Free Essays on Literature: Examples and Topic Ideas |

Free Essay Examples on Literature

The Glass Menagerie and Portrait of a Girl in Glass

The Glass Menagerie was the first successful play written by Tennessee Williams in 1945. It brought the author great fame and success and alleviated him to the ranks of America’s most esteemed and regarded playwrights. This play introduced the genre of a “memory play” to the theater, characterized by the unusual amount of freedom given to the playwright. The settings…

Words: 1136
Topic: Literature

Behavior in “The Slipover Sweater” by Jesse Stuart

There is no use denying the fact that people are different and they all have their tastes and styles of behavior. This fact makes our life more interesting as one can never know what awaits him/her and how a person will react to certain actions. The story The Slipover Sweater by Jesse Stuart is based on these differences in the…

Words: 290
Topic: Literature

Touchstone and Jaques in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”

Jaques, a character from the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, creates an unexpected contrast to the entire premise of the Arden Forest. In broad terms, he aligns poorly with the setting of optimism and change for the better conveyed by the rest of the characters. However, upon closer inspection of his worldview, it becomes apparent that his…

Words: 1704
Topic: Literature

Mathilde in Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”

Introduction Fiction writing is one of the most intriguing pieces of art in literature. Characterization is one of the integral parts of fiction writing. Characterization uses description to create characters that stick in mind. Therefore, when developing a character, the author needs to describe in detail his characters to a level that the characters live in the mind of the…

Words: 1794
Topic: Literature

“The Laramie Project” a Play by Moisés Kaufman

The Laramie Project was supposed to highlight and unfold the story of how a town responds to tragedy, controversy and worldwide media attention. The citizens gave a chronology of events and how they were able to combat the disaster. The paper would discuss the unfolding events and their consequences in the town. Laramie gets a facelift after the Mathew Shepard’s…

Words: 880
Topic: Literature

Canto III in The Divine Comedy by Dante

Introduction Canto III describes Dante’s first acquaintance with Hell and the interpersonal changes that occur in the pilgrim’s inner world as a result. This part demonstrates to the pilgrim the sufferings of those people who did not strive hard during their earthly life to make the right choice between the good and bad. Therefore, these people are punished by the…

Words: 868
Topic: Literature

“Modern Chivalry” a Novel by Hugh Henry Brackenridge

‘Modern Chivalry’ is an American novel based on Captain John Farrago, who is portrayed as the American frontier Don Quixote. He departs from Pennsylvania to take a “ride” around the world accompanied by his servant Teague presumably to observe human nature. His comparison to Don Quixote is quite justified given the overall themes and the capricious nature of the main…

Words: 549
Topic: Literature

Social Class and Difference in Theatrical Comedies

Class difference is an inevitable constitute of literary work. A drama that reflects the social construct of time is an indispensable source to understand class and societal structure of an era. In an attempt to portray, the world dramatists demonstrated the littlest equations that set the people apart. Most prominent of these are the servant-master relationship. The relationship between a…

Words: 2518
Topic: Literature

“The Tea Party: A Brief History” by Ronald Formisano

Introduction Formisano is an American political historian and the author of the concise book, The Tea Party: A Brief History. This compilation is one of the books that broadly talk about the Tea Party in the history of American politics. The books mainly talk about the rise of the Tea Party movement during a time in history when the American…

Words: 1411
Topic: Literature

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Introduction In the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, Flannery O’Connor focuses on the lack of the ‘good’ aspects that are supposed to lead to ‘grace’ among human beings. The author shows the frailty of human beings and how they lack in spirituality. The story is presented through a short trip taken by the family, which is the…

Words: 2456
Topic: Literature

Utopia in “The Tempest” by Shakespeare

Introduction Literature is an art form that has existed in society for centuries. It serves various purposes depending on the intention of the author of a given work. Some literary works serve solely for entertainment to diminish the stresses of everyday life by clearing the mind through laughter and inspiration. Other forms are solely educational, and thus they impart knowledge…

Words: 4176
Topic: Literature

“Praying for Sheetrock” by Melissa Fay Greene

The history of the African-American search for freedom and equity has always been tragic. Although the abolishment of slavery was proclaimed many years ago, it became an integral part of the American society. One cannot find exact reasons for that. It seems that the idea of inequality and discrimination is rooted in the general reception of reality. In my opinion,…

Words: 578
Topic: Literature

Claude McKay’ Novel “Amiable with Big Teeth”

