This has strong, specific details and necessary yet still brief previews of book/character info leading into thesis statements. Title

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Functional and fabulous: This has strong, specific details and necessary yet still brief previews of book/character info leading into thesis statements.
Title: A Pilgrimage for Love and Acceptance (a good one!)
Being independent sounds important; it is what society encourages as establishing oneself as a productive citizen. But, being independent also can mean being alone. And being alone in the face of trials can be daunting, and sometimes, downright stupid. In Barbara Kingsolver’s novels The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven and Animal Dreams, all trace the shift in ideology of the protagonist from isolated independence to understanding the importance of family and a support system. In The Bean Trees, Taylor Greer is an independent figure who leaves her backwoods home in Kentucky seeking a new life. While on her trip, an abused Native American baby girl is forced upon her. Taylor names the child Turtle, and as Turtle’s life with Taylor is threatened, Taylor’s mindset begins to change from one of independence to one of dependency and understanding the importance of a support system. Kingsolver’s sequel to The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, continues the story of Taylor and Turtle, who have become an independent unit, set apart from everyone else. However as their life together is threatened, Taylor takes Turtle and flees. Throughout their experience on the lam together though, Taylor begins to understand that her cultural differences from Turtle may prove less than beneficial, and accepts the necessity for duality in Turtle’s life. Finally, in Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams, Codi Noline lives her life, always under the shadow of her seemingly infallible sister Hallie; that is, until Hallie leaves for agricultural work in Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, Hallie is killed by the contras, which serves as a fulcrum moment in Codi’s life. Through this, Codi realizes that isolation from others during emotional turmoil is never a better option than accepting the love of those surrounding you and creating a support system. In each of Kingsolver’s novels, not until each character recognizes the effects of loss can she understand that in order to be happy and fulfilled, a support system or family is more important than isolated-self reliance.


By the end of The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, and Animal Dreams, the female protagonists all shed their shells of self-imposed isolation for a family oriented setting because of the threat of losing someone important. Taylor’s fear of losing Turtle to the state forces her to seek and accept help, which allows her to keep Turtle. Hallie’s leaving for Nicaragua allows for Codi to realize that she too is deserving of love and that she is not in fact less of a person than her sister, proven by her saving the town of Grace. Finally, Turtle’s living conditions are again threatened, this time by the Cherokee Nation, but Taylor gives up full custody of Turtle for Turtle’s benefit and Taylor’s peace of mind. Each character becomes fulfilled and happy because she is able to alter her ideology when confronted with the effects of loss. When Taylor and Codi are able to accept love from others, their lives are fulfilled and they are able to finally be truly happy. Ultimately, Kingsolver’s theme of achieving happiness when understanding the importance of family is one that each protagonist is able to adhere to, and thus, in their own respects, attain the sense of happiness that stems from the strongest human desire of all: love.
* Again, notice how the writer doesn’t just summarize what’s already been said but instead creates parallels between the characters across the different books.
Functional and fabulous:

Open windows. Unacknowledged signs. A floating dead dog. Individually, these phrases seem strange, unconnected, even disconcerting. However, when perceived in the context of John Irving’s novels, these phrases are repeated. They become images. The images then coalesce to produce a meaning far deeper than any individual-novel analysis could create. As the darkness of images suggests, Irving mostly writes tragicomic fiction, a combination of a comedy and a tragedy. While his writing has that as an underlying theme, looking specifically at The Hotel New Hampshire; The Cider House Rules; and The World According to Garp, there are no recurring characters – or even character experiences – and Irving’s novels each stands alone. There is one thing that does recur in Irving’s novels, however. Throughout John Irving’s novels, the repetition of warning phrases foreshadows negative events, emphasizing the inevitability of sorrow.

*Note here the short intro. That was purposeful and allowed the writer to get right into the phrases; he realized that trying to explain each in the intro would create nothing to discuss in the conclusion.
Same Intro: Just FUNCTIONAL and kinda blasé.

John Irving is an accomplished American author. He mostly writes tragicomic fiction, a combination of a comedy and a tragedy. Three of his books that fall into this category are: The Hotel New Hampshire; The Cider House Rules; and The World According to Garp. Irving’s novels are stand alone novels because Irving does not use recurring characters. There is one thing that does recur in Irving’s novels however. Throughout John Irving’s novels, the repetition of warning phrases foreshadows negative events, emphasizing the inevitability of sorrow.

