comparative literature essay example

comparative literature essay example

Comparative Literature Essay: Analyzing Literary Works Across Cultures

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
comparative literature essay example
Our work is always; • #Top-Quality • #Plagiarism-free
Order Essay

1. Introduction

However wide or deeper part of human history may interest any given individual, at the very least writing and consequently literature is one of the essential subjects; all else represents some form of human activity to be sure, but only the use of written language which makes the history implicit in everything else explicit to the degree that history on various aspects, as indeed history of literature of the world can be. The Renaissance Italian scholar Petrarch became aware that the values of the classical Roman world are to be found only in the work, both in prose and verse through which the ancient Romans had left their mark. His efforts to publish the works of the once renowned authors was the earliest fruitful scholarly research in the subject which started to metamorphose to a whole new discipline – comparative literature.

When you do research on a topic shared with various nations, it can be considered an international issue. As Carleton Stevens Coons demonstrates, “The history of the world’s art is revelatory and its agreement of the racial evolution of culture, the fittest race demonstrated not, as was by Darwin, the European, but the south Asian.” In writing his essay on the racial evolution of culture, he seems not to have noticed that literature was also part of culture. The history of literature of the world provides a different type of data, a kind that can be found in no other form of human activity. That written language is today the only means by which we can engage in the study of human history from the time in 4000-3000 B.C. when writing was first invented until about the fifteenth century in Europe when the first printing press and moveable type were devised.

2. Methodology: Comparative Analysis

A modified model combining two existing historicist literary theories, the Complicist Awareness Model and the Transitional Literature Paradigm, respectively developed by Cultural Materialism and World-Systems, and the Worlded Literary Theory is used for analyzing and comparing the two novels in this study. The Legacy of the Silk Road and Santa Evita, it is found, become a cauldron for a cumulative global narrative on history and culture. Tourvic seems to be recycling a marginalized segment of the Argentinian nation that still views Eva Perón through a sentimental façade. Ma and Laozi, through juxtaposed viewpoints and disciplinary study, contribute to the emerging narrative on the study of world literary works. Through the author’s pencraft in Santa Evita, there is the literary attention to any of the causative factors; the artistic ethos and value of Santa Evita simply multiply in value with Ma’s morally uplifting philosophy which dovetails with the prevalent dynamics of current world events.

An in-depth comparison of selected works, based on their genre, plot, characters and other literary devices employed in them, forms the methodology shaping the analysis. An ECLS model is used to carry out this comparison, with a focus on the literary elements employed in the novel. The Legacy of the Silk Road is analyzed and compared with Santa Evita in the study, attempting to tag and identify the roots and routes of the two narratives in history and culture. The narrative itself is frequently seen, usually on level with literature and the arts, as little more than the violent and pointless interaction between inherently dissimilar cultures. That narrative, it is said, is a monocultural one that packages the heroic deeds of valiant peoples and regrettably ignored advances of lost civilizations.

3. Case Studies: Literary Works Comparison

The story focuses on the life of the main character, Phoenix Jackson in her excruciating journey to get the medicine for her grandson who swallowed lye from the doctor’s office, after which person came she met are laden with deep racial insensitivity and degrade her race. In the journey, Eudora Welty seems to be highlighting the racial prejudices and ineptness that African Americans went through during the years when her story was written, thus, reflecting the Southern history. In the same manner, the journey to Ixtlan was written by a Hispanic author Carlos Castaneda who is known for his unique stories about his non-ordinary travels to realms of sorcery and shamanism. The author’s sorcerers and other characters’ encounters often question or at least raise the issue of how things are learned. He reflects his acquired knowledge along with other sorcerers’ lessons that was gained to the audience.

The two journey stories have been narrated in terms of the major themes, characters, techniques and the voice of the narrators. First, Phoenix Jackson is an aged black woman being the only dynamic character in the story, who feels the pain of her only nephew all the way to town making the story lively, setting the audience into the mood and intense pathos. This story uses the technique known as a third person omniscient narration, making the story highly ironic from the start. It has a lot of flashback scenes which interrupt the dialogue range of scene in the office to give clarity to Annie’s age while also giving deeper understanding about her background, how long she has been making the drive to speaking in a soft southern manner.

