters who are hardly distinguishable from human protagonists. The idea of such a trick is to convey a stronger message to the audience, as people relate to animals because they depict many human traits. Jack London is not an exception in this context, […]

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Rural nature has always been a source of inspiration for many American writers. Jon Krakauer is not an exception. Extreme weather and challenging conditions are the perfect backgrounds for exploring people’s psyche. In his famous book Into the Wild, Krakauer studies a story of “a well-educated young man with an above-average intellect and remarkable spiritual […]

George Orwell’s Novel 1984

1984 is a novel about totalitarianism and the life of a man who tried to escape from an oppressive political regime. The famous British writer George Orwell wrote his book in 1948. Events take place in London, a province’s capital of the state of Oceania in 1984. The world is involved in an endless war, […]

The Main Characters and Themes of The Bluest Eye

Introduction At the heart of The Bluest Eye lies a personal tragedy of an eleven-year-old African-American girl, Pecola Breedlaw. Living in the world owned by whites, the protagonist believes that her life would be more comfortable if she looked unique: blue eyes become a symbol of the desired appearance. After experiencing several terrifying incidents, such […]

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Introduction The Kite Runner is a novel written by an Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. When Hosseini was a child, his family moved from Afghanistan to France, and then to the USA. This experience is partially reflected in the narrative of the author. Hosseini has written three novels, and The Kite Runner “has sold millions of […]

The Bluest Eye by Tony Morrison

The portrayal of racism and its destructive consequences in literature serves the purpose of emphasizing the need to transform our society and respect the diversity of cultures. Tony Morrison is the author of the novel titled The Bluest Eye, which presents an overview of an African-American girl’s life and the challenges she encountered. This paper […]

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Introduction Pride and Prejudice is a world-known novel written by an English author Jane Austen in 1813. The story revolves around the importance of education, marriage, financial viability, and traditions in the United Kingdom during the Regency era. Humor is used as the primary artistic means of the narrative, which attracted many readers and ensured […]

Moral of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Introduction Usually, authors of the most outstanding pieces of literature explain their attitudes towards some significant issues with the help of dozens of chapters and hundreds of pages. Many people believe that it is impossible to create a full-fledged literary work consisting of just a few pages except for stories for children and rhymes. However, […]

Life of Pi: Key Characters, Plot, and Themes

Introduction Life of Pi is a popular fantasy novel by Yann Martel, an author from Canada. It tells the story of Piscine, a boy who travels on a life raft with a tiger after surviving a shipwreck. After a series of hardships, the main character returns to civilization and manages to succeed in life. Martel […]

A Christmas Carol by Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Dickens was first published on December 19, 1843. Since its publication, this book, arguably one of his most famous works, has made its mark on American culture and literature. It is difficult to underestimate the significance of A Christmas Carol, which was made into numerous TV and stage versions. Some would […]

The Outsiders by Susan Eloise Hinton

Introduction Almost every literary tradition can present the world with at least one child prodigy — the author of a sensational book that makes a significant impact on the whole world. Susan Eloise Hinton, who wrote her novel The Outsiders in 1965, is the American version of such cultural archetype.1After its publication, the novel was […]

The Coming of Age in Mississippi memoir by Anne Moody

Introduction The Coming of Age in Mississippi is one of the most influential pieces in African-American literature born in the period of active fighting for civil rights, against systematic racism and segregation. It was written and printed in 1968 by Anne Moody, a Black civil rights activist, as a form of autobiography.1 The story takes […]

Much Ado about Nothing by Shakespeare

At first sight, Much Ado About Nothing, a play written by Shakespeare, seems to be an ordinary tale about the life of high society with its intrigues, gossips, and love affairs. However, the writer would not have written this comedy unless he had wanted to disclose human vices and satirize the upper class’s passion for […]

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Introduction In Ralph Ellison’s novel The Invisible Man, the protagonist narrates in the first person about his invisibility. He, as he refers to himself without considering his person a subject while being a real person, is made «of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids».1 He describes how people around are looking through him. The problem […]

Into the Wild: Characters, Themes, Personal Opinion

Some people choose unconventional lifestyles to distinguish themselves from others or comprehend the purpose or sense of their existence. Into the Wild, a non-fiction book written by Jon Krakauer narrates a story of such a man named McCandless who quit civilized living and started his wild journey across America. This paper will summarize the plot […]

Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Summary Published in 1927, Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is a pinnacle of conversation; that is, more under the surface of the interaction between a girl named Jig and an American man. At first glance, this seems like a simple, sometimes intense communication between two adults waiting for their train, which is […]

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

An American writer Ray Bradbury is one of the most famous authors of the 20-21 centuries and one of the most ingenious anti-utopians in the world. In his works, the writer often discusses the topic of the human future and the inevitable degradation of people due to the loss of spirituality. Bradbury describes heroes living […]

