Integrating Quotes into Essays

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Integrating Quotes into Essays

 

Board Notes and Class Handout

Examples of what integrated notes look like:

 

As the narrator explained, "The river was grayish-blue in the afternoon sun" (116).

 

The water turned "...grayish-blue in the afternoon sun" (116) symbolizing the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

 

The handout distributed in class is listed below:

 

Integrating Quotes into Literary Analysis

 

The following are snippets of  actual high school student essays that illustrate how to smoothly integrate quotes into a literary analysis.  Notice how naturally the quotes blend into the essays, yet they provide evidence for the writers’ analyses.

 

 

from an essay on A GATHERING OF OLD MEN.............

 

       Throughout literature,  river imagery indicates a passage of time.  Time is not controllable and does not "turn back."  Neither is it cyclical like many aspects of life.  A river is always sweeping toward the future.  Gil Boutan stops for a moment at the riverside on his way to Marshall and notices that, "The river was grayish blue and very calm" (116).  It is no accident that Gaines portrays the image of progress as "grayish-blue" for they are the colors of the uniforms of the Union (gray) and Confederate (blue) fighting soldiers in the Civil War.  The calmness of the water bespeaks of the unhurried but sure movement of the river toward its destination, of time bringing changes that are sure if slow.  Notice that the gray predominancy of color also connotes the winner of the Civil War.

      Gil's father, Cajun Fix Boutan, used the river to support his family in years past. Now, "white people," outsiders to the Bayonne area, have bought up the river property.  Gil's father can no longer depend on the river to aid his family and is forced to move to the bayou with its "dirty brown shallow" (132) water, its serpent-like shape (132), and its weeping willow boundaries.  Symbolically, Fix used the slave-like African-Americans in the past like personal servants at his beck and call.  He had often taken the law into his own hands as a vigilante group leader and had led lynching mobs and directed beatings of Blacks.  But as time changes the community, Fix retreats away from the river to the stagnancy of the Bayou with its dirty brown water and serpent-like shape.  Mostly weeping willow trees grow at the bayou boundaries.  Even the tree imagery portrays a sadness ("weeping").  Ironically, weeping willow trees always need great amounts of water.  Perhaps Gaines meant this as a subtle foreshadow that change would come with time to even the bayou.  Indeed, Fix voluntarily remains at the bayou on the day of Beau's death and  chooses not to ride out with a lynching group for Marshall when the new generation of Boutans suggests a more peaceful and orderly way of handling their brother's murder.   The day of vigilante "justice" is over; Sheriff Mapes and Lawyer Clinton now administer justice with the law books on their side.

 

 

from an essay on  Baldwin’s GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN..........

 

                 Baldwin presents more opposing images as cleanliness and dirtiness appear throughout the book.  John tries to clean his home and the church, to rid these places of their insistent, habitual dust and dirt, figuratively their sins and imperfections .  He routinely sweeps up the dirt in his living room and his church only to be disappointed when the wind carries more back to him.  On a sub-textual level, John is trying to scrub his own soul clean of the dirt of sins committed but perhaps not quite understood yet.  By the end of the novel, John has weighed cleanliness and dirtiness of the soul on a set of scales in his mind and experiences an epiphany when John's spiritual awakening happens (204).  The narrator reveals, "The light and the darkness had kissed each other, and were married now, forever, in the life and the vision of John's soul.”  With his coming of age, John has made peace with both sides of the scales in his soul.  He finds a balance that  Richard, Royal, and Gabriel were not able to find.  It will be his salvation in an emotional sense for years to come.

 

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From  Act I, Scene V, lines 37-51:

 

Lady Macbeth:  “ Come, you spirits/that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/

                                And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full/ Of direst cruelty !  Make

                                thick my blood, stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,? That no

                                compunctious visitings of nature/ Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace

                                between/ Th’ effect and it!  Come to my women’s breasts,? And take

                                my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,/ Wherever in our sightless

                                substances/ You wait on nature’s mischief!  Come, thick night, /

                                and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,/ That my keen knife see not

                                the wound it makes,/ Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,/

                                to cry, 'Hold, hold!’’

 

A student wrote this analysis of the above Lady Macbeth  quote..................

