October 27, 2020 0 Comment

How to Analyze a Literary Piece, Rules and Tips

How to Analyze a Literary Piece: Rules and Tips

The underlying purpose and intention of creating a work of literature by its author is to mingle such technicalities and use language that is fathomable by his target audience which means knowing the audience is the primary step in the creation of an author’s desired outlook of work.   For the readers, it’s extremely important to understand the viewpoint of the author and the context in which he wrote a story or any work that is related to literature. As a matter of fact, a writer is free to weave his story and characters that are subservient to him and rein the story in his own secluded, and unique way. The readers are obliged to give the author creative license and liberty up to a certain admissible level and foster the idea in mind that it’s the world that the author chose to create for his characters and the plot or storyline must unravel in its own specific and as the writer has written it. Liking or disliking the story or that literature is subjective and every reader has a right to constructively criticize as well, if needed but understanding the perspective of the writer is supremely important.  Reading a book and choosing to read the genres and stories which you like is completely on the selection of the reader for their pleasure but when you are asked to read a book in a classroom that’s when you might find yourself at your wits’ end and on the verge of giving up. For analyzing a piece of literature effectively there are certain ways and rules which save you from the complexities of the conundrum and hanging clouds over you.  


Literary analysis is not even close to a book review or a book report, it has an edge over both of them. When you are analyzing a literary work, it’s irremissible to leave even minor details that might at times seem to be inconsequent but actually have broader and more substantial parts to play in the premiss. To analyze something requires attention to details and breaking down the entire script for the purpose of having adequate understating of the unmissable points and plots of it.  When you are writing an analysis of a literary book, it becomes cardinal to acknowledge all the isolable or integral components and to critically analyze the importance of those in advancing the story. Your thesis or analysis of it must broach the central essence of the plots and therefore must be able for the readers to know the gist of literature and also make a fine point of getting the psyche of its characters or in other instances, the symphony of words and the ramifications that lie hidden to be unearthed by the quench of readers.  Hence by definition literary analysis is:  ‘The process of uncovering several different segments of a piece of literature and finding the critical relations among the characters and plot twists. Literary analysis chiefly encompasses the use of storyline, characters, plot development, and various other literary devices that play their respective unavoidable parts to render a meaning and sense to the overall story.’


  • Understanding the Message: 

Although it’s arguable that the message that a literature actually intends to deliver and that which critical analysis of the literature depicts can slightly be differing as it’s unrealistic to think that the reader completely aligns his thinking capacity and reasoning strategies exactly with what the author had in mind while writing. There is always a slight margin for the readers to corroborate segments and bits of storyline according to their understanding of the story. However, it’s still strictly recommendable to concentrate one’s efforts on keeping the central theme of the script intact and never let the main idea or message of the story be bypassed from being scrutinized.
  •  Cognizance of Character Traits: 

As the story unravels, the realization of the characters, their traits and their superficial relationship with each other also descend upon the reader however it’s extremely important to delve deep into the characters’ psyche and fathom their dynamics and significance in plot development. For the critical analysis to be effective and convincing, the need to understand character traits is of utmost significance. A sharp recognition of the traits of protagonist, antagonist, anti-heros, and all the other characters is mandatory for a commendable analysis of the literature piece.
  •  Plausible Reasonings for the Evidences:

In the story, usually there are some mind-boggling and suspenseful sequences inciting the pangs of inquisitiveness to untie the knots and reach a plausible conclusion of those suspense elements through the support of evidence. Those evidence are concealed nowhere but inside the complex twists occurring every now and then. Now, the reader has to be highly gifted to pinpoint the areas where there is possible indication of the presence of evidence to unfold the cliff-hanging events and to explain them with sufficient articulate evidence.   The craft of convincingly explaining the engaging yet mysterious plots is not everybody’s cup of tea and only those who have mastered this craft are able to furnish enough viable reasonings from the script for better comprehension of the reader of your literary analysis. 
  • Structuring Your Thesis:

After you have collected evidence from the piece of literature which suffices to be apprehended by the readers, you are ready to construct your thesis and structure it in the template that is easiest to be understood by the reader of your analysis. A thesis has to be evidence-based, arguable, astounding, and very specific that it must not deviate from the very core of the thesis statement in any form or at any cost. Good thesis statement accounts for the fact that it’s meticulously woven around the main narrative of the story and holds enough potential to self-implicate different imageries and scenes from the story. 
  • Organizing Arguments:

There are various incidents and occurrences in the story that will complement your thesis statement and assist you in developing structured and well thought-out arguments. You must have a keen eye to link your arguments with the instances from the excerpts of the script. Weak arguments and illogical crammed explanation never vouch for an effective analysis and the statement of your thesis will remain unsupported which ultimately is indicative of your failure. 
  • Knowing the Type of Your Analysis:

Your efforts are not going to bear fruit until and unless you are well aware of the type of the analysis which you are doing. Mainly, there are comparative essays, theoretical papers or critical analysis based on close reading. To critically analyze any work of literature, there is this undeniable need to first understand and be aware of the type of analysis which you are entitled to do, otherwise it’s going to be a great disaster. Mostly, close reading is the best way to move forward in your critical analysis process. Finally, there is another comparably informal way of analyzing the literary content which is applied analysis or an applied essay. The term ‘informal’ never suggests that you are going to analyze the piece of literature any less deeply or critically. In an applied essay, you are supposed to correlate a certain extract of a literary piece with its intended message and how it keeps the potential to influence your experience. 


In a nutshell, a literary analysis is an opinion-based critical analysis of a piece of literature and no two analyses of the same script can be entirely identical as the capabilities and skills of the readers in analyzing it are never going to be the same. Their inclinations and different biases and how much they have kept themselves free of prejudices while reading accounts for the variations and subtle differences. However, as discussed earlier, all of them are bound to highlight the main message of the story and be upholding it, no matter what.  Furthermore, for an analysis to be holistically acceptable and correct, the aforementioned tips and techniques need to be taken care of before writing the thesis or commencing the process of structuring it.