Questions tagged [literary-analysis]

Investigation of literary concepts such as plot, point of view, setting, characterization, imagery, etc. Evaluation of how they are used within the work and how the work is influenced by or reflects societal issues, religious themes, ideology, history or myth.

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Why was Scrooge chosen for redemption?

In Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Scrooge is redeemed by a vist from 4 ghosts who show him the effects of his selfish and unkind behavior and cause him to change his ways. This opportunity for ...
DQdlM's user avatar
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35 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did Cordwainer Smith name several characters "five-six" in different languages?

Cordwainer Smith's characters often have names that encode the numbers 5-6. In "The Dead Lady of Clown Town," this is taken to an extreme, with a robot called Fisi (English "five-six&...
Invisible Trihedron's user avatar
33 votes
1 answer
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Is Interstellar an allegory of the Holy Trinity?

A while back, a friend of mine told me that Christopher Nolan's Interstellar was an allegory for the Holy Trinity. Here was his evidence: SPOILERS... obviously. Too many to mark up. Cooper ...
BlackThorn's user avatar
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28 votes
6 answers
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Are any of the characters in Harry Potter books a "Mary Sue"?

Can any of the characters in Harry Potter books be considered a "Mary Sue" character? If so, who and why? A Mary Sue or Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
2k views

What are the anti-Church messages in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy?

His Dark Materials contains criticisms of a controlling church and forced removal of free will. Some of the parallels of the Magisterium to controlling hierarchies of cardinals and bishops can't be ...
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25 votes
2 answers
23k views

What do the novel titles of The Expanse series refer to?

The Expanse series has novels with titles based on several religious or mythical images. What are the origins of the titles and what elements of the story do they refer to? Leviathan Wakes Caliban's ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
349 views

Chinese narrative style in Cordwainer Smith stories

I've read several times that Cordwainer Smith used traditional Chinese narrative styles in some of his stories. But I've never seen any specifics. Smith's Wiki offers more detail than most of these ...
Invisible Trihedron's user avatar
17 votes
6 answers
547 views

How to keep suspension of disbelief with older works? [closed]

How to keep suspension of disbelief when reading/watching science fiction works written quite some time ago which are happening in what was future then, but is present or even past now? The things ...
Goran Jovic's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
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Role and significance of Molly Grue

In Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn, I find the character of Molly Grue is something of a cipher. She seems to serve as a councilor and all-around wisewoman, but never seems to take an active role in ...
Standback's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Examples of George R. R. Martin's Three step foreshadowing/revelation

In the interview quoted in this answer, Anne Groell mentions a three step revelation strategy for plot elements employed by George R. R. Martin in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: That said, now ...
Crow T Robot's user avatar
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What are the common themes present in both Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and Jordan's "Wheel of Time"?

This is probably going to be a rather detailed set of answers. Hopefully someone can come up with a "short list" of common themes. Both sets of books have a distinctive theme of good vs. evil, but ...
TristaanOgre's user avatar
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1 answer
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Jaime Lannister - "I have dreamed this dream before"

While reading A Storm of Swords I reached the chapter where Jaime is being treated by Qyburn and I want to know more about Jaime's dream: Jaime closed his eyes and let the wine and Qyburn do their ...
Crow T Robot's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
742 views

Term for tricks in literature [closed]

In A Clash of Kings, A Song of Ice and Fire - Book 2, Tyrion tells three different stories about Myrcella to three different people in order to discover the fink. That was a great tactic. Is there a ...
Ricardo Cristian Ramirez's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are any Star Wars materials written from the perspective of the droids?

I know that Lucas said he framed the story in the original trilogy around R2-D2 and C-3PO, based on the peasant characters being at the center of the action in Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. But have ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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What is the first appearance of a Lich in fantasy literature?

What is the first appearance of a Lich in fantasy literature? I will accepts answers pointing to myths ans sagas and such as well. Edit: For clarity, I'm asking about Liches as defined by Wikipedia: ...
Thorsal's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
271 views

How integral is legend to the Tolkien Legendarium itself?

Is an essential aspect of Tolkien's creation about legends having their own legends? I ask because for me one of the things that makes Arda so compelling and believable as fantasy is that it is a ...
NickM's user avatar
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1 answer
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End-of-humanity SF

A recent story-id question introduced me to a Thomas M. Disch novel about the end of humanity while fighting, and losing, against overwhelmingly powerful alien invaders. This was in the early 1960s. ...
Eugene Seidel's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
478 views

Is there a widely accepted methods used in Sci-fi and Fantasy works, to manage the shared world building in a consistent way?

Several science fiction and fantasy franchises have different approaches to what is or isn't considered 'canon' to the body of work. As an example Star Wars used to use a tiered system of determining ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
421 views

Are there specific tropes/details/etc... that characterized Golden Age of Science Fiction?

Wiki article on the Golden Age of Science Fiction mentions a couple of major developments associated with it, but is pretty thin on comprehensive analysis: Space opera came to prominence ...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
445 views

Are there studies gauging the popularity of zombies in popular culture?

In the recent RadioLab podcast "Quicksand," a reporter was able to give exact metrics on the popularity of quicksand by looking at the number of quicksand mentions in movies from 1909 until the ...
Affable Geek's user avatar
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Are there any scholarly critiques about Ray Bradbury's book, "The Illustrated Man"

I've been searching for a while over critiques or reviews that focus on The Illustrated Man, and there aren't too many. I've already found a couple resources through my University's library. Does ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is JK Rowling an architect or a gardener, for her Harry Potter series?

I was watching Brandon Sanderson's lecture called "Gardeners vs Architects": In short, he explains a gardener allows that part of the story (characters and/or plot/...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
697 views

Symbolic Names of Characters in “Stranger in a Strange Land” (RAH)

In my copy of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, there is an introduction written by his wife Virginia. She writes as follows: The given names of the chief characters have great importance to the ...
drasimov's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
148 views

What is the genre of fantasy novels that don't feature any major conflict? [closed]

When reading a fantasy novel I enjoy the chapters focusing on "normal" life in the fantastical world much more than chapters focusing on a quest to defeat some existential threat. For ...
andypea's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
183 views

Has there been any attempt at literary analysis on the addictive and engaging qualities of JK Rowling's writing? [closed]

I have just started re-reading the Harry Potter series by way of reading it to my youngest child. In doing so, I've been reminded of how fascinated I was by how Rowling's writing pulls the reader in ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can "His Dark Materials" be read objectively? [closed]

I have asked this question on other websites, but I keep getting conflicting answers, so I figured I would ask here. I'm a Christian. I first read the "His Dark Materials" trilogy when I was in 5th ...
Zack NightShade's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Significance of van Hoek's Manila Galleon narration in The Confusion

In Neal Stephenson's The Confusion, the character Van Hoek narrates a story to the crew of Minerva whilst in the habour of Manila. At the end of the chapter, "Japan to Manila," it starts (pg....
Algamest's user avatar
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2 answers
464 views

Is Karkaroff's first name (Igor) an allusion to Frankenstein?

Wikipedia sayeth: Igor (or sometimes Ygor) is the traditional stock character or cliché hunch-backed assistant or butler to many types of villain, such as Count Dracula or a Dr. Victor Frankenstein,...
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