Theme Analysis - Detailed Procedures
Theme Analysis Paper:
The purpose of this paper is to show how Oscar Wilde develops his characters to advance his ideas (a theme in the short story). You will track (in writing) what a character is like at the beginning of the story, how this trait develops conflict in the short story, and how the resolution of that conflict demonstrates an idea about kindness, compassion, moving forward, compassion, or courage.
A rough outline would like this:
Introduction with thesis statement ("Through the character of ______, Oscar Wilde argues that ______")
What a character is like. Choose the Otis family (treating them as a single character), Virginia, or the ghost. Choosing the ghost is the most straightforward choice.
How this conflict causes problems in the story (internal or external conflict)
How the resolution of this conflict demonstrates Oscar Wilde's ideas about kindness, compassion, moving forward, compassion, or courage
Conclusion (sum up your argument)
Here is another way of visualizing the essay:
Last sentence: Through the character of _____, Oscar Wilde argues _____
First sentence: Answers the question: "What is _____ like at the beginning of the story?"
First sentence: Answers the question: "Given that _____ is like _____, how does this create conflict in the play?"
First sentence: Answers the question: Given the conflict, how does the resolution of that conflict show _____?"
Answers the question: "How did you prove the thesis was correct?" It sums up your argument.
This is an overview, but you should write the paper in chunks. Start with an introductory paragraph.
An introductory paragraph provides the necessary background and establishes what it is that the paper is going to...