How To Create A Compare And Contrast Essay On Literary Characters


I love writing anything that gives me scope to think. They also give you a rare opportunity to look at literary characters from a totally different light, and if you are very lucky you will find a way of interacting with them. Do this and you should come up with an incredible essay!

So, how do you go about creating an essay of this nature on these characters? Here are my top tips:

  • Choose your characters wisely
  • The characters that you choose will make or break this essay. So pick them with care. Do they have to be from the same book or piece of work? Not necessarily. They do have to have some similarities though so that you can compare and contrast them fairly. There would be no point comparing Scarlett O’Hara with say Cathy from Wuthering Heights, or would there?

  • Make sure you are familiar with the author and their other works
  • You might be forgiven for wondering just why you would need to go to so much trouble for one paper. I mean, familiarising yourself with other works by the same author, that’s a bit over the top, isn’t it? No, not at all! A lot of authors favour a certain style, or they run with the same themes over and over again. If you are not aware of this, you are not going to be able to write the best possible piece.

  • Narrow it down
  • You need to bear in mind that you are somewhat limited in scope here. This is just one paper! It is only going to be at an absolute maximum a few pages long. Therefore, you have to narrow the things that you are actually comparing and contrasting right down.

  • Go for obscure themes
  • There is nothing in the rule book that states you have to go with the obvious themes. Far from it. If you happen to have two characters that you love, or love to hate, why go with the obvious. Go for the salacious, the scintillating; the kind of things that are going to make your reader sit back and take notice.

  • Switch places with your reader
  • It is very easy to get stuck in a rut and write with our blinkers on. Challenge yourself by putting yourself into the shoes of your reader. If you are able to do this then you should easily spot the flaws that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.