«How to analyse a text»
Well, start by reading it. You must do it carefully, minding the overriding points of the novel/short story/poem/etc. They will help you to build the shell of a plan for your future analysis. Have you understood everything? If your answer is positive then try to create in your mind the whole picture, highlighting the main characters of the story. But do not forget about the minor ones! They deserve your attention too! After it, put down a simple scheme where you mention the main idea of the text which is a core meaning of the text or an extract. You should try to realise what is writer’s intention and what the story is really about. It may take you a several times of careful reading before you really grasp the idea. Worry you not skill comes with time and training. Also, bear in mind that an idea should represent the entire piece of the text.
One of the most important things is to respect every reader’s personal idea, even if it differs from yours, as interpretation of fiction is subjective.
Now, about the scheme.
In general, you can divide your analysis into three parts. Devote the first one to the introduction, in which you present the brief information about the author of the text and tell the setting in a nutshell. Then speak about the central characters, paying your attention to the traits which seem the most revealing to you, they should give a clear understanding of a person. After it is done, state the relationships between the main characters, don’t miss the details.
Now it is the high time to formulate the main idea! You have already thought it over, haven’t you? Good lad, now tie it up with the beginning of your analysis.
Beware of the typical mistake of a beginner: avoid retelling the plot! Idea is what you read between the lines.
After you completed all the mentioned steps, give a few sentences about the form of speech (first/third person narration). Tell whether it has a description, a dialogue, or perhaps an inner monologue. Then define the mood of the text, which indicates the author’s emotional attitude as represented in the story. It may be: lyrical, ironic, romantic, gloomy, etc.
Look at you! You’ve almost finished with your analysis. Now, every text must have a conclusion. So must yours. Sum up everything you have come to during your hard work. Perhaps you have learnt something new? Or found out something interesting? What would you do if you were the character of the story? Share your thoughts and emotions with everyone! After all, that’s one of the aims of the analysis of fiction.