MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

646 views

How do you analyse a novel/short story?

First of all, know the story. Study guides or even talking about it with a friend or teacher can help you learn and understand the story and the themes that run through it. Once you've got this down, the rest is easy! 

Your interpretation of the language of the novel/story is the most important part of your essay. This is how the author put across their point, and why. This 'how' part is looking at the way in which the author portrays emotions and thoughts. The author will use literary devices such as metaphors, similies, speech and irony in order to demonstrate a certain meaning or feeling. In the essay one should focus on the effect the language has. This should always be supported by quotes from the text, and any quotes should be thouroughly analysed. 

An example discussing "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee; The author uses similies to allow the reader to better visualise the setting. For example when Lee describes the ladies of Maycomb as "soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum" it allows the reader to visualise the sickly sweet setting and perhaps suggests that their more unpleasantly human qualities and behaviours (such as sweating, but also their thoughts) are only just hidden under a thin layer of sweetness. 

This is just an example and you dont need to know the story to understand how the interpretation can work. It can be applied to any novel and can go into as much or as little detail as you want. The best essays interpret just a few points but go very deeply into each. It is quality, not quantity of points you are looking for.

 
Sarah M. GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Geography tutor

2 years ago

Answered by Sarah, a GCSE English tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

175 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£18 /hr

Modupeola A.

Degree: Accounting and Finance (Bachelors) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:English, English Literature+ 4 more

English
English Literature
Economics
Business Studies
Accounting
-Personal Statements-

“I am a part-time tutor studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Edinburgh. I look forward to working with you to achieve your target grades. ”

£18 /hr

Franciska C.

Degree: English Language and Literature (Bachelors) - Oxford, St Anne's College University

Subjects offered:English, Spanish+ 4 more

English
Spanish
German
.MLAT (Modern Languages)
.ELAT
-Personal Statements-

“I am an experienced tutor studying English, and am also fluent in German and Spanish. ”

Olivia C. A Level English tutor, GCSE English tutor, GCSE Spanish tut...
£18 /hr

Olivia C.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:English, Spanish+ 1 more

English
Spanish
History

“English (BA) student at the University of Bristol. Frequent correspondent for Epigram and other UoB publications such as TWSS (That's What She Said).”

About the author

£24 /hr

Sarah M.

Degree: Geography (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English, Geography

English
Geography

“About Me: I'm a first year Bsc Geography student at Durham University who has a huge amount of passion for both geography and english. I had a great tutor when I was a geography student in high school and she ignited my passion for t...”

You may also like...

Posts by Sarah

How do you analyse a novel/short story?

Why does deforestation occur and what are its effects?

Other GCSE English questions

How do I structure my essay ?

How do I incorporate technical concepts into my analysis to improve my English Literature essays?

How do I closely analyse a passage of text?

What is the best way for me to remember quotes from the text and make sure I can use them in a relevant manner in my essays?

View GCSE English tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok