Literature

Part of creating an effective essay about a work of literature involves answering the “so what?” question!  Answering the “so what” question means asserting the significance of your argument. The conclusion is an excellent place to answer the “so what” question.

In your conclusion, consider the implications of your argument that might extend beyond the points you already discussed in your essay.  Answering the “so what” question about your thesis statement gives readers an understanding of why your argument is important in a larger context, either inside or outside the text. 

Ask yourself- why your argument matters to you or why it might matter to your reader.

For example, if your main argument (thesis) is that Enkidu and Gilgamesh are similar and different, why does that matter? Why does it matter that we compare and contrast these characters? What does a compare and contrast enlighten readers or shed light on the topic?

For instance:

Topic: compare and contrast Enkidu and Gilgamesh

Thesis: In Books 1-8 of Stephen Mitchell’s Gilgamesh, the two main characters, Enkidu and Gilgamesh, have similarities and differences.

So what? Analyzing the similarities and differences of Enkidu and Gilgamesh shed light on the value of friendship and the psychological concept of the alter-ego. 

Topic: Explicate Ninsun’s speech

Thesis: Ninsun’s prayer, in Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Gilgamesh, is an important part of the text.

So what? Analyzing Ninsun’s prayer allows readers to see how, in this text, prayers are answered. In addition, her act of praise and petition is not very different from the act of prayer practiced by many other religions. Critically examining Ninsun’s prayer to Shamash characterizes her, not as a goddess, but as a mother, helping readers to recognize two universal messages in this speech: the love of a mother for a child and the love between the god(s) and humans.

To answer the “so what” question in your conclusion-  ask yourself….

How does my argument affect how I approach this text or how might my argument help someone else appreciate this text?

The answer to the “so what” question is perhaps the most difficult point to make in your essay. It requires you to think critically and make a personal connection with the text. It forces writers to step out of the events in the story and look at the larger message of those events. It is deeply personal, and the answer to “so what” will be unique and different for each of you. 

This is a sample of the format it supposed to be in:

Outline

In Gilgamesh by Thompson the hero Gilgamesh took on a conquerable opponent and that is DEATH .Death is the last thing a person will see every in life and it has to happen to every person no matter how long you may live.

Supporting details

Gilgamesh saw once his friend Enkidu died he knew that he could also die just did not know when so that made him go on a quest where he can find a way to escape death.

He came upon the God Unthapaisn who had been gifted with the gift of immortality he could live forever and ever he gave Gilgamesh a chance at immortality and he failed. 

More Details 

Gilgamesh knew that if he did not find himself Death would find him first just because he was an arrogant superman that did not his worth in the world he just went about as he could get what he want when he wanted it and no one could stop him.

Conclusion 

Gilgamesh conquered beast and even women hearts but Death was too tough for him because he brought Death to himself by ending it all instead of finding another way to change his way of living.

J STOR citation: Abusch, Tzvi. “The Development and Meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh: An Interpretive Essay.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 121, no. 4, 2001, pp. 614–622. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/606502. Accessed 18 Sept. 2020. it was stated in that article that Gilgamesh spoke with Siduri and she told him he had no chance at immortality and he need to return to Eruk and live a normal life.

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