What does it mean to compare? What does it mean to contrast? It means to put two things alongside and consider them by any point of view in order to find the features of similarity and difference. Therefore, the starting point must be some general position, with which a comparison will be made. This common position is called the base of comparison. If you can not find the reason for comparison, then you can not compare. For example, you can not compare Tom Sawyer and Lady Macbeth.
Basics for the comparison and contrast
Compare the two literary heroes can only be based on the disclosure of the characteristics of each of them. But it is necessary to conduct a parallel characteristic, parallel analysis, and not to first give a characterization of one hero, and then another. As a result of such a mistake, 2 small essays on two heroes will turn out instead of one compare and contrast essay.
At first, it is advisable to consider the common traits characteristic of heroes, and then think of what is the opposite in them. Because each character has its own, special, then the comparative principle makes it possible to notice this particular and reflect it in the composition. Comparison of the secondary characters with the main character makes it possible to better see the predominant features of both, the features of their characters, to emphasize certain qualities of the main characters.
It is necessary to compare by essential, and not by secondary signs, and also by the attributes of the same. Finally, we need to identify similarities and differences at the same time. If you consider only the similarity or only the difference, you can come to an incomplete, distorted understanding of objects, phenomena, events, heroes. It should be borne in mind that in some cases a similarity is given in the comparative characteristic, in others emphasis is placed on differences.
Draft plan of compare and contrast essay
The plan for constructing an essay is as follows:
- The main part is a comparison:
- differences (remember that heroes can not only have similarities)
A generalized outline of the comparative characteristics of two or more images:
I. Introduction. The problematic and ideological orientation of the work.
II. Images that help to reveal the main idea of the work. Contrast of images.
1. On what basis can you compare the images:
- on the basis of gender (all topics like “Women’s images …”)
- by similarity of character traits (positive or negative)
- by social status (nobility, merchant class, “little man”, bureaucracy, tramps, lumpen)
- by occupation (student, landowner, peasant, revolutionary, soldier, commander, etc.)
- on psychological features
- on the worldview
- by belonging to the same generation, era.
2. What distinguishes them from each other (differences can be drawn on the same items)
3. What is the point of comparing images (either opposition or complementarity)
4. Meaning of images for the development of the plot of a work
5. Characteristics of each other’s images (if any)
6. How does the author relate to these heroes (author’s assessment of images)