Comparative literature is a field of literary analysis that studies literature across different cultures and time periods Comparative literature examines both similarities and differences among texts and authors, analyzing cultural values and meanings. Comparative literature students are expected to develop the skills of literary criticism, critical thinking, and literary interpretation.
Students may pursue a thesis in comparative literature. A comparative literature thesis typically consists of an in-depth investigation of a particular topic in the field. The thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to articulate a clear argument and defend it with relevant evidence. It should also demonstrate the student's competency in conducting research and discussing the implications of their findings.
The following are five interesting essay topic ideas for a comparative literature thesis:
1. An Exploration of Fantasy and Reality in the Works of J. R. R. Tolkien: This essay could explore the way in which Tolkien’s works blur the line between reality and fantasy, highlighting the merging of two distinct worlds.
2. A Comparison between Romanticism and Realism in the Works of Emily Bronte and Charlotte Bronte: This essay could compare the similarities and differences between the two Bronte sisters’ works, examining elements of Romanticism and Realism in each.
3. An Analysis of the Role of Gender in Jane Austen’s Novels: This essay could explore the ways in which Jane Austen’s works discuss and depict gender roles in 19th century England.
4. The Use of Symbolism and Allegory in William Faulkner’s Short Stories: This essay could examine the use of symbolism and allegory in Faulkner’s works, and the way in which they add complexity and meaning to the stories.
5. A Study of Postcolonialism in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: This essay could examine how Achebe’s novel discusses colonialism, race and culture in postcolonial Nigeria.