Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated September 5, 2023.

To answer this question, one must first understand what an analysis of a text is. A literary analysis requires a reader to carefully examine and evaluate a text. This evaluation tends to look at different aspects of the text. Some of the aspects examined within a literary analysis are writing style (or voice), the success of the message presented, and the use of literary devices.

Aristotle's writing style (voice) is highly elevated, similar to others writing during his time. Sentences are stylistically long, and he uses multi-syllabic words, which lowers the readability for some who are not familiar with this type of writing. This type of writing can be found to be difficult for readers who are not dedicated to understanding and working through a challenging text.

The success of the text can only be defined by an individual reader, given that the success of a text is subjective. Personally, I do not find Aristotle's intent of defining soul successful. That said, he is successful at discussing the historical definitions of the soul and his own understanding of what the soul is.

Aristotle's language, for the most part, lacks a figurative base. In fact, his language is far more scientific, although lyrical (given the long and flowing sentences). Therefore, although straightforward, Aristotle's language makes readers think about and reflect upon the information he presents. He does use the literary device of rhetorical questioning. These do not simply ask simplistic questions. They function in a way that makes the reader take pause and think about what Aristotle is really saying.

Also, by posing these questions, he illustrates another literary aspect: a stream of consciousness. Stream of consciousness shows a person's thoughts as a continuous flow. Aristotle does this by thinking through his thoughts as he makes them. He brings up a thought, explains the thought, and then expounds upon the thought.

On a side note, an objective analysis of Aristotle's On the Soul is not as straightforward as other texts. Given that Aristotle's works centered on philosophy, the study of nature, reality, and existence, any analysis of a specific text will draw out different things for different readers. Therefore, one must examine any text for the aspects which speak to him or her directly, providing a subjective analysis of what the text says to him or her.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access