Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Interesting Literary Analysis Essay Topics & Ideas

15 min read

Published on: Sep 19, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 15, 2023

literary analysis essay topics

You’re a literature student, and you’ve been assigned to work on a literature analysis essay, but you’re not sure which topic to go for. It’s a tricky situation!

We understand that choosing a worthy topic for a literary analysis essay is never an easy task. But don’t you worry!

For literature students, we know the importance of drafting an excellent literary analysis essay. And for an exceptional essay, one needs a standout topic.

That’s why in this blog, we have gathered more than 200 exciting and interesting literary analysis essay ideas for you to get started. 

Read on! 

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Good Literary Analysis Essay Topic Ideas

If you are a high school or a college student, and you’re having difficulty coming up with a good topic for your essay, choose from the topic list below.  

Literary Analysis Essay Topics Middle School

  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 
  • Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
  • Harry Potter’s powers in the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  • Allegory in Lord Byron’s Vision of Judgement 
  • Impact of Henry Miller and Gordon Byron’s life on their legacy 
  • Comparative analysis of Dickens VS Thackeray 
  • Canterbury Tales VS Decameron 
  • The irony in Jerome’s stories
  • Mood expressions in Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for High School

  • The representation of justice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Analyze the theme of friendship in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
  • Explore the theme of identity in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
  • The role of nature in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
  • Discuss the concept of heroism in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
  • The use of foreshadowing in George Orwell's Animal Farm
  • The representation of mental health in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar
  • The impact of war on individuals in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried
  • The use of symbolism and allegory in Lois Lowry's The Giver
  • Discuss the role of cultural identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

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Literary Analysis Essay Topics For College

  • Literary devices used in The Night by Elie Wiesel 
  • The portrayal of the escape theme in Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer 
  • The evolution of Celie's character in 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker
  • Jane Austen's critique of social class and marriage in Pride and Prejudice
  • Shed light on the theme of chaos in Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Examine the historical events of World War II and their significance in Elie Wiesel's “Night.”
  • The power of love in The Princess Bride by William Goldman 
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
  • Presentation of dreams in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 
  • The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence 

Literary Analysis Essay Prompts in Classics

  • The portrayal of fate in Romeo and Juliet 
  • The portrayal of love in Romeo and Juliet 
  • Concept of mortality in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet 
  • Misogyny in Hamlet 
  • Witchcraft in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth 
  • The tragic flaws and character development of King Lear in William Shakespeare's play
  • The philosophical underpinnings of justice and governance in Plato's 'The Republic
  • Exploring the theme of civil disobedience and consequences in Sophocles' 'Antigone’
  • Exploring the conflict between illusion and reality in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'
  • The complex character relationships and moral dilemmas in 'Montana' by Larry Watson

Social Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Social injustice in Oliver Twist 
  • Ethnicity in Burmese Days by Orwell
  • Torture and injustice in Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Vanity Fair - the culture of the 19th century according to Thackeray 
  • The portrayal of the Civil Western Society in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The role of women in society in the 18th Century according to Jane Austen 
  • Escape from society and its rules in Into the Wild by John Krakauer 
  • The place of women in the society in Hamlet 
  • Social status of women in the 17th century portrayed by Jane Austen in Emma 
  • The wrongs of the modern society in Fight Club by Palahniuk 

War and Peace Topics for Literary Analysis Essay

  • The portrayal of war and violence in the poems of Stephen Crane
  • Literary works during WWI
  • War setting in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • The depiction of war in Homer’s plays
  • Toni Morrison’s views on the civil war
  • The war between demons and angels in Paradise Lost
  • War in the Mother Courage and Her Child by Bertolt Brecht
  • The portrayal of war and peace by George Orwell
  • Concept of war in A Fable by Faulkner
  • Steinbeck’s presentation of injustice in The Grapes of Wrath

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for Movies

  • Comparison between the book and film “Sense and Sensibility.” 
  • The portrayal of women in the “Little Women.” 
  • Imitation of society and class in “The Great Gatsby.”
  • The ideas of love and trust in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” 
  • The good and evil in “A Wrinkle in Time.” 
  • Feminity in Sense and Sensibility 
  • The role of Saruman and Gandalf 
  • Spirituality and religion in “Lord of the Flies.” 
  • Oskar’s struggle to find a sense of home in “The Tin Drum.”
  • Jealousy and male pride in “The Dead.” 

