Critical Analysis of The Road to Wigan Pier
The purpose of a critical analysis is to evaluate a book of historical relevance. Your review should analyze several aspects of the text under consideration, including the argument, content, organization, main themes, and relevance for understanding the historical time period and location in which it was written (Interwar Europe, particularly Britain), though you should focus largely on the books historical relevance.
Though Orwell is most famous for his work on the dystopian future of 1984, his commentary in Wigan Pier is a telling account of the social situation in Britain during the Great Depression and the buildup to World War II.
In contrast to a book review, a critical analysis does not retell the story or simply repeat the argument. In addition to providing a summary of the main plots and content of the book, a critical analysis also evaluates an authors thesis or main theme. You should ask yourself: what is the author trying to say and has he made a convincing argument? How is this book relevant to understanding the historical context of the time? This can include evaluating how the book is an example of the increase in Welfare in European society, the concerns for Socialism and other social ideologies during the interwar period, or even how it addresses the Great Depression and economic downturn following the Great War.
Again, this is not a book review. You are not simply summarizing the book and what it is about, but instead looking at how the novel presents the historic time period in which it takes place.
Try to create an understanding of how the novel fits into our historical understanding of the time period. To do this, it is expected that you will use primary and secondary sources to support your argument from both the course assignments and outside material (specifically from the FIT Library and Databases). You should have minimum of three sources (not including the text itself). The use of these sources and the paper overall should show your ability to understand historical context, meaning how the setting of the novel fits within our established understanding of history.
You should make a concerted effort to present a cogent and focused argument in your paper. Your first or second paragraph should state your position clearly and concisely and include some kind of thesis statement. Consider your audience to be an educated layperson who wants to understand the authors thesis/argument, the key commentary it makes to the historic time period, and your evaluation of it.
II Style& Syntax (must satisfy all the following requirements)
Evidence of paragraph structure (which included transition sentences for each paragraph)
No overuse of quotations (avoid long quotes that go beyond three to four lines)
All sources must be cited using MLA citation. For an overview of the MLA documentation format see: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ (Links to an external site.)
No use of Wikipedia; no citations from Wikipedia
-(Note: The sources I expect you to use should be of an academic nature, meaning you should limit the sources you find from a Google search, and instead use the wonderful resources available both physically and online. Stick to academic sources.)
III Subject Matter of Paper (must satisfy all the following requirements)
Paper recognizes the purpose of the assignment, that of a critical analysis, and includes a clear and concise thesis statement.
Paper provides specific examples from the text that illustrates the writer has read the book and understands its central story, characters, and content.
IV Beyond the Basics (must satisfy all the following requirements)
Paper addresses all aspects of the assignment, including a full analysis of the book and its historic context.
Paper is well written and well organized.
Paper uses appropriate historical examples that more deeply illustrate the time period in which in the book takes place.
V Advanced Virtues (must satisfy three of the following requirements)
Paper makes effective use of reading assignments
Paper makes effective use of outside research materials
Paper demonstrates a historical sense (a deeper historical understanding of the time period and events taking place, which requires similar historical analysis used in the discussion papers) or fully analyzing the historical themes of the course
Paper demonstrates originality or creativity