Literary Analysis (Read Description)

The major assignment for this week is to compose a 900-word essay on a central theme that appears in one of the selected readings: Candide or Faust. 

  • Select one of the following questions to respond to.  The answer to the question you select should serve as the thesis to your paper.  This thesis should be included in an introductory paragraph.
  • The paragraphs following the introduction should support and defend this thesis by analyzing and discussing specific examples and quotations from the reading you selected. 
  • Review the academic articles you located in W2 Assignment 2.  Select at least one of these articles to incorporate into your paper as additional evidence in support of your argument.
  • Provide a concluding paragraph that summarizes the key points of your paper.


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  1. Decisions and consequences in Faust: Goethe’s Faust is driven by the decision of its central character to sell his soul to the devil and the consequences that arise. What is Faust’s motivation?  What drives him to make this deal?  What does he hope to gain?  What ultimately are the consequences of his actions?
  2. Character development in Candide: Voltaire’s character, Candide, is naïvely innocent to the corruptness of the world, and, as he comes of age, he struggles to remain optimistic. During his travels, Candide witnesses horrific acts of cruelty, natural disasters, and experiences human suffering. Afterwards, he questions the existence of a benevolent God. Given his experiences, does Candide remain optimistic at the end of the novel?  How does his understanding of world and life change throughout the novel?

Proofread your paper to ensure that the

  • Thesis is clear and well focused and the introduction includes all the necessary information 
  • Discussion of evidence includes quotes, paraphrase, or summary and synthesizes this material and your ideas 
  • Conclusion is appropriate and reinforces the paper’s main ideas without repeating the introduction word for word 
  • Essay is formatted in APA style throughout, it uses appropriate grammar, spelling and mechanics, and quoted material does not exceed 25% of the paper. 

Use this APA Citation Helper as a convenient reference for properly citing resources.This APA formatting handout will help you set up your essay using APA style.. 

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