Literary Analysis Essay Topics for the Subject of Race

  • “Waiting for the Barbarians” by J.M. Coetzee
  • Race and Injustice in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Race and fellowship in Melville’s Moby Dick
  • “Under The Feet Of Jesus”
  • Description of culture and tradition in “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Interracial relationship in Back to Life by Wendy Coakley
  • Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by McMorris
  • The Art Of Love by Hong Ying
  • Multiculturalism in the Captain Underpants series by Dev Pilkey
  • Imitation of slavery in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

General Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Focalization techniques in When I Lay Dying
  • Historical background of Duma’s Novels
  • The use of imagery in Walt Whitman’s works
  • Male and female characters in Beowulf
  • Character analysis of Emmy in Vanity Fair
  • Character analysis of Rebeca in Vanity Fair
  • The complicated relationship between mother and daughter in Beloved
  • Beauty standards in The Bluest Eye
  • Comparison in the portrayal of death by Keats and Blake
  • The idea of death in Renaissance literature

1984 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Roles of genders in the novel
  • What role does the Ministry of Truth play in the story?
  • The theme of subversion of love in 1984
  • The importance of memory in 1984
  • Totalitarian society in George Orwell's 1984
  • Analyze the role O'Brien plays in Winston's life
  • An in-depth analysis of the novel 1984 by George Orwell
  • How is the historical background reflected in 1984?
  • Lack of privacy in 1984
  • Propaganda and totalitarianism in Orwell’s “1984”

Hamlet Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • A theme of revenge in Hamlet
  • Explore Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia
  • Explore Hamlet’s mental state
  • Discuss Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude
  • Ghost in Hamlet
  • Was Hamlet truly mad?
  • Is Hamlet a villain or a hero?
  • How does Shakespeare present the idea of madness in Hamlet?
  • Is Hamlet’s love for Ophelia genuine?
  • Tragedies in Hamlet VS Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Discuss the development of characters during the play
  • Examine the role of women in Romeo and Juliet.
  • What is the role of history in Romeo and Juliet?
  • Analyze the Romeo and Juliet play
  • Romeo and Juliet: Fate or Free Will?
  • Why did Juliet warn of danger?
  • Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet
  • The love language of Romeo and Juliet
  • A fate analysis essay on Romeo and Juliet
  • The death of Romeo and Juliet

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Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Macbeth’s mental state
  • The role of morality in the play “Macbeth”
  • Describe the use of figurative language in Macbeth
  • The symbolism of blood in Macbeth
  • Applying imagery in Macbeth to advance the story
  • Lady Macbeth character analysis
  • What role did social hierarchies play in the play?
  • Analysis of gender roles in Macbeth
  • Role of women in Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Is Lady Macbeth a dominant heroine?

Beowulf Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Why is Beowulf a work of Christian propaganda?
  • What is the main idea of the story?
  • The meaning of rings in Beowulf
  • Which of Beowulf's fights was most heroic?
  • How do Beowulf’s heroic qualities affect the story?
  • Discuss the digression's role in Beowulf
  • Analyze the significance of the mead hall in Beowulf.
  • The difference between Beowulf and Modern-Day Heroes
  • Beowulf’s personality traits in the epic story
  • Analysis of Beowulf's symbols and their importance

Frankenstein Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze what fire is trying to symbolize.
  • Frankenstein: The theme of guilt
  • Discuss any romantic elements in “Frankenstein”
  • The family relationship in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Who is more human, Frankenstein or the monster?
  • Romantic and gothic Frankenstein elements
  • Sacrifices for ambitions in the novel Frankenstein
  • Relationship between Victor and Frankenstein
  • Romanticism in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • Family Values and Frankenstein

The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Discuss the novel as a cautionary tale
  • The meaning of wealth in the novel
  • What is the novel’s title meaning?
  • Explain how the novel demonstrates the characteristics of modernism
  • Explore the symbolism of the “green light” in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Discuss the role of women in the 1920s society as portrayed in “The Great Gatsby”
  • Dreams are the main theme in “The Great Gatsby”
  • What makes The Great Gatsby great?
  • The Great Gatsby: Winter Thoughts
  • What role does money play in Fitzgerald’s novel?

The Crucible Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • Relate the Crucible to modern society
  • Analyze the most important theme of 'The Crucible.'
  • What are the dynamics of puritanism?
  • Examine the importance of religion in 1953 in work
  • The use of fear tactics in “The Crucible”
  • John Hale in The Crucible
  • Morality and The Crucible
  • The Crucible Critical Lens
  • Examine the importance of religion in 1953 in work
  • The sinful confessions in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • History of the Fireman in Fahrenheit 451
  • Discuss the roles of both nature and technology play in Fahrenheit 451
  • The use of Parallelism in Fahrenheit 451
  • Analyze the three parts of Fahrenheit 451
  • Discuss the dual image of fire in the novel
  • How relevant is Fahrenheit 451 today?
  • The role of Clarisse McClellan in “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Analyze Mildred Montag
  • Discuss the usage of literary quotes in Fahrenheit 451
  • Examine the novel's main title

Literary Analysis Essay Topics For Othello

  • Examine the portrayal of women in ‘Othello’
  • A true reason for Othello's demise
  • Consider Othello’s suicide
  • The real motives of Iago in Othello
  • Women's roles in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet
  • Gender roles and racism in “Othello”
  • Discuss Othello's relationship
  • Analysis of The Film “Othello” By Oliver Parker
  • Explore themes of love and betrayal within Shakespeare's work of literature, “Othello”
  • How was Emilia treated by the men in the play “Othello”?

