Comparative Analysis exploratory paper 1 from The Golden Age of Fairy

Select two or more stories within a single chapter of the Zipes text and examine various components through comparative analysis. Develop a narrowly-defined argumentative thesis related to a comparison of aspects (authority, parental figures, fear, abandonment, etc.), components (keys, knives, apples, blood, amputation, etc.), or themes (identity, survival, tradition/ceremony) of the works we have read thus far.

You must also consider one area of literary criticism (Moral Criticism, Formalism, New Criticism, Neo-Aristotelian Criticism, Psychoanalytic Criticism, Jungian Criticism, Marxist Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism, Structuralism/Semiotics, Post-Structuralism/Deconstruction, New Historicism, Feminist Criticism, Gender/Queer Studies, and Critical Race Theory) to include as one of your sources for paper 1. This is the lens you will consider as part of your exploration of your argument. You can go to the Purdue Owl  for more information about these individual forms of literary criticism if you like. The LibGuide on our home page of Canvas can help you locate literary criticism papers to help build evidence toward your argument. Searching for literary criticism by entering the title of the fairy tale(s) and a specific area of criticism will help you see how others have analyzed our stories through very specific lenses. Use at least one literary critical view point as evidence for your argument.

Sample thesis statements:

Versions of “Hansel and Gretel” reveal flawed parental figures transformed into morally superior animal characters invoking a more compassionate parenting tradition from society. (Moral Criticism)

Several accounts of the story of “Hansel and Gretel” represent the socio-economic lower class being abused/abandoned by the upper class symbolically through the dysfunctional identities revealed in its parent-child relationship. (Marxist Criticism)

Various adaptations of “Hansel and Gretel” reveal gender specific problem solving skills for survival in order to identify acceptable and valued gender roles. (Post-structural, Feminist, Gender theory criticism)

3-5 sources including literary criticism; 4-6 pages not including images or works cited page(s)

Your introductory paragraph should do two things: introduce your reader to your topic and present your thesis. It is important to distinguish in your mind between your topic — what you will write about (say, gender roles in Bluebeard) — and your thesis — what you will argue or attempt to prove in relation to your topic. A thesis may be defined as an interpretation that you set forth in specific terms and propose to defend or demonstrate by reasoned argumentation and literary analysis. Your thesis, then, is the position that you are attempting to persuade your reader to accept. A thesis is NOT a statement in which you simply point out the obvious; for example, “Antigone is a strong woman who stands by her convictions and won’t give in to authority.” A thesis needs to be ARGUABLE, and the more arguable the better.  For more on Developing a Thesis, see the Purdue Owl

For body paragraphs, begin with topic sentences. When you introduce sources, tell your reasoning for your choices and reveal credibility. Do not just retell similarities and differences.  Focus on each paragraph proving your thesis which introduces the sources you chose as evidence.

Getting started!

You have composed a series of hypothesis or guiding questions as part of your group presentations that should help you focus on areas of your topic interest. Here are some common approaches to consider when developing your argument:

•A discussion of the works’ characters: are they realistic, symbolic, historically-based?

•A comparison/contrast of the choices different authors or characters make in a work

•A reading of an aspect of the works based on an outside philosophical perspective (Ex. how would a Freudian read Hamlet?)

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