Literary Analysis

The last story you will analyze is the title story of the collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. Keep in mind it’s no accident that the title of the book is also the title of this story, which should emphasize its significance in the collection. Though it’s just one story, there’s a lot more to work with for each element, so your analysis should be fairly substantial.

As a helpful hint towards your first essay assignment, the theme you establish for “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”, the short story, could be used as an overall theme for the book.

1. All six literary elements are covered.

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2. Description and analysis of each literary element is developed with specific examples.

3. This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeUses quotes from the text and explains what it reflects about each literary element.

4. Remember that a theme consists of a topic the story is addressing and what the story is saying about that topic.

Below is a list of the elements along with suggestions of what to cover for each element:

You’ll focus on six elements, and for each one, write a 5-7 sentence analysis.  About 1-2pages

a) Plot/Structure –    Describe the plot of the story. Avoid making comments or interpretations about behavior and actions by the characters, just stick with describing what happens in the story. Are there other stories you know of that are similar to the plot of this story?

b) Point of View –     Who is telling this story, a first person or third person narrator? How would you characterize this narrator?

c) Characters –      List and describe the primary characters of the story. Focus on specific details about each character, such as certain behaviors and/or things they say.

d) Setting –      What did you find unique or interesting about the setting of this story? What caught your attention?  How does the setting add to the story?

e) Imagery –     Were there images or symbols in the story that appears repeatedly? Do you think there is any significance or importance to the repeated image?

f) Theme –     With regards to the topic of love and relationships, what do you think this story is saying about love and relationships?

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