When you discuss film or literature of any kind (such as a novel or an essay or a poem), always discuss the action and events in the present tense. This is standard practice in scholarly writing. So rather than
You may be asking why I leave "felt" as a past tense word in the above example. This is because we are discussing a piece of history that is best expressed in the past. However, when we discuss the writing of Smith, or the writing of Shelley as it still exists today, we discuss it in the present tense because it still exists and will continue to exist in the present moment.
If your essay is analytical (and I'm struggling to think of any other reason you'd write an essay about ) then I'd put it in the present tense.
Should I Write My Essay In Present Or Past Tense
Should I Write My Essay In Present Tense
USING THE PRESENT TENSE TO DISCUSS LITERATURE AND …