Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Kairouan

Share your knowledge with us, Welcome to the English Department

    Literature in general

    Ibn Fraj Bilel

    Number of posts : 40
    Age : 31
    Localisation : Kairouan
    Registration date : 2006-11-22

    Literature in general

    Post by Ibn Fraj Bilel on Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:48 pm

    Many literature students are expected to be familiar with the basic terms listed below (and discussed in more depth in your text). Keep this study guide with your text. At the beginning of each reading assignment, write the elements of literature pertaining to the particular type of literature at the beginning of the short story or poem. After reading, define them in your text for class discussion, quizzes, and test preparation. To understand literature, it is necessary that you ask yourself certain questions, such as "what is the theme of this story?" or "why does the author use this particular type of imagery?" You are not necessarily reading for pleasure--although it is sincerely hoped you will derive pleasure from your assignments--but for the development of critical analysis skills, so observe the author's style and intent carefully.

    Short Stories/Novel
    Theme--The idea or point of a story formulated as a generalization. In American literature, several themes are evident which reflect and define our society. The dominant ones might be innocence/experience, life/death, appearance/reality, free will/fate, madness/sanity, love/hate, society/individual, known/unknown. Themes may have a single, instead of a dual nature as well. The theme of a story may be a mid-life crisis, or imagination, or the duality of humankind (contradictions).
    Character--Imaginary people created by the writer. Perhaps the most important element of literature.

    Protagonist--Major character at the center of the story.
    Antagonist--A character or force that opposes the protagonist.
    Minor character--0ften provides support and illuminates the protagonist.
    Static character--A character who remains the same.
    Dynamic character--A character who changes in some important way.
    Characterization--The means by which writers reveal character.
    Explicit Judgment--Narrator gives facts and interpretive comment.
    Implied Judgment--Narrator gives description; reader make the judgment.
    Look for: Connections, links, and clues between and about characters. Ask yourself what the function and significance of each character is. Make this determination based upon the character's history, what the reader is told (and not told), and what other characters say about themselves and others.
    Plot--The arrangement of ideas and/or incidents that make up a story.

    Causality--One event occurs because of another event.
    Foreshadowing--A suggestion of what is going to happen.
    Suspense--A sense of worry established by the author.
    Conflict--Struggle between opposing forces.
    Exposition--Background information regarding the setting, characters, plot.
    Complication or Rising Action--Intensification of conflict.
    Crisis--Turning point; moment of great tension that fixes the action.
    Resolution/Denouement--The way the story turns out.
    Structure--The design or form of the completed action. Often provides clues to character and action. Can even philosophically mirror the author's intentions, especially if it is unusual.
    Look for: Repeated elements in action, gesture, dialogue, description, as well as shifts in direction, focus, time, place, etc.

    Setting--The place or location of the action, the setting provides the historical and cultural context for characters. It often can symbolize the emotional state of characters.

    Point of View--Again, the point of view can sometimes indirectly establish the author's intentions. Point of view pertains to who tells the story and how it is told.

    Narrator--The person telling the story.
    First-person--Narrator participates in action but sometimes has limited knowledge/vision.
    Objective--Narrator is unnamed/unidentified (a detached observer). Does not assume character's perspective and is not a character in the story. The narrator reports on events and lets the reader supply the meaning.
    Omniscient--All-knowing narrator (multiple perspectives). The narrator takes us into the character and can evaluate a character for the reader (editorial omniscience). When a narrator allows the reader to make his or her own judgments from the action of the characters themselves, it is called neutral omniscience.
    Limited omniscient--All-knowing narrator about one or two characters, but not all.
    Language and Style--Style is the verbal identity of a writer, oftentimes based on the author's use of diction (word choice) and syntax (the order of words in a sentence). A writer's use of language reveals his or her tone, or the attitude toward the subject matter.
    Irony--A contrast or discrepancy between one thing and another.

    Verbal irony--We understand the opposite of what the speaker says.
    Irony of Circumstance or Situational Irony--When one event is expected to occur but the opposite happens. A discrepancy between what seems to be and what is.
    Dramatic Irony--Discrepancy between what characters know and what readers know.
    Ironic Vision--An overall tone of irony that pervades a work, suggesting how the writer views the characters.

    Last edited by on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Ibn Fraj Bilel

    Number of posts : 40
    Age : 31
    Localisation : Kairouan
    Registration date : 2006-11-22


    Post by Ibn Fraj Bilel on Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:57 am

    What Setting Tells Us

    In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the narrator carefully describes the house that Miss Emily lives in. This description helps us picture a decaying Mississippi town in the post-Civil War South. We also learn about Miss Emily's resistance to change.

    It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps--an eyesore among eyesores.

    Later we enter the house itself and, eventually, end up inside one particular room. The physical details of the setting become linked with the values, ideals, and attitudes of that place in different times.

    Setting can add an important dimension of meaning, reflecting character and embodying theme.

    Notice how the details of the setting provide the clues for solving the murder in "A Jury of Her Peers." As a result, they illuminate the deeper meaning of the story.
    Ibn Fraj Bilel

    Number of posts : 40
    Age : 31
    Localisation : Kairouan
    Registration date : 2006-11-22

    Point of view

    Post by Ibn Fraj Bilel on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:02 pm

    Point of View

    An automobile accident occurs. Two drivers are involved. Witnesses include four sidewalk spectators, a policeman, a man with a video camera who happened to be shooting the scene, and the pilot of a helicopter that was flying overhead. Here we have nine different points of view and, most likely, nine different descriptions of the accident.
    In short fiction, who tells the story and how it is told are critical issues for an author to decide. The tone and feel of the story, and even its meaning, can change radically depending on who is telling the story.
    Remember, someone is always between the reader and the action of the story. That someone is telling the story from his or her own point of view. This angle of vision, the point of view from which the people, events, and details of a story are viewed, is important to consider when reading a story.
    What is the point of view in "A Jury of Her Peers?" Is it fixed or does it change? Does it stay the same distance from the events of the story, or like a camera lens does it zoom in and zoom out, like a camera lens? Who is telling the story?

    Types of Point of View
    Objective Point of View
    With the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
    Third Person Point of View
    Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.

    First Person Point of View
    In the first person point of view, the narrator does participate in the action of the story. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. We should question the trustworthiness of the accounting.

    Omniscient and Limited Omniscient Points of View
    A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.
    A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited omniscient point of view.
    As you read a piece of fiction think about these things:
    How does the point of view affect your responses to the characters? How is your response influenced by how much the narrator knows and how objective he or she is? First person narrators are not always trustworthy. It is up to you to determine what is the truth and what is not.

    Last edited by on Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Ibn Fraj Bilel

    Number of posts : 40
    Age : 31
    Localisation : Kairouan
    Registration date : 2006-11-22


    Post by Ibn Fraj Bilel on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:18 pm


    In literature, the manner in which written words might be said (for example, sarcastic, mild, witty, angry).

    Tone is hard to separate from mood, but in general the tone of a work can gradually shift (perhaps from sarcastic to ironic or from angry to remorseful), while mood describes the feeling of the entire piece. The tone of a work is produced mainly by the writer's diction or choice of words, but stylistic choices concerning syntax, line or sentence length, imagery, and so forth may also contribute.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Literature in general

    Post by Sponsored content

      Current date/time is Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:50 am