Adam Short Story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. <ul><li>Introducing the </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short Story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Literary Analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characterization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and Tone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reading Skill: Analyze </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical Context </li></ul></ul>
INTRODUCING THE SHORT STORY How do you AFFIRM LIFE? In the aftermath of tragedy or heartbreak, people are often counseled that “time heals all wounds.”
INTRODUCING THE SHORT STORY How do you AFFIRM LIFE? Others cannot find this resilience and instead struggle to carry on. Some are able to bounce back, whether from grave illness, a traumatic car accident, or even the horrors of war and genocide.
Characterization and Tone In fiction, writers bring characters to life by describing their physical appearance, by letting readers know what characters think and feel, by letting readers hear characters in dialogue, and sometimes by having the narrator comment on the characters.
Characterization and Tone In a story such as “Adam,” these methods of characterization also provide important clues to the tone of the story. Tone is the narrator’s attitude toward his or her subject—sometimes even the narrator’s attitude toward life.
As you read “Adam,” write notes about the four major methods of characterization. What tone—or attitude toward life—does Vonnegut convey through his characters? Characterization and Tone Dialogue Physical Appearance Thoughts and Feelings Narrator’s Comments
Analyze Historical Context When you read a literary work with a particular historical setting, it is important to focus on the historical context— the conditions and events that shape the characters and their story.
During World War II, millions of people died from executions, beatings, disease, and malnutrition in Nazi concentration camps. Analyze Historical Context Vonnegut’s short story, for example, is set in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
Analyze Historical Context As you read “Adam,” use this information and the background information on page 1180 of the Student Edition, in addition to what you already know about World War II and the concentration camps, to help you understand the story’s main character and the author’s tone.