Tuesday, April 15, 2014

There and Back Again: A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole

Literature and Illustration:

Upon reviewing my first paper for the class with Dr. Burton, I realized that I did not completely understand the elements that comprise a literary critical analysis. I feel like I now have a better understanding of what those elements are, and I hope that I have been more capable at displaying them in my writing. 

In our meeting, Dr. Burton discussed some of the specific elements of an analysis. We talked about how quoting from the primary text can be beneficial to quality analysis, and this was something I felt I already understand and used within my paper. He then continued to discuss the common topics of literary analysis that are used. This is where I realized that my paper and writing style were both very limited in their exploration of these analytical topics. I focused on plot and character in my analysis of Alice in Wonderland, and I could have further expanded my analysis to include discussion on Language, Diction, Tone, Description, Imagery/Symbols, Setting, Genre, Rhetorical Strategies, and other common topics. As I started to understand the vision of analysis Dr. Burton explained to me, I decided to choose another topic to explore, and I felt that illustrations were an interesting aspect of literature to investigate.

I worked on my second paper and sought to analyze Lewis Carroll's incorporation of illustrations within the Alice texts. I learned a lot about the development of the text and illustrations and their eventual publication into the book we know today. Carroll first drew his own illustrations for the books and his renderings of Alice eventually served as examples for John Tenniel's illustrations in the final print. I feel that I explored more of the topics for analysis in my second paper and learned a lot while I was at it.

After again speaking with Dr. Burton about my second paper, I decided to write my final research paper on illustrations. Initially, I wanted to compare illustrated works to works that relied entirely on words to describe characters, setting, and plot. In my Personal Literary Narrative, I wrote about the influence that the vivid detail Tolkien's writing had on me as a young boy as I read The Hobbit. Looking back at my writing, I realized that I wanted to compare Alice and her illustrations to The Hobbit and it's descriptive language. As I researched, I realized that JRR Tolkien in fact drew and painted the stories from his book too! It is a little known fact and I had to explore it further. Here I first wrote about the idea to compare the illustrations of both authors and how they played into the writing process.

In writing my final paper, I learned that these authors, Carroll and Tolkien, believed in the descriptive power of illustrations and their good influence on young readers and I sought to convey how illustrations are essential elements to childrens books by using their work.

I tried to incorporate various topics of analysis and fuse Alice in Wonderland with another renowned children's book, The Hobbit.

Hopefully I did a good job.  FINAL PAPER

1 comment:

  1. That's an interesting angle to take. I've read Tolkien and noticed the illustrations, and I've done the same with Carroll. However, I don't think I ever really thought about their importance to the story line, or to the author. I thought they were nice, but it seems like you've brought out an added importance for them in your paper. I would be interested to read it.