4. Findings and Interpretations

Upon reviewing the two texts in the original language prior to proceeding in their comparison, the different role of language, culture, and social backgrounds in literary translations were explored and also discussed through the common themes and the treatment in terms of verbal expression. In the study of the integration of different languages, elements of words and phrases were highlighted, while the focus on culture and the social background were determined through the system that defines the environment of the story, behavioral orientation, and conflict with the society, background, and characters. The linguistic analysis revealed the contrast of the language function between “The Prophet” and “Tanah Lot” and their respective verbal expression, with the dialect of the two works being the most outstanding aspect. Different language resources were called upon by the authors to symbolize their two contrasting cultural concepts. In “The Prophet,” the author used unsur-unsur teknis dalam Bahasa Melayu for the mono-culture society when not exclusively used the Malay language in the expressive elements. The use of literary art words was shown when Lionel questioned the Truth, accused of lying by the Police, challenged Professor Walemba who quoted the Quran and Hadith when Daeng insisted he muzakaroh with Musalmans to avoid the influence of modern challenges and all doubts about the social system in Malay society. By using such elements and forms, the author of “The Prophet and the Blind Fisher” performs the harmonious language interrelation in the Malay community openly.

“The Prophet” was seen as the West’s interpretation of a harmonious East, while “Tanah Lot” reflected the impact of the West on the turning towards the East. Noting that the thematic essence of the two works comes from different focus, their content and the original form were also seen as a result of this focus. The essential difference between the thematic essence, content, and literary language were noted to be dependent on the existence of subjective attitudes of the authors on culture and society. Exotic or cultural conflict themes can be realized not only from the macro environment and the plot length, but also from verbal expression and style. The research examined two aspects of this issue, namely the blending of the Malay language with Western languages, East-West values, and subjective attitudes, in the context of literary translation between the Malay and Francophone.

5. Conclusion: Impact of Cross-Cultural Literary Exploration

In conclusion, cross-cultural exploration of literary works can work as a bridge between various societies and individuals within this increasingly interconnected globe. This standpoint can be supported by two reasons: On one hand, it reinforces the feeling of cultural identity and interconnected global community. Also in the special fiction of the struggle between China and France, these two components combine to form a relatively homogeneous meta-discourse model for fiction: the search for identity, a kind of resistance toward the metropolis, which provokes the redefining of the individual identity. As a result, thoughtful readers can be aware of such an autonomy identity and screen the customs, the culture, the knowledge of the information flowing indistinctly from a territory to another. On the other side, a multicultural and interdisciplinary literary study offers a more in-depth and broader understanding of a certain culture, since literature embodies various aspects of a human society, which are the result of the human creating process and are kept in the literary and artistic imagination.

The importance of cross-cultural literary exploration goes beyond the mere global coverage. These fascinating global works in some extent merge, interact, and even clash with one another, thus reflecting the complexity of our increasingly multicultural world. By crossing the border of language and culture, we manage to access not only an enlarged literary world, but also to explore cultural diversities and shared human universals across different cultures. After all, literature may be seen as “a natural initiatory rite,” “a type of mirror, a reflecting pool” that can stimulate the society and the individual to grow into maturity. In order to more effectively fulfill such a function, literature should reflect but not just feed common beliefs and tastes, and therefore, cultural comparison of literary works in the process of globalization should adopt a balanced outlook towards cultural collision and integration. Among other objections, one may also criticize the expansion in the contextual approach, but it is worth to have a try.

Place Your Order
(275 Words)

Approximate Price: $15

Calculate the price of your order

275 Words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total Price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic Level
Number of Pages
Principle features
  • Free cover page and Reference List
  • Plagiarism-free Work
  • 24/7 support
  • Affordable Prices
  • Unlimited Editing
Upon-Request options
  • List of used sources
  • Anytime delivery
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Writer’s sample papers
  • Professional guidance
Paper formatting
  • Double spaced paging
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
  • 275 words/page
  • Font 12 Arial/Times New Roman

•Unique Samples

We offer essay help by crafting highly customized papers for our customers. Our expert essay writers do not take content from their previous work and always strive to guarantee 100% original texts. Furthermore, they carry out extensive investigations and research on the topic. We never craft two identical papers as all our work is unique.

•All Types of Paper

Our capable essay writers can help you rewrite, update, proofread, and write any academic paper. Whether you need help writing a speech, research paper, thesis paper, personal statement, case study, or term paper, essay writing service is ready to help you.

•Strict Deadlines

You can order custom essay writing with the confidence that we will work round the clock to deliver your paper as soon as possible. If you have an urgent order, our custom essay writing company finishes them within a few hours (1 page) to ease your anxiety. Do not be anxious about short deadlines; remember to indicate your deadline when placing your order for a custom essay.

•Free Revisions and Preview

To establish that your online custom essay writer possesses the skill and style you require, ask them to give you a short preview of their work. When the writing expert begins writing your essay, you can use our chat feature to ask for an update or give an opinion on specific text sections.

A Remarkable Student Essay Writing Service

Our essay writing service is designed for students at all academic levels. Whether high school, undergraduate or graduate, or studying for your doctoral qualification or master’s degree, we make it a reality.