Write an essay in which you trace a significant question, theme, or literary devices in two (2) of the works we have read so far and select a small handful of passages (from fiction) or stanzas (from poetry) for close analysis.
Tips for Writing a Good Comparative Analysis
Remember that “Poet A is similar to Poet B, but they are also different” is NOT a thesis statement. In that sentence, you could put any author; it’s empty and says nothing. However, you could devise a decent thesis by using this kind of formula:
Poet A and Poet B both explore the theme of ______________________________
____________________ in order to _____________________________________.
However, Poet A focuses more on ______________________________________
because_____________________________, while Poet B uses _______________
to demonstrate ______________________________________________________.
Notice, for example, how the following sample thesis statements point out both the similarities and the difference without stating—quite redundantly—the words “similar” or “different.” Words such as “while,” “whereas,” “but,” “however,” “nevertheless,” and the like allow writers to establish common ground and signal shifts in thought so that readers can understand why and how two more subjects are brought together. Also remark how the following sample comparative statements justify the arguments that the writers will develop and defend:
Derek Walcott and Lillian Allen focus on the ghost of slavery to feature its continued ramifications, but whereas Walcott’s “Ruins of a Great House” (1962) ambivalently looks back to the voices and their diseased influence over him as a poet, Allen’s “Rub a Dub Inna Regent Park” (1993) poeticizes Creole expression to give voice to those victims of unjust poverty.
While William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge both desired to express the everyday language of mankind, Wordsworth saw himself as escalating the common to a higher realm, whereas Coleridge set out to bring abstract thinking down to the level of common humanity.
PICK USING ONLY FROM POEMS BELOW:
Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” http://poemhunter.com/poem/caged-bird-21/
Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47536
Lucille Clifton, “forgiving my father” http://homepage.smc.edu/cramer_timothy/forgiving.htm
John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud,” p. 503 Paul Lawrence Dunbar, “Sympathy” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46459
Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,” p. 482
Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B,” p. 510
Nikki Giovanni, “Poetry,” p. 345 Pablo Neruda, “If You Forget Me”
https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if-you-forget-me/ Octavio Paz, “The Bridge”
temp636309636973939375.docx Page 9 of 17 https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-bridge-34/ Mary Oliver, “The Journey”
http://www.best-poems.net/mary_oliver/the_journey.html Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” p. 433
Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Panther” http://poemhunter.com/poem/the-panther
Sonia Sanchez, “right on: white America,” p. 517
Maggie Smith, “Good Bones” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/89897 Wisława Szymborska, “The End and the Beginning”
http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/141.html Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” 484
William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with Us,” p. 373
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