Conclusion: FABULOUS

The warning phrases of Irving’s novels also parallel the order in which the novels were written. The first of the three novels John Irving wrote is The World According to Garp. The “Under Toad” shows that sorrow can be detected. It also shows how sorrow can eventually be overcome. Garp and his family overcome the car accident sorrow and it brings them closer as a family. The second novel Irving wrote is The Hotel New Hampshire. “Sorrow floats” expands Irving’s previous statement to say even though sorrow can be overcome, it will still always be present in people’s lives. The third novel Irving wrote is The Cider House Rules. “Wait and see” expands the statement so that it ultimately states sorrow can be detected and overcome although it will always be present in the lives of humans; no matter what is done to avert trouble, even trying to “wait and see,” it will still arrive in a different form. Sorrow is ever present in the lives of the Garp family, Homer Wells, and the Berry family. In the world according to Irving, nothing - no world, no place, and certainly no rules – can prevent sorrow.

*Note here how he plays on the titles and their wording to create a unique perspective and o conclusion point

INTROS only:

Functional but not fabulous: Both have details and appropriate but brief preview of book/character info leading into thesis statements.
Anne Tyler, a fictional writer, seems to be fascinated with family relationships. Her novels’ events and people are the traditional experiences in one’s life yet they are extremely captivating. Tyler’s books address issues of lost identity, loneliness, and repentance. Macon and Sarah Leary in The Accidental Tourist live a normal life until the death of their son which causes problems in their relationship and within their own lives. Saint Maybe’s Ian Bedloe spills an opinion which leads to the death of his brother and sister-in-law and the loss of his identity. The Tull’s in Dinner at a Homesick Restaurant suffer from lost identity when their father leaves the family. In the novels The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, and Dinner at a Homesick Restaurant, Anne Tyler illustrates that as an individual goes through life he must learn to accept the influence of people around him, his environment or the community in order to find himself. The characters in The Accidental Tourist underscore the fact that one must accept the influences around him in order to find himself.


John from James Baldwin’s novel Go Tell it On the Mountain, David from Giovanni’s Room, and Rufus from Another Country all share the difficult task of finding and accepting themselves for who they are. John has difficulty accepting his black race and the religion his family forces upon him. David cannot seem to figure out his sexuality; he is unsure whether he likes women or men, and cannot decide if liking men is acceptable. Rufus shares the same identity issues as John and David. He cannot accept his black race and cannot determine his sexuality. Baldwin cleverly crafts novels around these characters’ inability to accept themselves based on struggles he himself faced in life. Through the conflicting inner thoughts and social interactions of the characters, Baldwin demonstrates the difficulty of accepting oneself, resulting in each character’s continuous search for identity.

Functional and getting to fabulous with some style:

These both have details and appropriate, strong, brief preview of book/character info leading into thesis statements. They also have some style in here!
The 19th Century was filled with countless numbers of new, young talent entering into the literary world. Of these great American authors and philosophers arose one of the most extraordinary novelists of all time, Mark Twain. Twain gradually acquired his fame through such novels as The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as well as the “Great American Novel”, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These three works truly illustrate Twain’s respect for youth and the adventure of one’s childhood. He eloquently goes through the lives of several unforgettable characters that expose the themes of each novel one by one. For instance, the character Huckleberry Finn expresses the major theme of the importance of family and friends. Poor old Tom Canty thoroughly illustrates the theme of poverty versus wealth as he battles the destitution of Offal Court. And even the notorious Tom Sawyer is able to demonstrate the theme of overcoming life’s obstacles in the midst of extreme adversity. Through these extraordinary characters, Twain reveals the hardships involved with such things as poverty, prejudice, and even young love. Combined with breathtaking adventures, intense pirate scavenging, and newly formed friendships, these elements help to uncover the difficult tasks and decisions that the characters experience throughout the novel. In the end, because they remove themselves from society through their adventures, the characters are able to form bonds that help them to distinguish between right and wrong.

INTROS AND CONCLUSIONS: Functional and fabulous:

Title: Paralyzing Indecision (taken from repetition of thesis and conclusion!)

