Literary Analysis

Essay 4: Literary Analysis

Essay 4 is due by noon on Monday, November 30. For Essay 4, you will write a character analysis of the protagonist in a story (see the Guide to Writing on p. 472-486 in our textbook for some help with your writing process on this essay).

This time, you have two topic choices:

Write a character analysis of the protagonist (that is, the main character) in a movie. You can choose any movie you wish, but the movie must have been released more than 20 years ago (i.e., before 1995). If you have trouble locating the movie’s year of release, you should be able to verify it via Internet Movie Database (


Write a character analysis of the protagonist in one of the short stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners, which is freely available online via Project Gutenberg (

Your character analysis can include any details you think are important to understanding your subject, but your analysis must accomplish each of the following:

• In the introduction, state whether you think your subject is a flat or round character, and briefly explain why. A flat character does not change or grow during the course of the story, and a round character develops and changes during the course of the story.

• Describe your subject in detail. Do not become preoccupied with describing him/her physically, though that may be relevant as well, but make sure the focus of your description is on your subject’s personality. Give examples from your text that help reveal the character’s personality and illustrate how it changes—or does not change, in the case of flat characters—as the story develops.

• Discuss your subject’s relationship with one or more of the other characters in the story. How do these relationships change and influence your subject? Or, if your subject is flat, how do these relationships help prevent him/her from changing? Again, be sure to give examples.