Comparative Paper

In this assignment, we ask you to engage in literary analysis. There are other types of writing that are just as legitimate (such as a reflective essay, for example) but for this assignment we would like you to compare and analyze two or three texts around a specific question. Your paper should be 5-7 pages long (times new roman, 12 pt., double spaced, 1inch margins.)

We strongly encourage you to write about a question you develop on your own or one that has come up during discussion and that you would like to pursue further. You can also work with an idea that one of your peers brought up on toolkit but make sure to define it clearly. For those of you who are still unsure whether your question "works," we offer two examples of questions we think are "doable" in the context of our class; meaning (a) they are specific and focused, (b) they do not have a "right" answer, and (c) they can be argued with the help of the evidence available in our literary texts. Only if you have already been thinking about those topics or you have difficulties devising your own topic, may you use these as your paper questions. We MUCH MUCH prefer that you use your own, and the professor-generated ones are to use only if you are totally and completely desparate.

  1. What is the role of "gatekeepers" in literary spiritual journeys such as, for example, C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Michael Ende's The Neverending Story? What do the differences and similarities between Atreyu's and Mr. Tumnus' characters and histories tell us about the works as a whole? How do they help us illuminate the books' particular ideas of a spiritual journey?

  2. Comparing the function of "paternal allies" such as Dr. Dorian of Charlotte's Web, "the professor" from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Carl Conrad Coreander from The Neverending Story, how do these characters help us understand the relationship between fantasy and reality as it is presented in the respective books?

During our discussion, we touched on many other possible topics such as a comparison of the female figures in The Neverending Story. Because of the rather large scope this question, it would be o.k. to compare and analyse within one work.

Finally, if you are interested in consulting some basic guidelines for writing analytical papers please click here.