Oral Presentation

Your oral presentation should resemble a written B-essay with an initial statement of the theme (or the main problem dealt with in the text).  Having stated the theme, you can pick details and passages from the text that illustrate your point.  This way you will go directly to the analysis and thus avoid being drawn into giving a mere account of the text; and by stating the theme early in your presentation you will find it easy to pick the more important lines to quote and analyze.

NB The theme is not “about” something – the theme IS something.  “War” is too wide a theme to be of any use whereas “mental scars of war” is much more useful as a theme.

Sub themes may occur, but take care you don’t operate with too many themes – or do one at a time.

Characterization(s) of the (main) character(s) is an important issue in your analysis, but instead of just telling your listeners what the characters do, see to it that you interpret their doings according to the theme you have stated.  Whether you have picked the right theme or not is usually seen in how easy or difficult it is for you to find examples that back your choice of theme.

When you’ve mapped the characters’ doings in your theme “chart”, you can move on to the writer’s message – what it is s/he wants us to see.
   If you agree in his/her point of view, it should not be too difficult for you to enlarge your scope and find similar occurrences: in other texts we have read; in the course of history; in political events; or – perhaps most importantly – in psychology since most fiction is about the psychological development of man.
   If you disagree, you should state how you think the writer’s point(s) of argument are biased ideologically in terms of his/her interpretation of life.  Like all other human beings writers are also subjected to ideologies, and many writings may thus bear the stamp of a certain time period of thinking.

See also:

or use the search function (ctrl+B or +F) for the section “Textual Analysis & Essays”

model example