S vs. A My Papa's Waltz

English II -Muça
Summary and Analysis
Name: ______________________________
Summary: Of account; Containing or comprising the chief points or the sum and substance of a matter;
compendious (now usually with implication of brevity). General, not detailed.
Analysis: A detailed examination or study of something so as to determine its nature, structure, or essential
features. The action or process of carrying out such a detailed examination; the methodical or systematic
investigation of something complex in order to explain or understand it.
These definitions for summary and analysis come from the Oxford English Dictionary. They are not specific to the
study of literature but are more than applicable to help us determine the differences between the two concepts and
when each is appropriate in literary study. As you can tell, summary is most useful when accounting for events in
the plot, while analysis is most useful when probing deeper into the story. Interpretation or analysis includes close
examination of the story’s components to uncover the themes within.
For our purposes of studying literature consider the summary as plot events and setting, the analysis as your
interpretation of these events, characters, etc.
a) Summarize the following two lines, which I took from a poem called “My Papa’s Waltz.”
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.
b. Now, analyze the same lines to draw a conclusion about the tone present. I have copied
the two lines here to give you a chance to take notes. Write the analysis in the space
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle