Literary analyses are essays in which we examine literary texts closely to understand their messages, and interpret their meanings, and appreciate their writersâ€ techniquesâ€ (Bullock, Brody, and Weinberg 62). In a traditional literary analysis, you respond to a poem, novel, play, or short story. That response can be analytical, looking at them, plot, structure, characters, genre, style, and so on. Or it can be critical, theoretical, or evaluativeâ€”locating works within their social, political, historic, and even philosophic neighborhoods. Or you might approach a literary work expressively, describing how you connect with it intellectually and emotionally. Or you can combine these approaches or imagine alternative onesâ€”perhaps reflecting new attitudes and assumptions about media. Other potential genres for analysis include films, TV offerings, popular music, comic books and games.
- Gerald Graff begins his essay with the view that we generally associate â€œbook smartsâ€ with intellectualism and â€œstreet smartsâ€ with anti-intellectualism. Graff then provides an extended example from his early life to counter this viewpoint. What do you think of his argument that boyhood conversations about sports provided a solid foundation for his later intellectual life? What support does he provide, and how persuasive is it?
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