Literary Analysis for behold of dream book

As we can see in Behold the Dreamers, literature is often a reflection of actual events, situations, or life conditions. For your second essay, you will do a literary analysis to determine the message, or theme, of Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers and how that message relates to a current topic, even, or issue.

The Prompt

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To perform your literary analysis, you will work to identify and explain an important theme demonstrated in the novel. Examining the various components of the text—literary analysis—will help you determine the theme. As you do a close reading and work through your Book Club assignment, consider how the various elements of the text work together; you will want to pay close attention to these elements to help support your claim. These will be the pieces you examine to help answer the guiding question for this essay—what is an important message, or theme, conveyed in the novel?

In order to demonstrate your claim about the theme of the novel, you will need to use specific textual evidence from the novel for support. You should look for the strongest pieces of evidence that show how the theme you are discussing is presented in the novel and analyze those points in depth. Work to explain how these moments in the text help to present a specific important message or theme.

You will also connect the theme you have identified to a current topic, event, or issue. Aim to build connections between the current topic and what is portrayed in the novel. Work to explain how the theme relates to the current issue/event that you choose to write about and explain how it demonstrates both the relatability and importance of Mbue’s message.

You can pick any current event/issue that you see as relevant to the theme you have identified in the book. It’s a good idea to provide some brief background about the topic to help contextualize the discussion. In order to support your discussion of the current topic, you will need to include three sources that you find on your own. These sources should support your discussion by:

Providing evidence of the topic you choose to write about (Background information, data, statistics, facts about the topic, etc.)
Providing evidence of the relevance of the topic you choose to write about (That it is something that is current.)
Providing evidence of the importance of the topic you choose to write about.
Providing evidence that it relate to the theme you have identified in the novel.

To recap:
You will perform a literary analysis of Behold the Dreamers
You will connect the novel to a current topic/event/issue.
The purpose of this essay is to first make a claim about the theme of Behold the Dreamers and then to show how it is relevant to a current topic/event/issue.
The thesis for this essay should make a claim that states what the main theme, or message, of Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers and how it is relevant to the topic you chose to research.
Hint: This should be a multiple sentence thesis. Don’t try to pack it all into one sentence.

Tips for writing this essay:
The Book Club assignment is meant to help you with completing this essay. All of the notes you take for the book club are things that you can use to perform your literary analysis of the novel. The quotes you choose to share in the book club can be some of the same quotes you use in your essay.
Review the Literary Analysis and Theme PDF to help guide your analysis of the novel. You should have read this during Week 2.
Take time to brainstorm and organize your ideas out. Again, the Book Club assignment should help you with this. Essentially, the book club is part of your prewriting process, as it is a place to organize and store your thoughts as you read.
When looking for sources, try to find that are current and relatable to the message/theme you are discussing. These are meant to connect the theme to something that is relevant today. The sources can range from news articles to magazines to pop culture. The most important thing to do with the sources is to show how they relate to Mbue’s message to help demonstrate the importance of the theme.

Goals:
Create a strongly worded thesis statement that guides the essay and responds directly to the essay prompt
Perform a literary analysis of Behold the Dreamers
Provide textual evidence and specific examples from both Behold the Dreamers and your outside sources
Include 3 outside sources related to the topic you choose to connect to the novel
Provide strong, focused support for the main claim of the essay
Create a focused, organized essay
Write using the third person point of view only

Guidelines:
5-6 pages (5 FULL pages minimum. This doesn’t include the Works Cited page.)
MLA format
Incorporation 5 secondary sources
Creative and relevant title
Works Cited page

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