Analysis of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Razor’s Edge CHAPTER 4. In addition to the novel, you are to reference at least four outside sources.
Your analysis should be based squarely on the techniques of “Chapter 4: Analysis.”
Choosing an analytic topic lens soon will help you to focus your efforts. After the next section, you will find some suggested analytic approaches frequently used in literary study. Choose the one that is most fascinating to you.
Synthesis with a Twist. An analysis is basically a synthesis with a very specific kind of focus. To analyze the novel The Razor’s Edge, you first need to find a thoughtful source that you feel can help illuminate the novel in a clearer and deeper light than a casual read-through yields. Think of your goal as showing a casual reader just how deep the novel really is.
After you find your analytical tool, you must be able to explain the central concept of that source very clearly. Once you do this, you can then apply that tool to scenes, experiences, images, characters, and symbols in the novel. You are synthesizing your analytical tool/source with the novel in a very specific way—shining it like a specific kind of light from a specific direction on the subject of the novel in order to see the novel’s details, cracks, crevices, and patterns.
SUGGESTED ANALYTIC APPROACHES
Prompt 1: Happiness. What is happiness? Consider Larry’s journey throughout the novel. Can we classify his journey as a search for happiness? How? What about the other characters’ journeys in the novel? Are they seeking happiness, or something different? Does Maugham’s ending leave us with the feeling that anyone ends up truly happy? Is true happiness even possible? Use Maugham’s novel and its various characters to define, analyze, and discuss happiness.
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