Joseph Heller’s novels tend to be long-winded with vague plotlines; often very little happens in the stories through the first hundred pages. However, Heller does not bore his readers. Joseph Heller’s writing is best known for his satire-filled style of writing, as displayed prominently in his best-selling novel, Catch-22. With his witty black humor present throughout all his stories, the simplicities of ordinary life are exaggerated into absurdities, and the pages pass. Humor does not make a classic, though, and since many of Heller’s novels are composed with no clear sequence of events or plot, themes are extremely important. Similar themes about the ironies of life underlie the narrations of God Knows, Portrait of an Artist, As an Old Man, Catch-22, and Something Happened. Joseph Heller’s characters make many attempts to find a purpose and meaning in life, to leave a legacy; however, because of paralyzing indecisions, they do not succeed.

**Notice how she strays from “typical” order of intro paragraph, but still presents most important info in here.


Heller’s novels are very similar to each other thematically. King David, Eugene Pota, Yossarian, and Bob Slocum, are all trying to worthwhile lives that they will be remembered for, but fail due to their inability to efficiently make clear decisions. There are various differences and similarities in their situations of course. In God Knows, David’s indecision is a matter of pride – a common personality flaw that unfortunately leads to him lying cold in bed as his son Solomon takes over the throne and all his fame. The longer he waits, the more he is afraid that God will not respond if he tries to say something first. Soon, it will no longer be a decision over pride, but fear. For Eugene Pota, he was impatient and thus unwilling to research or even to just try and finish writing any of his ideas, so he gave in to his editor’s suggestion to write a simpler novel. He was old and tired, so he took the easy way out. Yossarian’s indecision is similar to Pota’s in that he also grasped for the third option when faced with a difficult initial choice. After being trapped in such an insane environment for so long, he’s desperate and cannot think clearly. Something Happened shows a tragic result of the delay cause by Slocum’s indecision. If before the incident Slocum had chosen to love his son, he might not have accidently killed him with his overwhelming desperation that he may never have a chance to show his love for the boy ever again. If he had chosen work, Slocum would have been more detached from the scene and have a clearer head to deal with the problem, or at least be able to enjoy his new job whole-heartedly after his son’s death. Because of paralyzing indecisions, Joseph Heller’s characters lead empty lives.


Functional and fabulous: This has strong, specific details and necessary yet still brief previews of book/character info leading into thesis statements.
Title: Selfish Love and Lust in Irving’s Love World
John Irving’s novels speak volumes about conflicts between socially acceptable love and selfish, lusting attraction. Looking beyond the fairytale façade, Irving’s novels reveal that it is indeed selfish desire and lust that dominate true love’s powers. The World According to Garp’s main character, T.S. Garp, is constantly being associated with prostitution, affairs, and ideas of rape despite his clean maternal upbringing and loving marital relationship. John Berry of The Hotel New Hampshire suffers through his attraction to his older sister, Franny, despite what the acceptable loving relationship should be between brother and sister. Franny and other characters fall victim to man’s lust through rape as well. Finally, Irving’s The Cider House Rules crawls with incest, lust, abortions, and affairs that constantly rule over acceptable loving actions. The main character, Homer Wells, is raised in an abortion and orphan house and later adventures to an apple orchard. At the Ocean View Orchards, Homer falls in love with an already engaged woman, Candy, and also witnesses rape and incest. Following Garp, John, and Homer through their lives from children to adults, Irving shows the effects lust has on relationships throughout their maturity and beyond. The reoccurrence of stressed relationships in Irving’s novels ultimately demonstrate that the strength of socially acceptable and emotionally dependant love cannot withstand the effects of selfish love and lust.


Thus, Irving’s troubled relationships do not state that all relationships are doomed to fail. Each of Irving’s struggling couples prove a different point for what is not good in a relationship. Garp and Helen are taught through the death of their son, Walt, that their marriage and family cannot withstand outer affairs. Franny and John Berry cannot live their lives in love because it is not socially acceptable or healthy to pursue love and lust with a brother or sister. It is not until after they purge themselves of their lust that John can go on to love Susie with honest intentions. Through Rose Rose’s murder of her father and rapist, Mr. Rose, Homer learns that a loving family relationship cannot withstand the effects of selfish lust. Therefore, as long as there is lust or selfish love in a relationship, the honest and altruistic love will always suffer.
* Notice how the writer doesn’t just summarize what’s already been said but instead creates parallels between the characters ACROSS the different books.

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