The Tempest: Characters, Theme, and Personal Opinion

Introduction In his drama The Tempest, Shakespeare combines the supernatural dimension with real, when describing the details of the royal intrigues in the Kingdom of Naples. Dated back to the seventeenth century, the play depicts the power of compassion and forgiveness, showing that men of real integrity can overcome betrayal, raising through confinement to spiritual […]

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Introduction The Road is a post-apocalyptic novel written by an outstanding American author Cormac McCarthy in 2006. It depicts the world destroyed by a global disaster, horrible activities of survived people, violence, and the unexpected love of the father and his son who travel across the country to the sea. This is the story of […]

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a novel about the difficult life of American migrant workers during the Great Depression. It uncovers the hardship of this historical period and reflects the author’s personal experience and knowledge about the lives of migrant ranch workers. Steinbeck invites the reader to think about each personage with […]

King Lear: Summary of the Plot, Analysis of Characters, Main Themes, and Personal Opinion

Introduction The struggle for power constitutes a root reason for conflict in Shakespeare’s King Lear, wherein a royal family betrays their ties for the sake of authority and order. Chaotic events of the post-Medieval rule are perceived through the prism of jealousy, betrayal, and dishonesty. A brief overview of the plot, characters, and central themes […]

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Non-fiction novel is a story about real people and real events, set forth using the dramatic techniques inherent in the book. The founder of this genre is considered the American writer Truman Capote, who in 1965 wrote the first report in the form of the novel In Cold Blood. The author defined his work as […]

Fences: On Stubbornness and Baseball

Introduction Fences is a tragic play by August Wilson, premiered in 1985. It tells of a black man in the 1950’s USA, Troy Maxson, and his relationships with his family and only friend, Bono. The play received critical acclaim, and, in 2013, a film adaptation. As a tragedy, Fences shows its central character’s downfall, caused […]

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

Introduction The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an epistolary novel about African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s. It addresses some crucial issues, such as segregation and sexism. This work was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1985 (Bay et al., 2015, p.169). More than that, The Color Purple […]

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Introduction Despite covering the period of World War II, the novel A Separate Peace, the author of which is John Knowles, does not narrate about military campaigns and battles. Instead, it seems to draw a parallel between an external war and an internal struggle within an individual. This essay will give a summary of the […]

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Introduction The generation gap is a persistent problem that prevents the younger generation from learning and finding their way in life. Tuesdays with Morrie by Albom is an explicit example of how accepting the authority of an older person can help the younger generation to deal with their emotional issues and set their priorities. Before […]

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie is a beautiful and appealing play written by Tennessee Williams in 1944. The story provides an insight into one unhappy family, in which each member feels lonely and wasted upon. Among the main topics involved are the beauty and its vulnerability, the balance between social obligations and personal freedom, parental authority, memories […]

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Introduction A family plays a substantial role in shaping a personality. This fact is a problem for children whose parents fail to pay proper attention to their upbringing due to various addictions. Jeannette Walls was such an unlucky child, and she described her growing up in a dysfunctional family in her memoir The Glass Castle. […]

The Giver: The Flawed “Flawless” World

To immerse oneself into the reality of The Giver, it is necessary to learn the crucial points about the personality of the author and the background of her most famous novel. Lois Lowry, an American writer, was born in 1937, and her writing career began in 1977 after publishing her first novel, A Summer to […]

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

O. Henry, an American writer, is famous for his short stories with an unpredictable ending. The Gift of the Magi is one of his masterpieces, which has become a traditional Christmas tale. In this story, the author shows a genuine love between young spouses, which is more precious than any material possessions. In this essay, […]

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

The work was written in 1922 in Germany just after the First World War, which brought a lot of trouble to the Germans. After this war, they felt unfairly humiliated and decided to take revenge, which happened a few years later. Hate turned out to be cruel, and in the meantime, a writer like Hesse […]

Jerome Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

Introduction This year, the world celebrated the 100th birth of the famous American writer, Jerome Salinger. The anniversary has given rise to the new debate around his work. However, it seems that people have been reading and discussing Salinger’s most prominent book, The Catcher in the Rye, since its first publication in 1951. The book […]

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is devoted to serious social and ethical topics – disabled people and the ethics of medical experiments. The author presents the story of a mentally disabled man who wants to become similar to others and agrees to undergo an innovative procedure. He obtains superior intellect but does […]

Ayn Rand’s Anthem: Individualism and Language

Introduction Anthem a dystopian novella by Ayn Rand, originally published in 1938. It tells the story of a man’s struggle with individuality in a society where it is forbidden. The novella’s central theme is individualism, its relation to progress and humanity, framed as a modern version of the Prometheus myth. It also makes use of […]

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck in 1939, is a fascinating, vital, and truthful story giving a wide range of impressions to readers. The book is about the problems that American farmers faced during the Great Depression. The author describes people living in poor conditions and forced to abandon their homes to go […]