Describe how to write a critical literary analysis of The Shining.

To write a critical literary analysis of The Shining, or any literary work, it is most important to prioritize planning. Overall, one should work to identify the author's purpose and the structure of the writing. Then, craft an effective outline of things that stand out or are worth exploring.

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The process of developing a critical literary analysis effectively varies from one student to another, but generally, there are a few rules of thumb everyone should follow. First, of course, make sure you read everything thoroughly before building your analysis. Utilize a dictionary or a scholarly database for research if...

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The process of developing a critical literary analysis effectively varies from one student to another, but generally, there are a few rules of thumb everyone should follow. First, of course, make sure you read everything thoroughly before building your analysis. Utilize a dictionary or a scholarly database for research if you stumble upon anything you don't entirely understand. Many students simply skip over it and move on, but it will be far more useful for you to work to fully understand it.

Next, you can begin analyzing the different parts of the story. This process will apply to any writing, but if you're critically analyzing Stephen King's The Shining, note how the plot progresses throughout the book; find the climax and the main conflict of the story, and try to find any motifs, themes, or symbols. Ask yourself what you think the author's purpose was in writing the story and why they structured it the way it is.

You can start drafting an outline with the ideas, symbols, and other devices you've noticed, but now you can begin coming up with your own interpretation. Often, literature is not meant to be interpreted one specific way; the author's intention may be clear, but readers can often create good arguments for the meaning of a story or a symbol.

The most important aspect of this part of the process is gathering evidence. For example, if you think you've found a symbol in The Shining, what parts of the story led you to believe that? Does it appear several times? Do the characters discuss it, or does the narrator describe it? Ask yourself these questions when you're analyzing your observations and incorporating them into your outline. If you want to critique a work and have someone else read about your ideas, it's important to make sure they can understand your critique from their perspective as well.

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