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Making inferences in a literary analysis

Making inferences in a literary analysis

Author: Dan Reade
Description:
  1. Explain how to make inferences about a literary text by examining textual evidence (e.g. plot structure, symbols, characters, etc.).

  2. Explain how to make inferences about a literary text by considering the context of the work (e.g. time period, author’s life, country of publication, etc.).

  3. Explain how to make inferences about a text based on its genre.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to write a literary analysis and who is confused about how to connect evidence and inferences. It will explain how to make inferences based on evidence provided in the text, context of the work, or its genre.

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Tutorial

Literary Inference: Using the Text

Literary Inference is the act of examining a story in order to determine what the story means or what message the story is trying to convey. The video below gives a basic definition of literary inference and shows how to engage in literary inference through an examination of plot, character, setting, and symbol. The video uses Raymond Carver's "A Serious Talk" in order to provide examples.

Source: Dan Reade

Literary Inference from Historical Context

While the text of a story should be the primary way in which we make determinations about a story's meaning, the context in which a story was written and published can also provide useful clues. The video below shows how to use facts such as the time and place of a story's publication and the history of the author in order to learn more about what a story is attempting to say. The video uses George Orwell's 1984 to provide examples.

Source: Dan Reade

Literary Inference and Genre

The genre of a story (i.e. the categories into which it can be classified) can help in properly reading and understanding a story's meaning. The video below gives a basic definition of genre and provides an example about how one sentence-"My boss is a monster"-can be read in different ways based upon a story's genre.

Source: Dan Reade