Write a literary analysis of:
1. Topic is Flannery O’Connor “Parker’s Back” “ in the form of a Literary Analysis Question” (better known as a “Research Question”)
- Define epiphany
. Discuss the roles in which epiphanies
play in the story. What purpose
do these epiphanies
serve in the context of the story?
- Focus on Parker’s character. Why does O’Connor characterize him in such a way? What
purpose does his character serve to the overall meaning of the story?
2. After reading the story & reviewing your reading notes, a topic may just jump out at you, or
you may have recognized a pattern or identified a problem that you’d like to think about in
3. Develop a working “Literary Analysis Question” (better known as a “Research Question”)
that you want answered by the end of your paper. For example, Why is Parker obsessed with
Sample Introduction Paragraph with Thesis Statement (underlined below) for Literary
Throughout our lives, we are constantly developing a self-identity, which sets us apart
from others as individuals. Our childhood experiences, social interactions, and observances
structure the identity we develop as adults. We consistently strive for self-assurance and
definition which, unfortunately, many people are unable to obtain during their lifetime. For those
of us that encounter an opportunity to grasp a truer meaning of our self-worth, we find it in the
least likely of places. Flannery O’Connor presents such an opportunity in her short story,
“Parker's Back”, as her protagonist becomes obsessed with continuously obtaining tattoos in a
misguided attempt to develop his self-identity. However, it is evident that Parker’s obsession for
tattoos of vivid color represents the emptiness inside of him and he too must find “himself” in the
least likely of places.
The above exemplary introduction paragraph is successful because it does the following:
• It opens with a “hook” that engages the reader.
• It progressively moves from the “general to particular” organization and slowly
introduces the reader to the topic before exerting an opinionated, argumentative
• It identifies the author’s full name and the genre and title of the fiction.
• The thesis is in the optimal location ??" the last sentence in the introduction par.
• The thesis clearly states the student’s argumentative interpretation (i.e. opinion) in a
general way that does not give too much away at the beginning and saves it for the
content of the essay.
• Notice how the student’s literary analysis question is inferred in the thesis ??" Why is
Parker obsessed with getting more tattoos?
Literary Analysis Essay Audience & Purpose:
You are writing this essay to take an argumentative stance and defend your personal
interpretation with textual evidence. You want to make a clear argument for your interpretation
to others who have read the work, but who disagree or have a differing interpretation.
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