 

Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy demonstrates her determination to accomplish  royal murder, her ambition to gain  royal power.  She calls on hell’s own demons with the plea “Come you spirits,” to gird her “blood” from allowing any pity for the murder victims to enter her soul.  She commands the demons to “unsex” her and remove her feminine instincts while filing her with “direst cruelty.”  Finally, Lady Macbeth orders the night to shroud her in such darkness that she cannot see the fatal wound she inflicts nor should “heaven [be able to] peep through the blanket of darkness” to discover her deeds. Lady Macbeth’s indomitable will sets Macbeth on the irreversible course toward destruction and downfall with her haughty and demanding words.  She will meet those summoned demons in her sleep later in the play as the guilt of the murders preys on her soul, and she will take her own life trying to escape the clutches of memory.

 

 

from an essay analyzing the poem “The Centaur” ...................

 

 

               The language used by the poet shows the tomboyish willingness to imagine outlandish things and to defy convention, whether it be a definable identity of a girl or horse, or the mother's dictum, "Go tie back your hair." This casual wildness is found in the girl's westernish language: "cut me a long limber horse," "Been riding," and "Just my knife," are throwaway lines that show an easy familiarity with the attraction of being a girl or a horse, and an easiness of self. The diction is also influenced by a tomboyish love of westerns, such as the presence of riding vocabulary" "nickering," "canter," "shied," "skittered," "reared," show that while the persona is a horse or centaur for the day, she is always a rider, defining what she cannot express as a horse, in human terms.   

              The structure of the poem is fast and loose. Sentences flow from one stanza to the next, rendering it impossible to pin down a definite place of transition, a definite stage in the persona's transformation. The stanzas are always three lines long, but the content is loosely packed. The structure is rigid, but the substance is fluid, a crystal lattice being washed through with identity. This represents the mercurial nature of identity and its elusiveness, its unwillingness to be typed or stuck in a rut.

 

 

 

 

 

from an essay analyzing John Cheever’s essay, “The Reunion”.......

 

            ....Charlie grows increasingly uneasy and embarrassed in his father’s presence.  As they enter an empty restaurant, his father hails the waiter with a “boisterousness that seemed out of place.”  So begins Charlie’s silent judgment. His becomes a withdrawn spectator.  With obnoxious commands and caustic language, Charlie’s father tries to control and intimidate.  He cross-questions Charlie and orders the waiter like a trained animal.  His impatience leads to derisive commands - “Get us another table,” sarcastic condescension - “Chop-chop,” and false ingratiation - “If it wouldn’t be above and beyond the call of duty.”  Throughout this spree, Charlie follows his father from restaurant to restaurant.  As his father threatens and throws tantrums, one wonders who the adult in the group really is.

 

 

from an essay on Fitzgerald’s THE  LAST TYCOON................

 

           Stahr seems to be a typical Hollywood playboy that goes to extravagant parties and sees love as a game to play: a game that he has gotten good at.  That night is different and so is the girl.  She isn’t what Stahr is used to and probably not what he is looking for, she is “not a pretty girl, for there are none of them in Lost Angeles.” 

            There is something about her, though, something that Stahr cannot hide from.  Stahr seems to be held captive by her aura for “as he walked toward her, the people shrank back against the wall till they were only murals.”  This use of imagery creates a universal feeling of being a “prisoner” in someone’s eyes.  Whatever else is happening in that room no longer concerns Stahr.  He has been taken captive by her radiance.

            As they dance, she becomes “momentarily unreal” to Stahr.   They leave this world when “they stepped through a mirror into another dance with new dancers whose faces were familiar but nothing more.”  They enter the world of love, with others who are also experiencing the same phenomenon.  There may be an attempt of small talk or chit chat on the dance floor, but what is not being said speaks louder than any words could ever  say, “her eyes invited him to a romantic communion of unbelievable intensity.”

            Then, she tries to leave for an unexplained reason, sensing something is not “right.”  Stahr tries to hold on, but the intensity is too great for her, “I must go back,” she repeats aloud.  Then she drops her arms and stops dancing and looks at him.  She explains her departure with one line, “When I’m with you, I don’t breathe quite right.”  For once Stahr experienced something that probably he had never done before; he realized love for what it really is, and it made his heart skip a beat.

 




Integrating Quotes Practice

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If after the word sun (in the following sentence) there was an exclamation mark, would you put it in at all, and if so then where?
As the narrator explained, "The river was grayish-blue in the afternoon sun" (116).

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