In this course, we have two major goals:1. To identify and analyze the literary characteristics from a cross-cultural sample of American short stories and novels: presentation of setting, conflict, characterization, dialogue, theme, figurative language, and symbol.2. To demonstrate literary judgment by applying the techniques of analyses, criticism, and evaluation in critical essays.
In the book, Zenzele: A Letter to my Daughter Zimbabwean writer N. Nozipo Maire writes,“What is a life after all but a story- some truth and some fiction. In the end there are words- they are the very manifestations of our immortality.”
Basically, we ALL have a story to tell and even when we die, our stories will live on through words (written and oral). Examples include: Our obituaries Stories our families tell about us Journals/Diaries Gossip that is passed in communities WORDS OUTLIVE US!
People have been telling stories orally since the beginning of time to teach, to entertain and even to explain events.Then people began to draw pictures along with their stories & they saved these writings to share with later generations.
Now people all over the world create and share stories with one another. Fiction allows us to use our imaginations. When we read fiction, we are reading stories that are created (fake characters, imaginary places, etc.) Sometimes they are based on the truth but the author may add untrue elements.
We will look at stories across different cultures. We will read about 7 short stories & one novel by the critically-acclaimed African- American writer Toni Morrison. We will try to make connections between the stories we read- the characters, settings, etc. and learn from them.
We are going to read for meaning, to understand the characters and their lives. Please take lots of notes when you read. Read each story twice to really get the meaning. We will look critically at each story. We will examine certain literary elements in each story.
Inthis class, we will examine these literary characteristics or parts that make up a story: Setting Conflict Characterization Plot Theme Figurative language Symbolism
Time and place are where theDetails that action occurs describe: Furniture Scenery Customs Transportation Clothing Dialects Weather Time of day Time of year
Location Life Era Place TimePhysical Setting History Atmosphere Day Mood Feelings Word Choice U se as activator to activate prior knowledge. Write Weather the web on the board or overhead and students create one at their seats. Then as class share and fill in.
To create a mood or We left the home place behind, mile by slow mile, heading for the atmosphere mountains, across the prairie where the To show a reader a wind blew forever. At first there were four of us with different way of life one horse wagon and its skimpy load. To make action seem Pa and I walked, because I was a big boy of eleven. My two little sisters romped more real and trotted until they got tired and had To be the source of to be boosted up to the wagon bed. conflict or struggle That was no covered Conestoga, like Pa’s folks came West in, but just an To symbolize an idea old farm wagon, drawn by one weary horse, creaking and rumbling westward to the mountains, toward the little woods town where Pa thought he had an old uncle who owned a little two-bit sawmill. Taken from “The Day the Sun Came Out” by D.
People or animalsMajor charactersMinor charactersRound charactersFlat characters
A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story. Two primary methods of characterization: Direct- writer tells what the character is like Indirect- writer shows what a character is like by describing what the character looks like, by telling what the character says and does, and by what other characters say about and do in response to the character.
Fully Relatives Friends Developed Main Minor Not FullyProtagonist Character Developed Flat Co-Main Antagonist Enemy
Physical appearance of character Personality Background/personal history Motivation Relationships Conflict Does character change?
Plot is what happens and howit happens in a narrative. Anarrative is any work that tellsa story, such as a short story, anovel, a drama, or a narrativepoem.
Suspense- excitement or tension Foreshadowing- hint or clue about what will happen in story Flashback- interrupts the normal sequence of events to tell about something that happened in the past Surprise Ending- conclusion that reader does not expect
Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces Every plot must contain some kind of conflict Stories can have more than one conflict Conflicts can be external or internal External conflict- outside force may be person, group, animal, nature, or a nonhuman obstacle Internal conflict- takes place in a character’s mind
Man vs. ManMan vs. Nature Man vs. Society Man vs. Machine Man vs. Himself
A central message, concern, or insight into life expressed through a literary workCan be expressed by one or two sentence statement about human beings or about lifeMay be stated directly or impliedInterpretation uncovers the theme
“Every man needs to feelallegiance to his native country,whether he always appreciatesthat country or not.” From “A Man Without a Country” by Edward Hale pg. 185 in Prentice Hall Literature book
Figurative Language is language that does not mean exactly what it says. For example, you can call someone that is very angry, “steaming.” Unless steam was actually coming out of your ears, you were using figurative language. Involves imaginative words that use the senses.
The use of one thing to represent another. For example, a dove is a symbol for peace.
This week you will read the short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” In addition, you will read the first section of the novel, The Bluest Eye Write a one-page typed response paper to what you have read.
Include this information in your response: Give a short (one paragraph) summary of what you read for both or one of the selections How did you like the character(s)? Where did the story take place? What did you like or dislike about what you read?
You can earn up to 15 points each week for your reading response paper. You will be graded on completeness and the quality of your thought (not grammar). Take a moment to proofread your response.
Each response should be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 font. E-mail your instructor your reading response via an attachment each week by Friday at midnight. Two points are automatically deducted per day for responses handed in AFTER Friday.
You can earn 15 Points each week for engaging in dialogue on the Discussion Board. Give your insights and thoughts, be honest while being respectful of your classmates. Do not simply repeat or “copy” what one of your classmates wrote. You can post on the discussion forum from Tuesday evening until Sunday evening each week.
Enjoy reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Bluest Eye”