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itswaypastmybedtime

Thesis for the WL Essay

Hi everyone!

I am starting to write my WL essay, and my teacher said that we need an extra-strong thesis to get a good mark. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on mine, to make sure I'm heading off in the right direction. I am doing my essay on Flaubert's Madam Bovary.

The prompt: Justify the claim that a central theme is developed when a central character finds it impossible to achieve his/her aspirations in the circumstances in which he/she lives.

My thesis: In Madam Bovary, Flaubert develops the theme that a woman's circumstance is developed by the men around her by making it impossible for Emma to independently achieve her goal of raising her social status.

What do you guys think about this thesis? Is there anything I could add/remove to make it better? Any feedback would be really appreciated!

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I think that whilst your thesis could be interesting, it needs work before it can be used as the thesis for your WL essay. The main issue with it is that it is too broad - saying that your essay will explore how an author depicts a whole entire 'theme' will not allow you to do enough specific literary analysis. You would have to look at so many different ways in which Flaubert explores the notion of feminine disempowerment in society. So, my main advice would be to work on how a specific literary technique or aspect of the work - for example, a specific minor character, setting, type of imagery, or particular literary device - works on portraying the notion of women's circumstances being limited by men. Also, just in terms of phrasing, I'd probably steer clear of specifically using the word 'theme', because it does sound a bit clunky - perhaps refer to it as a notion.

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