The recently discovered manuscript of Claude McKay titled “Amiable with Big Teeth: A Novel Concerning the Love Affair between the Communists and the Black Sheep of Harlem” provides a rare framework of the ideas, events and world affairs that shaped the Harlem Renaissance after the First World War. In particular, it provides evidence of the connection between the Black Harlem…

Words: 2533
Topic: Literature

The Poetry by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of the most famous and loved poets in American literature. The author’s word choice and use of punctuation make her works outstanding, as they combine both sound and pause, resembling the wind. Dickinson avoids conformity, as Emerson would say, and she creates her own poetry rules. Sound Winds Jostle Them, A Bird Came Down the Walk…

Words: 1663
Topic: Literature

Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America

Introduction People have been wondering about the history of the prehistoric America and the origin of the immigrants. Found in the archives and historical monuments, the historical development of America and its earliest immigration trends to wide and complex (Lee and Yung 2). The pursuit to understand the unique history of the growth of America and its immigrant process has…

Words: 2805
Topic: Literature

African Society in “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Introduction Written by Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart is a captivating novel that was published in 1958. The author lived from 1930 to 2013. The novel offers a response to various European literal works that presented the African people as primitive and ones who required European enlightenment for them to progress. Achebe depicts African society, focusing on the Igbo society…

Words: 2254
Topic: Literature

Love Definition in The Lais of Marie de France

Introduction The subject of Marie’s lais has led analysts of medieval history to conclude that Marie was a woman in court with a noble heritage. However, she was probably unmarried and with no property. If the estimation of the later part of the twelfth century is to be taken for truth as the time of her existence, it is more…

Words: 4470
Topic: Literature

Burdens’ Impact in “The Things They Carried” by O’Brien

Tim O’Brien’s short story “The things they carried” is a set of short pieces of narratives that tell the experiences of young American soldiers during and after the involvement in the Vietnam War. O’Brien took part in the Vietnam War in his early 20s. O’Brien was born in Austin, Minnesota in 1946. However, he grew up in Worthington in the…

Words: 1182
Topic: Literature

Stylistic Devices in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

Introduction Literature has always been an integral part of human society. It helped people to express their feelings and emotions and share thoughts that seem very important to them. That is why, since the beginning of the history of the mankind, authors tried to create some special and unique approach in order to create the artwork that could be able…

Words: 1209
Topic: Literature

Perseus and Moses Heroes’ Journey Pattern

Introduction Myths and legends are an important part of the legacy of the past, and it is critical to be able to analyze them to gain a better understanding of the cultural heritage of a particular person. This paper provides an analysis of two heroic figures from the mythology/religion of two peoples: Perseus of the Ancient Greek mythology, and Moses…

Words: 1751
Topic: Literature

“Hills Like White Elephants” a Story by Ernest Hemingway

“Hills Like White Elephant” by Ernest Hemingway is told mainly in the form of a conversation between the couple and even though the words are not actually said, it becomes obvious that the girl in the story is about to get an abortion. The main theme of the story centers on the girl’s reluctance to go through with operation and…

Words: 1367
Topic: Literature

“What You Will Pawn, I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie

Nowadays, it is not a shame to interact with homeless people, provide them with help, and offer free food and support to improve their lives. Unfortunately, even the most mettle supporters cannot prevent the development of such bad habits like alcoholism, drugs, or low finance. Sherman Alexie is a successful modern short stories’ writer, who focuses on Indian identities and…

Words: 831
Topic: Literature

William Carlos Williams’ Poem “This Is Just To Say”

Communication is an important aspect with regard to human relations and interaction in social contexts. Through communication and interaction, people share and propagate ideas that ultimately portend influence on overall thresholds of discourse and engagement. It also offers an opportunity for individuals to relay feelings and emotions in a manner that facilitates growth in relationships. Numerous avenues facilitate sharing of…

Words: 1119
Topic: Literature

Imperialism in “Shooting an Elephant” by Orwell

Introduction “Shooting an Elephant” is an early essay by George Orwell. It is unclear whether this essay is autobiographical, or portrays a fictionalized version of a real experience. However, the strong imagery and symbolism of the story make its nature almost irrelevant to the message it tries to convey. The main themes of the story are imperialism, and how it…

Words: 1117
Topic: Literature

The Book “Man, the State, and War” by Kenneth Waltz

Even though the book Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Approach by Kenneth Waltz was written as far back as in 1959, it nevertheless contains a number of in-depth insights into what can be considered the main preconditions for wars to occur on a periodical basis. Given the fact that, due to the recent geopolitical developments in the world,…

