Using Context

Appropriate use of context is key in making your essay more two dimensional and mature. Context does not simply mean the historical background behind the text you're studying, but the literary environment and societal factors that makes your text the text it is. Simply puncturing your essay with dates and facts is not enough. Only write about the context behind the text if you can comprehensively detail why it is that the context can contribute to the readers understanding of the text. For example, if you were learning about Of Mice and Men you would not simply want to write about the American Dream or the Great Depression, but you would want to show your understanding between those historical factors and the complex relationships, for example, apparent in the novella. In addition, make sure, as detailed above, that you show a widening understanding of context, i.e. not just historical. Perhaps pay attention to the sort of literature or literary movements at the time your text was written. 

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