Themed analysis of ‘Good Will’ by Jane Smiley
In this paper you will do a close textual analysis of the novel Good Will. A close textual analysis is a form of interpretive writing that is closely grounded in and supported by examples from the text you are analyzing. A key to doing well on this assignment is to provide sufficient examples from the text to support your interpretive analysis.
To get started think about some of the major themes present in the novel. Feel free to draw ideas from our discussions of the novel this week, though you are not limited to writing about a theme we have discussed in class. You will select one important theme in the text that will then be the focus of your essay.
Once you have your theme chosen, select one paragraph from the text to focus on in your essay. Choose a paragraph that you think is significant because it is representative of the theme you wish to analyze. Then write an essay that elaborates on the theme or issue that is central to your chosen paragraph. Use your chosen paragraph as a starting point for your analysis, but also use additional evidence from the text to support your claims.
For instance, let’s say you choose to write about the first paragraph in the novel because you think it offers a good summary of Robert’s attitude toward materialism. You’d also want to cite other examples from the text such as the trip Robert and Tommy take to Wal-Mart, for example, to support the claims you make in your analysis.
Your analysis is an argument designed to persuade your reader that the novel can be interpreted in a particular way. As with any argument you write, reasoning and evidence are key. Papers with solid reasoning and claims that are well supported by specific evidence from the text will be assessed more favorably than those lacking sufficient evidence or containing suspect reasoning.
Length: 2-3 pages, APA formatting.
References are required. While this text has not been written about to the same extent asDeath of a Salesman, there are many resources available to help you support and expand your own perspective all the same. Smiley has conducted many interviews and speeches herself available on YouTube and beyond which give insight to her frame of mind as a writer, many of which could give you a leg up on building a framework around the ideas important to her that play out in the text.