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We were given our essay question on friday for our exam (gr.12) and I'm really...

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We were given our essay question on friday for our exam (gr.12) and I'm really struggling to think of the characters and events I want to use for it.

The books I read and the characters I was thinking of using are:

1. Oryx and Crake - Snowman

2. Hamlet - Hamlet

3. The Sun also Rises - Jake

4. The Great Gatsby - Gatsby

I have to choose three characters from three different books. The essay question is:

There are times in everyone's life when the possibility of one's essential hollowness can be paralyzing. Many of the characters studied this semester grapple with this recognition. Choose at least three characters from three different works for whom this is true. Assess to what degree each character is able to come to terms with the potential insignificance of his or her life. How is their response a reflection of their ability to create meaning?

I'm not asking anyone to write the essay for me i just need some help with starting off. I'm not sure what a thesis for this essay would be or of any major events that would support it.

Any help would be appreciated.


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My advice is to start off by thinking about the question in parts. First of all, answer the question: How do each of the characters in your list struggle with a feeling of being lost and feeling insignificant in their lives? Make a list of evidence that tells the reader that the character feels hollow and struggles with finding themselves. How do we know they feel this way? Find some quotes and some passages that illustrate how they feel and how they react, deal with, or think about this problem. Then, answer the second question: How is each character able to come to terms with this issue? Are they able to come to terms with it? What happens to them as a character that helps them deal with this issue? Are they able to create meaning in their lives? Or, essentially, what does the character learn, and how does the character grow?

Once you've answered these questions, see if there are any patterns across the board. Did any or all of these characters respond in similar ways? Different ways? Analyze what seemed to work -- which characters ended up in a better state in the end, and which ones were stuck struggling?

Your thesis should be an analysis of the characters that you've discovered in your list making. What thread ties them all together? What was the outcome? State it in one sentence at the end of your introduction, and that would be your thesis.

Support your arguments in the body paragraphs using the passages and quotes that you compiled in your original list. Good luck with your essay!

Check out the links below for some help with character analysis.


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