The presentation portfolio showcases my four best essays. To see the full essays, please click the links.
This essay is a close reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which analyzes how the text of the novel signifies Alice’s exploration of her loss of childhood innocence within the imaginary construct of Wonderland. I have included it in my portfolio because it offers my own unique explanation of a classic story, uncovering a deeper meaning to the nonsensical Wonderland that my generation grew up with and loves. When read from a new perspective, the novel is no longer a children’s fairy tale, but a statement about the confusion of growing up and finding one’s identity. This literary theory approach is similar to the essays I wrote in high school. However, this essay differed in that it challenged my ability to construct and support a much more complex thesis. This is the first-ever college essay that I wrote.
Summary and Evaluation
This is a summary and evaluation of Eagleton’s Introduction: What is Literature?, including an abstract of Iser’s How to Do Theory and a keyword search of Graff’s Taking Cover in Coverage. In the evaluation essay, I argued that social ideology causes negative effects on the education system. As a recent high school graduate, I was able to provide personal experience to support my claim that those in control of education standards share homogenous values that rigidly defined literature for students, rather than taking into account their value-judgments. In writing this essay I learned how to critically read advanced texts on literary theory, cite sources correctly in MLA, and write abstracts, keyword searches, evaluations.
This essay is a psychoanalytic analysis of Chopin’s The Awakening, which uses a Jungian approach by utilizing various types of symbolism to analyze Edna’s suicide as the result of her unsuccessful mission to find herself and reject societal gender norms. I selected this essay for my presentation portfolio, because it is yet another paper which reflects my original analysis within my writing. I enjoyed writing this particular essay, because it also happened to combine several of my interests: writing, psychology, and feminism. This essay also challenged me to look at the text of The Awakening from an entirely new and much deeper perspective than when I initially read it, especially in terms of the significance of Edna’s death.
Feminist and Gender
This is a feminist and gender essay on Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, which analyzes how in Alice’s second adventure in Wonderland she explores the meaning of the female identity and rejects the social ideology surrounding the gender norms that she will soon be exposed to as she matures into a young woman. This essay is particularly interesting, because although it was written in a completely different literary theory approach, one can clearly see how the thesis of this essay relates to that of my close reading essay (both argue that their respective novels depict Alice’s transformation and quest for self-identity). This goes to show how essential it is to read the same text from different perspectives in order to get their full meanings and uncover subtle nuances. It also demonstrates how the purpose of Through the Looking-Glass actually makes it complementary to the first novel in the series, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, despite the fact that critics and readers have always generally thought that it was incomparable in terms of imagination and intrigue.
I did not select the New Historical Essay or Reader Response Essay for my presentation portfolio, because I did not feel that they reflected my own thoughts and writing as much as the four essays above. I personally enjoy writing essays more if they are based on my own argument and creative thought, but these two essays were based more on research than critical argument and literary analysis. Although they were not my personal favorites to write, if you would still like to view these essays they are provided in the links below: