It is undeniable that the medium of
literature is language, and language is
composed of words that are combined
into sentences to express
ideas, emotions or desires. Writers
therefore, should be careful in their
choice of words and expressions of their
emotions and ideas in order to carefully
organize sentences that would manifest
a high sense of value.
Objectives that a writer should bear in
1. To strive in raising the level of the reader’s
humanity ; and
2. To accomplish the purpose of making one
better person, giving him a high sense of
IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE
1. EMOTIONAL APPEAL
It is attained when the reader is emotionally
moved or touched by any literary work.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
Elizabeth B. Browning
How Do I Love Thee?
2. INTELLECTUAL APPEAL
Rizal’s two revolutionary novels, Noli Me
Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are literature of
intellectual appeal. Both add knowledge or
information and remind the reader of what he
3. HUMANISTIC VALUE
It can be attained when a literary work makes
the reader an improved person with a better
outlook in life and with a clear understanding of
his/her inner self.
Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace is a very
good example of a literary work which has a
humanistic value. It shows that a woman’s
vanity changes the normality of life, but at the
same time, the change is to the advantage of
the individual for it leads to self-understanding
and a clearer outlook in life.
What would have happened if she had never lost those
Who knows? Who knows? How strange life is, fickle!
How little is needed to ruin or to save!
Excerpted from “The Necklace”
The three-mentioned important
elements of literature are embodied in the
Holy Bible, as the Gospel of St. John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
CLASSIFICATION of LITERATURE
1. ESCAPE LITERATURE
It is written for entertainment purposes that
help us pass the time in an agreeable manner. It
takes us away from the real world and enables us
to temporarily forget our troubles. Its main
objective is only to give pleasure.
This is a literary works about fictions and
2. INTERPRETATIVE LITERATURE
It is written to broaden and sharpen our
awareness in life. It takes us, through
imagination, deeper into the real world and
enables us to understand our troubles. Just like
the escape literature, its objective is to give
pleasure but with understanding.
This is a literature that tackles about the
human experiences such as
life, death, love, sorrow and hatred.
USES of LITERATURE
1. MORALIZING LITERATURE
The purpose of literature is to present
moral values for the reader to understand
and appreciate; the moral may be directly or
The Monkey’s Point of View
Three monkeys sat on a coconut tree
Discussing things as they said to be
Said one to the others, now listen, you
There’s a certain rumor that can’t be
That man descended from our noble
The very ideal! It’s dire disgrace!
No monkey ever descended his wife,
Starved his children and ruined their
And you’ve never known a mother
To leave her baby with others to bunk
Or pass them on from one to another
‘Till they hardly know who is their
And another thing, you will never see
A monk build a fence round a coconut
And let the coconut go to waste
Forbidding al the monk to taste.
Starvation would force you to steal
Besides, what monk would smoke a
And burn the trees, pollutes his air and
Here’s another thing a monk won’t do
Go out at night and get a stew or use
his gun or club or knife
To take some other monkey’s life
Yes! Man descended, the ornery cuss,
But brother, he didn't descended from
2. PROPAGANDA LITERATURE
This kind of literature is not found not only in
history and advertising and marketing books but
also in some books describing one’s personal
success and achievements in life.
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTINUUM OF THE
It could be looked on as a sophisticated
modern elaboration of the idea of catharsis – an
emotional relief experienced by the reader thereby
helping him recover from a previous pent-up
Don’t Give Up... Pray
When everything else goes rough and
And when problems seem endless and
When you feel like quitting because
No one’s pitiful as you are... My friend,
Don’t give up, pause for a moment and
With faith in Jesus our savior, and soon
Realize that things are not as bad as
You have a roof to cover your head,
While so many are hopeless,
You have shoes on your feet,
While so many are footless,
You have clothes to warm you up,
While so many chill to death,
You meals to fill up your tummy
While so many are starving,
You have a family with so much love
While so many are orphaned and
You have so much to live for
While so many still wonder why they
Still have to live
Poetry is as universal as language and almost
as ancient. The most primitive peoples have used
it, and the most civilized have cultivated it.
Among the types of literature, poetry writing is
the most challenging because of:
• the choice of proper words or grammar
• the denotative and symbolical meaning of
the chosen grammar
• the limitation imposed by the structure and
rhythm of sounds – which makes a poem
beautiful and appreciated by the reader
ELEMENTS of POETRY
Denotation is the actual meaning of a word
from the dictionary.
Connotation is the related or allied meanings
that are associated with its denotative meaning.
Unless a young one tries
Unless an old one tries
There’ll always be a wall
The word wall in that stanza means hindrance or
obstruction that will lead to communication gap between
the old and young.
It is defined as the representation of
sense experience through language. Image
are formed as we see, hear, taste, smell, and
touch; or we may say that an “image” is the
mental duplication of a sense impression.
The most common imagery is visual, as we
are made to see what the author is talking
By G. Burce Bunao
No longer do I,
Recovering from the shock
Of a huge branch falling
At my feet
No longer do I
Cower in fear
No longer run to my altar
In the woods,
The fire of prayer in my mouth.
The poet imagines his previous fear of falling, his recovery from
the shock, and realization that the fall is a part of a child’s growth
3. FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
Simile and metaphor are the most commonly
used and most important figurative language.
Both are used as a means of comparing things that
are essentially unlike. Simile uses words or
phrases such as like, as, than, similar to, resemble
or seem. In a metaphor, the comparison is
implied, that is, the figurative term is substituted
for or identified with a literal term.
Our man-child is wild –
As tempest, as northwind,
As jungle, as rapids,
As tiger, as broncho
As all these are wild!
Lucia Zambarte Parcero
We can notice that the author compares the child of a
man to the wildest in nature and the wildest of animals.
I gave myself to him.
And took himself for a pay.
The solemn contract of a life.
Was ratified this way.
“I Gave Myself to Him”
The stanza above is a metaphor because marriage
contract is compared to a sales contract. The woman is
both the seller and the merchandise, the man the
purchaser and the payment.
4. RHYTHM AND METER
Rhythm is a part of our lives and intake as
there is rhythm in the way we walk, the way we
swim and other similar activities. Meter is the
accents that are so arranged as to occur at
apparently equal intervals of time. Metrical
language is called verse.
At present, there are poets who arenot so
particular on rhyme and meter, and they call such
a style as “free verse”.
Out of the night that covers me.
Black as the pit from pole to pole.
I thank whatever gods may be.
For my unconquerable soul.
William Ernest Henley
Alone by the Surf
There is no world sound
Only stillness of star.
Silence of sand
A single shell
By the sliding sea.
5. MEANING AND IDEA
The meaning of the poem is the experience it
expresses. We can distinguish between the “total
meaning” of a poem and its “prose meaning”. The
total meaning is the idea in poem which is only a
part of the total experience it communicates. The
value and of the total experience, not by telling
truth or the nobility of the idea itself. Prose
meaning does not necessarily have to be an idea
itself. It may be a story, a description, a statement
of emotion, a presentation of woman character or
a combination of these.
ELEMENTS of SHORT STORY
1. PLOT – is the sequence of incidents or events of
which story is composed. It might consist merely
of a sequence of related actions. Plot in a short
story means arrangement of action. The action
refers to an imagined event or happening or to a
series of such events.
2. CHARACTER – it is the people portrayed in the
story. Reading for character is more difficult than
reading for a plot, for character is much more
complex, varied, and ambiguous. Most short
stories are focused on or evolves in just one
3. THEME – is the controlling idea or the central
insight in a literary work. It is the unifying
generalization about life stated or implied by the
story. In stating the theme sentence, we must pick
the central insight, the one that explains the
greatest number of elements in the story and
relates them to each other. The theme gives a
story its unity.
5. SYMBOL and IRONY – A literary symbol is
something that means more than what it is. It is
an object, a person, a situation, an action or some
other item that has a literal meaning in she story
but suggests or represents other meaning as well.
Irony is a term with a range of meanings, all of
them involving some sort of discrepancy or
incongruity. It is a contrast in which one term of the
contrast in some way mocks the other term.
KINDS of IRONY ( According to Perrine)
a. Verbal Irony – a figurative language in which the
opposite is said from what is intended. The
discrepancy is between is between what is said and
what is meant.
b. Dramatic Irony – contrast between what a character
says and what the reader knows to be true.
c. Irony of Situation– the discrepancy between
appearance and reality, between expectation and
fulfilment, or between what is said and what would
5. LANGUAGE AND STYLE – refers to the idiom used
and how it is used. Style, on the other hand, is a
term which may refer to the precise use of
language, both literary and figuratively; it may
refer to the total working out of the short
story, taking all the elements into consideration.
Carmen Arcilla stated that symbolism has truly
found its place in the Filipino short story in
English. An example is her study of the short story
of Wilfredo Nolledo’s “The Last Caucus”.
An essay is a literary composition on a
particular subject. It is usually short and it
expresses the author’s personal
thoughts, feelings, experiences, or observations on
a phase of life that has interested him.
Biography, history, travel, art, nature, personal
life, and criticism are among the innumerable
subjects in the field of choice of an essayist.
Essayists are usually who have plenty of time for
TYPES OF ESSAY
1. INFOMAL ESSAY – the essay is
light, humorous, and entertaining.
2. FORMAL ESSAY – the essay is
heavy, informative, and intellectually stimulating.
ELEMENTS OF THE ESSAY
1. THE ISSUE INTRODUCED. this reflects the
actual purpose of the writer.
2. THE WRITER’S VIEWPOINT AND THOUGHT.
the final stand of the author, whether he is
for or against the issue he has discussed.
3. THE RELEVANCE OF THE ISSUE TO THE LIFE
OF THE READER. This refers to the reader’s
ELEMENTS OF NOVEL
1. SETTING – this covers the time, the place, and the
background. It involves not only geography but
also the entire climate of beliefs, habits, and
values of a particular region and historical period.
Sometimes, it emphasizes a certain locality like
Chinatown in Sta. Cruz, Manila in Edgardo Reyes’
Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. It is essential that the
setting is in keeping with the story that is told.
2. PLOT – the skeleton or framework which gives
shape and proportion to the novel. It can also be
describe as the story itself, the actual events or
happenings in the novel, the most important
substance which concerns human activity and the
changes which occur from he beginning to the end
of the story. The conflict is an important element
of the plot. It may be caused by the physical
environment like hostile nature, social
environment like social conventions, customs or
traditions that exist in a cultural community, other
characters, or it may be a physical, emotional, and
the mental handicap within the main character
to understand plot better, we should
determine the ideals, motives, ambitions or
aspirations of the main characters. As in
Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the hero’s only
motive in life is to regain the love of Daisy
Buchanan, who is his only ream in life. The same
can be observed in Edgardo M. Reyes’ Sa Mga
Kuko ng Liwanag, which narrated the story of
Julio, whose main objective in going to Manila
was to look for his sweetheart, Ligaya.
3. THEME – is compared to the subject of a painting.
It is the universal truth found in the novel, the
main idea or topic. In Boris Pasternack’s Dr.
Zhivago, the theme is one’s inhumanity to fellow
human beings. A theme does mean moral
value, for the latter is the message that teaches
4. CHARACTERS – moving spirit of the novel. They
do not only act but also manifest the
moral, emotional and intellectual qualities
endowed to them by the author. The characters
may be animated like Ikabod Bubwitor Boomer, or
extra-terrestrial beings like Unlce Martin in the TV
series, “My Favorite Martian”.
Characters involved two qualities: morality
and personality. Character in the first
sense, morality, has the older status as a technical
concept in literary criticism. This will tell us the
good guys from the bad guys.
Character in the second sense, personality, is
a more modern concept. Character, as
speech, hairstyle, hobby, attitude toward
work, and all of the complex attitudes and feelings
that define the individual. Character as personality
is important in literature because, as most authors
have discovered, people are interesting.
the events that make up a story, particularly as
they relate to one another in a pattern, in a
sequence, through cause and effect, how the
reader views the story, or simply by coincidence.
is the portion of a story that introduces important background
information to the audience; for example, information about the
setting, events occurring before the main plot, characters' back
-> are people (sometimes
animals)portrayed by the actors in the
It is the characters who move the action.
a character’s reasoning process, his
motivation, and the choices that result
from these motives
a means of expressing the character
and the thoughts dramatically
theme refers to the
meaning of the play.
it is the main idea or
lesson to be learned from
the final part of a
play, movie, or narrative
in which the strands of
the plot are drawn
together and matters
are explained or
comprises the melody in the use
of sounds and
rhythm in dialogs as well as
which form a part of many plays.
intensify the emotions
whatever these emotions
is the fabrication of clothing for the overall
appearance of a character or performer.
refers to makeup that is used to assist in
creating the appearance of
the characters that actors portray during a
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