Sample Literature Paper on Critical Strategy for Reading

The analysis of a literature material entails the use of approaches that allow a reader to learn about the theme and analyze the individual concepts of the literature. An analysis of the paper is then developed using the defined concepts; it becomes easier to determine the individual elements of literature, determine the connection, and distinguish them in structure and design. One critical reading strategy is the use of the SQ3R method; Survey, Question, Read, Recall, and Review (Meyer 689). This process offers a reader the ability to evaluate the different concepts related to a literature material from a holistic approach to ensure that the outcome of the analysis takes into consideration the important aspects of the literature being analyzed and the elements that define the story and the concepts of the literature. This paper considers three different stories each with a different setting in terms of the themes, plot, and even genre. However, using the SQ3R method, this paper will point out some of the essential elements of these three literature materials.

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

The poem of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock presents an interesting aspect of the representation of the main character. The poem offers different perspectives that fascinate the reader. The first perspective of the main character, Prufrock, is a trickster who gives the reader a feeling of getting to know a romantic side of him despite being unable to give a more interactive experience that would represent romance. In stanza one and two Prufrock says, ‘Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky’ (Eliot 2). The setting used at the beginning of the poem presents an aspect of a romantic escapade that Prufrock is inviting an unknown character. However, throughout the poem, he does not fulfill this intention.

The other side of Prufrock portrays a sad and honest man who comes to realize that he is aging and will not be able to live long. From stanzas 37 to 48 he describes his adventures to allow the readers to see how adventurous he is and the things he has done for himself over the years. In stanza 49, he says, ‘For I have known them all already, known them all.’ He then asserts to his aging and frail body in stanza 120 where he says, ‘I grow old…..I grow old’ (Eliot 9). He considers the different things he is going to do in his age such as rolling the bottoms of his trousers and starts to contemplate on whether he will have to put his hair back or eat a peach.

The poem has various aspects of symbolism. The writer used the different perspectives of the life of Prufrock to allow the reader go on the journey with the imaginary setting of modernism in the poem. It is both interactive and involving in trying to determine the individual elements of the poem and relate them to the different aspects of the story.

“Barn Burning”

The theme of courage is twisted in this short story of Abner Snopes’ small family. At the beginning of the story, the reader is introduced to the main character, Sarty, who is to testify against his father who has been charged with burning a barn. Sarty is ten years old, but he is forced to work and given little food, which makes him hungry all the time and even with his contribution to work, he is not paid enough to get something to eat. As he is called forward to testify, he starts contemplating on the way he will lie to save his father. However, Mr. Harris and the Justice realize the burden on the kid and decide against him testifying. The sentencing is that Mr. Snopes has to move out of the country with his whole family. At the time they are leaving, Sarty is called a ‘Barn Burner’ and is knocked down twice by another child (Faulkner 16). Abner is feared with the people of the town due to his lack of depiction of any form of fear and willingness to go to any lengths to do the things he wants as long as he gets to make the decisions. Faulkner says, ‘There was nothing about his wolf-like independence and even courage, when the advantage was at least neutral which impressed strangers’ (26). As they move, Sarty is punished by his father in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep, his father saying that Sarty was going to testify against him.

Throughout the story, Sarty strives to identify and even reconcile with the bravery of his father or its absence and the impact of the actions his father is considering as a form of justice. In the new cottage that they settle after being exiled from their previous home, Abner goes to introduce himself to the new employer Mr. se Spain where he initiates a deliberate provocation by entering the house with muddy shoes and walking across the carpet. When de Spain brings the carpet to be cleaned, Abner is furious and again says that he will burn the barn of Mr. de Spain. Sarty courageously opposes this act and even says that it was not a good decision.

“A Doll’s House”

The title of the story, ‘A Doll’s House’ is a symbolic representation of the life that Nora comes to consider her marriage to Torvald has been. Earlier, Nora had taken a loan from Krogstad to help treat her husband with a trip that lasted for a year in Paris. Since she was not sure of the reaction of Torvald upon knowing the source of the money for the trip, she kept the details of the loan secret and never told him. Nora upon contemplating the issue says, ‘How painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether (Ibsen 90). In the second scene, Krogstad is fired for being corrupt and not having ethical values that might be of benefit for the bank under the management of Torvald. Krogstad, instead, considers that he would rather blackmail Nora to convince his husband to maintain him in his work position or even advance his work position.

Throughout the play, Nora tried to hide the facts of the issue and even when Torvald was nearly opening the letter sent by Krogstad, she lured him into dancing in preparation for a dance they were to attend. When Torvald learns about the issue, he laments the actions of Nora and even tells her to stay away from their children. A little while later, Krogstad sends another letter letting him know that he will no longer blackmail him and has forgiven the debt. Despite the elation of Torvald that he will get to maintain his new bank manager job, Nora is angered by the reaction of Torvald towards her and the way he considered her corrupt even when her actions were towards his treatment. She leaves him saying that she now sees that she was a doll in his eyes.

Each of these works of literature is designed and developed differently, but all allow for the development of a setting that can be easily followed through and understood. The adoption of a holistic approach in the analysis of the literature offers an interactive style of learning about the development of content and the arrangement of the same to offer understanding and development of the plot to attain the themes of the story, play, or poem.








Works Cited

Eliot, Stearns T. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart, 206. 1-11.

Faulkner, William. Barn Burning. Ontario, Canada: HarperCollins Canada, 203. 16, 26.

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. New York: The Wilder Family LLC., 2016. 1-96.

Meyer, Michael. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, and Writing. Ontario, Canada: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. 689.



The SQ3R Method