I was wondering...I'm writing a literary analysis on the freedom writers diary and i need help writing a so what? For my concusion  my overall theme is fear and my reasons are discrimination,...

I was wondering...I'm writing a literary analysis on the freedom writers diary and i need help writing a so what? For my concusion 

my overall theme is fear and my reasons are discrimination, violence, and danger 

but I can't fine a way to write a so what

Asked on by jackie-01

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Let's discuss what a "So what?" is in a literary analysis.  Providing this element gives your writing purpose.  It is meant to show that you are writing with a purpose, and that helps your reader to see why he or she should keep on reading what you have to write.  The reader needs a purpose to keep on reading as much as you should have a purpose to keep on writing.

Next, I would suggest that your "So what?" is part of not only your conclusion, but also your introduction.  Don't you want your reader to see your purpose and have a reason to keep reading, right from the beginning?  In the conclusion, you are expected to review your essay, your main idea, and supporting points, and certainly, a review of the purpose is a good idea. 

Without a "So what?" in the introduction, I could have a thesis statement like this:

The Kite Runner has four main characters, Baba, Amir, Ali, and Hassan. 

But now the reader is likely to ask "So what?" because I have not provided any purpose for writing about these characters, no good reason to discuss them at all.  The reader may very well feel that knowing the names of the four main characters is all he or she needs to know and just set my essay aside.  But I could write this:

The four main characters in The Kite Runner, Baba, Amir, Ali, and Hassan, reveal the complications of fatherhood and friendship, showing how difficult love can be.  

Might you be more interested in reading on after the second example than the first? 

When writing a literary analysis, the kinds of purpose you want to consider are those that show you have found some universal and important theme in your literary text, something that most readers would care about, too.  As you discuss how this book is about fear, why is it important for you to discuss fear?  Isn't fear an emotion that all of us experience from time to time?  What would a reader learn from reading your literary analysis of fear in this book?  Is there a lesson to be learned about overcoming one's fears, whether one is a teacher or a student or any kind of person at all, really?  This is a book that is imbued with purpose, and I know you will be able to write yourself a great "So what?" for your essay. 

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