Anatomy of Argument and Essay


It can be quite unapparent, the purpose of the division of the analyzed article into its main elements, other than for educational goals. However, this purpose can be evident when analyzing complex articles where the main point is divided between relating more than one concept to each other and outlining the thesis. In that sense, the article “Abjection as ‘Singular Politics’ in Janet Frame’s The Carpathians” by Patrick West is a perfect example of such articles where the author’s main statement is established through the assessment of the implication of Julia Kristeva’s “Powers of Horror” in Cecilia Sjöholm’s “Kristeva and the Political”, through reading the latest novel of Janet Frame “The Carpathians.” Thus it can be seen that the purpose of the article is complex and involves analyzing several works. In that matter, this paper provides a thorough analysis of the article’s anatomy identifying its main sections and parts.

Analysis of Essay’s Sections

The main sections of the essay can be outlined as following:

  • Introduction – in this section West specifies the purpose of the essay and the main thesis.
    • The purpose of the essay is to shift the analysis of Sjöholm’s analysis into a cultural background, and re-determine Frame’s significance as a postcolonial write. The main thesis was that the perspective presented by Sjöholm and Frame “points towards a notion of politics disimplicated from standard assumptions about its operations.” (West)
    • This section can be defined as setting the direction of the essay. In that sense, the introduction can be criticized for having a complex statement of the subjects of the analysis. It can be seen that from the title of the essay, it should be understood that the main subject of analysis is Frame’s work, whereas the introduction implies that Frame’s work is merely a background for assessment.
  • Body of the essay – The body of the essay is a flow of arguments that will be used to prove the statement presented in the thesis.
    • The paragraphs presented within the body of the essay each serve as a piece of evidence for the statement. The paragraphs are listed as follows based on purpose: defining the key term(abjection), views on the keyword in the works of Kristeva, views on the keyword in the works of Sjöholm, other views from literature, and the connection to Farm’s work.
    • The critique of the body of the essay is the absence of clear relation to Farm’s work, which is the main background of the essay. Nevertheless, Farm’s work was the only one that was overviewed in the terms of its main synopsis. In that sense, the works of Kristeva and Sjoholm should have also been given an overview as most of the essay is devoted to these two works.
  • Conclusion – This part serves two purposes, in summarizing the article and restating the statement presented within the introduction part:
    • Kristeva’s unconventional politics of identity dissolution and reconstitution on a plane of singularity. Sjöholm’s analysis of Kristeva provides a framework for interpreting Frame’s fiction from a perspective that does justice to her particular literary concerns, while The Carpathians offers up an engaging example of the until-now hidden potential carried within Kristeva’s conceptualization of politics, as drawn out by Sjöholm. (West)

Analyzing the main sections in terms of description, analysis, and critique results in the following identification according to paragraph numbers. Description can be apparent through paragraph one, where the author describes the purpose of the essay; paragraph number two, where the author defines the main term of the essay; paragraph number nine, where the author describes the main work, i.e. The Carpathians.

Analysis can be identified through paragraph three, where the author analyzes Kristeva’s abject and abjection; paragraphs five and six where the author links various excerpts of the works of Kristeva and Sjoholm; the last paragraph where the author summarizes the whole concept ending the paragraph with a conclusion resulting from this final analysis.

Critique can be identified in paragraph number eight, where the author introduces the work of Janet Wilson, “The Abject and the Sublime: Enabling Conditions of New Zealand’s Postcolonial Identity”. The critique can be identified by introducing concepts that differ from the initially presented.

Analysis of Linkage

The interplay in the essay is evident mostly through the concepts introduced in the works of Kristeva, Sjoholm, and Farm. The connections are used in the context that Sjoholm is an implication of Kristeva’s work, “the political implications of Julia Kristeva’s work, notably Cecilia Sjöholm’s Kristeva and the Political, through a reading of Janet Frame’s last novel, The Carpathians; Sjöholm enters at this juncture, with a new take on the question of Kristeva’s political effectiveness; One of the texts considered from within this framework is Janet Frame’s The Carpathians; Sjöholm’s analysis of Kristeva provides a framework for interpreting Frame’s fiction…” (West)

The Structure

The concepts are introduced as a flow from definition to the discussion, support, and other literary views. The arguments for the thesis of the essay can seem abrupted as the linkage between is rather assumed by the mutual subject area of the subjects of the discussion. The author assumes the knowledge of the reader of the subject matter and bases the transition between upon that assumption. Each argument seems like separate points, where it is especially evident through the shift to the review of Janet Wilson’s paper ‘The Abject and the Sublime: Enabling Conditions of New Zealand’s Postcolonial Identity’. This shift serves as preface to introducing Farm’s work, whereas in the introduction it was clearly stated which readings will be examined against each other. In that sense, the structural division through the essay can be apparent only through introduction and arguably the conclusion, which implies that the body of the essay should have been divided into other subsections with headings to indicate the flow of the paper more clearly.


The main critique of the paper is the lack of a clear skeleton model that should indicate where the author is going with his explanation. The author does not make a convincing use of the interplay, as the supportive arguments can be lost when going between paragraphs. The overall argument was added up at the end of the essay, losing the supportive base that was collected in the beginning. This can be evident where the author started with definitions of terms and ended it up with an overview of the plot of the discussed book. In the conclusion, the reader must come to agree with the arguments presented by the author, wherein in this essay the author personalizes the conclusion shifting to a first-person perspective.


It can be seen through the essay analysis, that the author does not use the interplay and flow of concepts to generate his argument, making the essay hard to follow. In that sense, for a reader not familiar with the works of Julia Kristeva, Janet Frame, and Cecilia Sjöholm, it will be difficult to assess the efforts the author made to argue for his statements.


West, Patrick. “Abjection as ‘Singular Politics’ in Janet Frame’s the Carpathians.” M/C Journal 9.5 (2006).

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