Words: 1717
Topic: Literature

Change in the “Disgrace” Novel by J. M. Coetzee

Thesis The most prominent theme in J. M. Coetzee’s chef-d’oeuvre novel, Disgrace, change. The author sets the scene for events in the book in post-apartheid South Africa at a time when a variety of changes are occurring, thus affecting the characters in the story and the overall outcome in numerous ways. Most people connect the events during the post-apartheid period…

Words: 3997
Topic: Literature

Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee William’s “Glass Menagerie”

Amanda Wingfield is the protagonist of Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie. She is the mother of the two other characters – Tom and Laura. She is a character with admirable qualities and her personality is beyond any sympathy. Her character is that of a dreamer who in the end turns a realist. Williams stated that Amanda is a character that is…

Words: 627
Topic: Literature

“Night” a Book by Elie Wiesel about Holocaust Literature Analysis

Introduction Night is a book written by Elie Wiesel that focuses on his experiences while imprisoned in one of the Auschwitz concentration camps during the Holocaust. The book focuses on the inhuman experiences that the prisoners in the camp were subjected. Therefore, it highlights the impact that such experiences had on Wiesel belief and spirituality. In the book, Wiesel’s disgust…

Words: 507
Topic: Literature

“Tears of a Tiger” a Novel by Sharon Draper

Introduction Sometimes, the weight of past mistakes feels too heavy for a single person to endure. Sharon Draper’s fictional novel, Tears of a Tiger, is dedicated to exploring this concept. It is a morbid and tragic story of a young man who ruined his life by making just one poor decision. The book shows just how fragile our conventional realities…

Words: 2310
Topic: Literature

Henry David Thoreau and Virginia Woolf’s Essay Comparison

Introduction Henry David Thoreau, an essay writer, social critic and editor, has been considered as the father of the American nature literature. In his book ‘Walden’, Thoreau, a naturalist, provides several short stories that relate to the natural aspects surrounding him. In particular, he uses natural things such as animals and plants to symbolize humans and human life.Thoreau’s reference of…

Words: 1168
Topic: Literature

The Drama “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell

Trifles is an early example of a feminist drama, written by Susan Glaspell in 1916. The drama revolves around the murder of John Wright, a farmer described by his peers as an honest and hard-working man. The man was found in his house, strangled with a string. His wife, Mrs. Minnie Wright, is suspected of murder. The main characters of…

Words: 995
Topic: Literature

“The Tempest” a Play by William Shakespeare

In the Tempest, Shakespeare, portrays Caliban as an uncultured half- man, half beast, who is enslaved in his own land by a foreign intruder. Shakespeare portrays him as a person who has limited understanding on how the modern world works. Through Prospero’s own description, Caliban is shown as a beast that lacks self-control and remorse. Amidst all this pain and…

Words: 560
Topic: Literature

“The Female American” a Book by Unca Eliza Winkfield

Unca Eliza Winkfield wrote The Female American in 1767 as a religious memoir modelled after Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Just like Robinson Crusoe, despite being a work of fiction, there is a series of references to factual historical events meant to create an illusion of reality. From a non-critical perspective, a reader might interpret the text as clever and even…

Words: 854
Topic: Literature

“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

Introduction Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street is an illustration of the problems faced by Latin women in a culture laden with racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Society as depicted in the book is being dominated by men where women are generally praised for their physical features; however, the Latin women are treated without equality, absolutely like second-rate beings. The…

Words: 814
Topic: Literature

The Story of an Hour Analysis & Summary – Essay Example

The Story of an Hour is a short story written by Kate Chopin in 1894. This famous piece of literature was controversial for its time, as the story mentioned a female protagonist who felt relieved after her husband’s death. The following The Story of an Hour analysis essay will summarize the plot. The reader will consider an extensive character analysis…

Words: 1585
Topic: Literature

Hamlet and Gertrude Relationship Analysis – Research Paper

The famous British playwright, William Shakespeare, explored the issue of paternal and maternal love in most of his works. His plays, without any doubt address, a lot of problems regarding family relationships and ties. Both the good and the bad aspects of it. Later in his studies, Sigmund Freud uses Shakespeare’s works to explain some fundamental problems, complexes, and psychological…

Words: 1343
Topic: Literature

The Lottery Analysis: Essay on Shirley Jackson’s Short Story

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is one of the most recognized short pieces of literature in the US. First published in 1948, it quickly gained popularity due to various psychological aspects of the story. The following analysis of The Lottery is going to talk about it in detail. Introduction The “lottery” in the story is an annual event. Family members…

Words: 1285
Topic: Literature

A&P Analysis – Essay on John Updike’s Short Story [New Sample]

