Sample Thesis Statements
1. While it might appear that Honoria, the young heroine of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Babylon Revisited," would be better off remaining with her aunt's family, the girl would actually be better off with her father, whose losses and hardships have made him a more open, positive, and compassionate person.
2. In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the young girl Pearl constantly challenges the Puritans' worldview through her play, her language, and her social interaction.
3. John Steinbeck’s story “The Chrysanthemums” explores the effects of isolation and frustration on one woman, Elisa Allen, who mistakes the interest of a passing tinker for a true connection. The descriptions of her work, her personal life, and even her clothing show the impact of her feelings of isolation, frustration, and ultimate disappointment.
4. After more than 20 years of being regarded by townspeople as a fool, attorney David Wilson, the protagonist of Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, is finally recognized as an exceptional man. However, a careful appraisal of his life shows that he really has lived as a fool.
5. In Moby-Dick, Ishmael's version of the Narcissus myth is the key to understanding the different fates of Ishmael and Ahab. Like Narcissus, Ahab pursues his own reflection so insistently that it leads to his death. Ishmael, on the other hand, is willing to see beyond the self and recognize the soul's dependence on others.
6. In Hemingway’s story "Big Two-Hearted River," Nick seeks out nature not to experience harmony and peace, as many critics have suggested, but rather to experience a greater feeling of control than he has found in the world of men.
7. Eliza Brandon and Eliza Williams, though they occupy little narrative space in Sense and Sensibility, loom large as cautionary tales for the passionate Marianne Dashwood. They represent the possibility of fundamentally good natures being destroyed by unscrupulous men.
8. In "Starting from Paumanok" Whitman uses formal innovations to create a new and specifically American poetry that reflects the conditions of American life in his time.
9. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, the citizens are deprived of an accurate sense of perspective and a faith in their own memories, and the result is that they have no fixed point from which to evaluate their rulers and the choices they are making.
10. In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Lindo, Jing-mei, and Rose are all able to discover, through soul-searching prompted by feelings of despair, a sense of an authentic, autonomous self. This achievement enables them to find the strength to move forward through the next phases of their lives.