Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

Wagamese represents St. Jerome’s Residential School in such a way that it will serve Saul Indian Horse’s healing process as an adult many years later. Examine the way he represents it and show how and where it returns to aid his healing. If you are selecting this topic, please keep in mind that you are writing a literary analysis of a novel. It is not to be simply a recitation of historical facts about residential schools in which Indian Horse is thrust into the background as a small part of your evidence. Literary analysis means that the primary text, the novel, or its fictional main character is always front and center as the subject of your point development.


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Requirements: The novel Indian Horse, a.k.a. the primary text + 2 scholarly sources, minimum.

Length: 1,000 words +/- 50 words. Length does not include the Works Cited page


Literary Analysis

Literary analysis is a form of expository writing. Expository writing serves to clarify, set forth, or explain in detail an idea about a subject. In basic literary analysis, your “subject” is usually an examination of one element, or a few similar elements, in a story. Examples of these elements may be found in the list below. To succeed with this type of writing, you must have a strong thesis statement and good use of examples to back up this thesis.

A strong thesis statement contains a subject and a clearly focused predicate. For instance, if you were to write about the relationship between the American man and Jig in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” your thesis statement might look something like this:

(Your SUBJECT)”In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” (Your PREDICATE) the relationship between the man and Jig provides an interesting insight into male and female roles at the time the story was written.

(Note the your Subject is always your focus on the artist and his or her work) (Note that your Predicate is always the action or what you are investigating or proving

Examples to back up the thesis are simply “pieces” of the story which illustrate your point. In Hemingway’s story, you might focus on Jig’s acceptance, reluctant as it may be, of the man’s desire to abort her pregnancy and everything within their dialogue that led up to it.

There are three general ways you may approach the essays:

through explication–the unfolding of meaning through interpretation of a specific section of the story (one part illustrates the whole [thesis])
through analysis–the process of separating the story into parts to better understand the whole (many similar parts illustrate the whole [thesis])
through comparison & contrast–the study of two or more “things” in a story or between stories

Keep in mind that you will inevitably combine these approaches!

While writing these papers, there are certain things you must do:

interpret rather than summarize
avoid long personal anecdotes
make good use of quotations
avoid plagiarism
follow MLA requirements: document your sources as in-text citations, as Works Cited page, and as visual layout.
See the sample Research paper at the end of the MLA chapter of your Hacker manual.
See also the Power Point slides that identify types of sources posted below.
Use your scholarly secondary sources at least once and use the primary source as often as necessary to support your point development. The failure to work within the parameters of the assignment will result in a mark no higher than 59%
Parameters? Required word count, use of primary source, use of appropriate academic sources, and appropriate topic

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