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Thesis Statements for a Literary Research Paper
A thesis is a sentence that presents your topic and your perspective of your
topic to your audience.
For a paper of this length, limit your thesis to one sentence, and place this
sentence as the last line of your introduction.
For a literary paper, your thesis should include the author that you are
discussing, the title of the novel or play that you are discussing, the major
theme or themes that are your focus for the paper, and the key literary
elements that you intend to address in the paper.
Maria Edgeworth’s work undoubtedly shares similarities with Jane
Austen’s writing as a novel of manners, but it differs greatly in its
intended purpose; where Austen’s novels, such as Pride and Prejudice, aim
to comment on the virtues and vices of fashionable society in the
conventions of courtship and marriage, Edgeworth’s novels, particularly
The Absentee, use the accepted format of the novel of manners to criticize
the major political concerns of the Irish such as that of Anglo-Irish
In the novel, The Dead Father, Barthelme parodies the traditional epic
hero through the character of the dead father to ridicule religious faith in
the Christian God.
In her novel, Quicksand, Nella Larsen uses her character Helga Crane to
analyze the roles black women were permitted in early twentieth-century
American society to demonstrate that no role fully allowed black women
an acceptable identity.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Lynn Sharon Schwartz, and Rebecca Goldstein all
address the traditional themes of immigration and assimilation through the
angle of second-generation survivors and first or second-generation
Americans struggling with their identity as Americans and their history
and family relationships that are tied to the tragedies of the war.
In her novella, The Shawl, Cynthia Ozick utilizes characterization,
symbolism, and unique narrative techniques to explain how human cruelty
caused lasting emotional damage to Holocaust survivors.