A&P by John Updike is a short story written in 1961. Using satire and pure comedy, Updike investigates the issue of cultural norms in her story. The following John Updike’s A&P analysis will help you to understand the story in detail. A&P: Brief Summary An effective A&P by John Updike analysis can be conducted after knowing the plot of the…

Words: 1305
Topic: Literature

A Good Man Is Hard to Find Analysis: Essay Example & Summary

A great writer Flannery O’Connor has always been a central figure in American literature. Just like her colleague Nadine Gordimer, she covered the moral issues in her bizarre stories. Her short story A Good Man is Hard to Find provides a solid ground for literary analysis. Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find analysis will help you to…

Words: 1478
Topic: Literature

The Things They Carried Analysis – Essay Example [2020]

This essay discusses a famous novel about the war in Vietnam called The Things They Carried. It also gives a piece of background information about the writer, Tim O’Brien. In the essay, there is a discussion of the main characters and the underlying themes. The author analyzes some of the literary devices in Tim O’Brien’s The Thing They Carried. Introduction…

Words: 1725
Topic: Literature

The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper Comparison

A women’s role in society has always been a widely-discussed topic. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin are two stories that explore this issue. Do you want to compare and contrast The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an Hour? Check out the following essay and find useful information for…

Words: 1877
Topic: Literature

The Lottery Essay: Literary Analysis Example

Shirley Jackson wrote several short stories, but she is broadly remembered because of her short story The Lottery. This story is considered one of the best American short stories of the 20th century. It centers around several themes, such as the role of traditions, parenting, and scapegoating. The Lottery’s Plot The story starts with a very peaceful description, “The morning…

Words: 1782
Topic: Literature

Fahrenheit 451 Essay – Book Review & Analysis with Examples

Fahrenheit 451 is considered Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece. The society that he depicted in the novel is so far removed from the one we live in today. At the same time, they are so similar. This is just one of the Fahrenheit 451 essay examples. You can use it as an example for your next school assignment. This essay on Fahrenheit…

Words: 1822
Topic: Literature

Oedipus Rex & Hamlet: Compare & Contrast Essay

In this compare and contrast essay, Oedipus Rex and Hamlet’s characters are analyzed and discussed. Being the creations of two different authors, they still resemble each other in some exciting ways. Introduction: Similarities between Oedipus and Hamlet Oedipus is a character of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. He is in search of the truth but doesn’t care much about the danger…

Words: 1504
Topic: Literature

Essay on Soldier’s Home: Analysis of the Characters

For those who have done through the nightmare of the war, life can never be the same again. Sadly, it is one of the worst parts of coming back home. Soldiers’ perception of ordinary life and universal values is twisted. Sometimes, it becomes impossible for them to adjust to a peaceful life and switch their vision of the future. It…

Words: 1221
Topic: Literature

A Clean & Well-Lighted Place Essay: Character Analysis

A Clean and Well-Lighted Place is a well-known Hemingway’s short story that deals with eternal life questions. The author elaborates on such philosophical categories as age, perception, and the sense of life. Ernest Hemingway is a master of words. He creates rather usual characters – a deaf man, an older and a younger waiter. The purpose of this short story…

Words: 1500
Topic: Literature

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake: Essay

The Namesake: Summary of the Book Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake tells us about the life of two generations of immigrants from India. Gogol was born in the US to his Indian parents, who have moved there from Bengali. From the very beginning of his life, Gogol has hated his name. Initially, it was given to him as temporary. His main…

Words: 1041
Topic: Literature

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Essay on Empathy as the Novel’s Theme

Introduction Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, a sci-fi genre novel, was created by the fantastic mind of Philip K. Dick in 1968. Later it became widely known as Blade Runner. It also became an inspiration to the popular 1982 movie adaptation under the same name, starring Harrison Ford. The focus of the novel is on the most humane feeling,…

Words: 1695
Topic: Literature

Character Portrayal: “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

Introduction In his captivating must-read chef-d’oeuvre ‘The Necklace’, Guy de Maupassant presents the story of Mathilde Loisel who happens to be a woman from a humble background who ends up doomed into a life of poverty by her dreams of wealth. Mathilde Loisel is the central character in the story who resents her ‘station’ in life. As a result, she…

Words: 1676
Topic: Literature

“Schoolsville” a Poem by Billy Collins

The Introduction: The Author’s Humorous Tone First of all, I would like to point out that the poem Schoolsville reminded me of my own school life. Of course, it is obvious, that the writer Billy Collins used expressive language devices to impress the readers. In other words, his speech is really humorous and leaves a positive impression. Some characters of…

Words: 567
Topic: Literature