Lord of The Flies Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • The symbolism of the conch shell and its significance in the novel
  • Analyze the themes of civilization versus savagery in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Explore the character development of Ralph and Jack in the story
  • Discuss the role of fear and the “beast” in the boys' descent into chaos
  • The portrayal of innate human nature and its consequences on the deserted island
  • Analyze the role of Piggy and his glasses as symbols of knowledge and reason
  • Analyze the use of irony in the story and its implications for the characters
  • Discuss the themes of power and leadership in the struggle for dominance
  • Examine the relationship between the boys' names and their personalities
  • The role of the island's setting in shaping the events and characters of the story

Literary Analysis Essay Topics For The Catcher In The Rye

  • Analyze the novel from the perspective of Bildungsroman
  • Analyze literary devices used in “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Discuss the theme of death in the novel
  • Analyze the theme of self-discovery from the novel
  • Describe the story's topic of loneliness
  • Analyze growing up in the novel
  • Why does Holden love the Museum of Natural History?
  • The Role of Dialogue in The Catcher in the Rye
  • Describe the novel's portrayal of phoniness and naivety
  • Describe the character of Holden

Interesting Literary Analysis Essay Topics

  • War, existentialism, and love in “A Farewell to Arms”
  • Sense of Sin in The Scarlet Letter 
  • Analyze the use of biblical allusions and religious symbolism in William Golding's novels
  • Analyze the symbolism of the “white whale” in Melville's work of literature, “Moby-Dick”
  • Lies and deceit in “The Godfather” 
  • Analyze the portrayal of fear and the human psyche in William Golding's novels
  • The symbols used to describe nature by William Wordsworth
  • Comparison between urban and rural settings of nature in the dystopia of Huxley
  • Decay and revival in post-apocalyptic novels
  • A religious and spiritual journey in “Jude the Obscure”

Now that you have the liberty to choose from a wide range of literary analysis example topics, you could use some help on how to opt for a good topic. 

How to Choose A Literary Analysis Essay Topic? 

To select a good and worthy topic for your literary analysis essay, follow the tips provided below:

  • Always go for an interesting topic for an engaging piece of paper
  • Look for an idea with available research material to support your analysis
  • Ensure your topic allows for an in-depth analysis rather than a surface-level summary
  • Choose an idea that challenges you to think critically and make meaningful connections
  • Avoid overly broad topics; instead, focus on a specific aspect or element of the work.
  • Choose an idea that best reflects your stance on the chosen work.
  • Analyze the topic deeply before you start writing about it
  • Balance personal interest with the potential appeal to your target audience
  • Make sure that the theme of the work is visible in your essay topic 

Here are some tips for you to pen down a compelling literary analysis essay!

Tips to Write A Compelling Literary Analysis Essay

Essay writing is an essential part of academics. Students always require some tips and tricks to draft perfect essays and score good grades.

To make your literary analysis essay impeccable, follow the tips provided below:

  • Thoroughly read the chosen literary work
  • Identify the main themes, settings, and characters
  • Understand the purpose of the work 
  • Pay attention to the tools and techniques used by the author to deliver the message
  • Pick an interesting literary analytical essay topic for your essay.
  • To write an analytical essay effectively, draft a perfect literary analysis essay outline
  • Develop a strong thesis statement 
  • Craft strong topic sentences to guide and structure your analysis effectively
  • Prove and support all your statements using phrases and quotes from work
  • Write your literary essay from the third-person perspective
  • Write in the present tense
  • Avoid writing a plot summary of the work
  • Use multiple literary terms to write your essay professionally
  • Always cite properly

To sum it up, writing a literary analysis essay can be extremely daunting if your analyzing abilities are weak. From selecting the right literary analysis topic to writing a conclusion for your essay, the process is lengthy.

To score well in academics, get a professional’s help drafting your essays. MyPerfectWords.com is an expert essay writing service that provides top-level assistance and guidance to students. 

Our experienced and credible writers will deliver you a literary analysis essay while strictly sticking to your requirements. 

Let us help you ease your writing woes, so you can have a sigh of relief.

Happy Writing!

Cathy A.

WRITTEN BY

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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