Lens Essay and Literary Theory on “Gorse Is not people” By Janet Frame and the Graphic Novel “Fun Home”

Feminism. Marxism. Freudian theory. Queer theory. Each perspective can operate as a “lens” that enables us to focus on a work of literature from a particular vantage point. Think of how what you have learned in school influences your interpretation of things: taking an economics class can allow you to understand a bill on healthcare reform from a budgeting angle. Taking lessons in bass or guitar can lend an appreciation and understanding of what the musicians are doing in a song on the radio in a way that someone who didn’t study bass/guitar can’t.

For our next assignment, we will write a lens essay on an aspect of your graphic novel AND one of the short stories we’ve read this semester, integrating our literary “lens” of choice. Write a total of four coherent, polished pages in which you analyze the graphic novel and one of the stories using principles from literary theory. 

The short story that I chose and that you will be focusing on is “Gorse Is not people” By Janet Frame and the Graphic Novel “Fun Home” using the Psychoanalysis (Psychoanalytic) approach


Select and describe your chosen approach to literature (Marxism, Feminism, etc). To do this you will integrate outside sources AND summarize key aspects of this approach coherently, as if for an unfamiliar audience.

Integrate, explain, and analyze relevant examples from the graphic novel and the story you select, using your literary approach to guide this analysis.

Help your reader understand to what extent the story/the graphic novel upholds, contradicts, embodies, complements, or changes Marxism, Feminism, or whatever your literary approach is. In other words, to what extent is “One of These Days” influenced by the government structure it was written in (Marxism)? Or, does “One of These Days” show how the Id, Ego, and Superego manifest in the dentist, the mayor, or the soldier (Psychoanalysis)? To what extent is Chopin’s short story able to shed light on the patriarchal oppression of women in 19th century marriage (Feminism)? 

Organize your essay in a logical, coherent way, crafting your paragraphs with AXES principles in mind.

Use at least two outside sources (not including the graphic novel or the story) and include properly formatted works cited page


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