SettingSetting Details that describe: Furniture Furniture Scenery Scenery Customs Customs Transportation Transportation Clothing Clothing Dialects Dialects Weather Weather Time Time of day of year Time and place are where the action occurs
Elements of a Setting
The Functions of a Setting To create a mood or atmosphere To show a reader a different way of life To make action seem more real To be the source of conflict or struggle To symbolize an idea We left the home place behind, mile by slow mile, heading for the mountains, across the prairie where the wind blew forever. At first there were four of us with one horse wagon and its skimpy load. Pa and I walked, because I was a big boy of eleven. My two little sisters romped and trotted until they got tired and had to be boosted up to the wagon bed. That was no covered Conestoga, like Pa’s folks came West in, but just an 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. Johnson
People Animals Or Creatures
The protagonist is the “good guy”
The antagonist is the “bad guy” or force
Types of Characters People or animals Major characters Minor characters Round characters Flat characters
Characterization A A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story. Two Two primary methods of characterization: Direct- Direct- writer tells what the character is like Indirect- 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.
Direct Characterization … And I don’t play the dozens or believe in standing around with somebody in my face doing a lot of talking. I much rather just knock you down and take my chances even if I’m a little girl with skinny arms and a squeaky voice, which is how I got the name Squeaky. From “Raymond’s Run” by T. Bambara
Indirect Characterization The old man bowed to all of us in the room. Then he removed his hat and gloves, slowly and carefully. Chaplin once did that in a picture, in a bank--he was the janitor. From “Gentleman of Rio en Medio” by J. Sedillo
Elements of Character
Factors in Analyzing Characters Physical appearance of character Personality Background/personal history Motivation Relationships Conflict Does character change?
Plot is what happens and how it happens in a narrative. A narrative is any work that tells a story, such as a short story, a novel, a drama, or a narrative poem.
Parts of a Plot Inciting incident – event that gives rise to conflict (opening situation) Development- events that occur as result of central conflict (rising action) Climax- highest point of interest or suspense of story Resolution- when conflict ends Denouement- when characters go back to their life before the conflict
Special Techniques of Plot 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
A hint about what will happen next is called foreshadowing For example, if you hear this: Then you know someone’s about to get eaten!
Great stories have a conflict Man vs. Man Man vs. Nature Man vs. Society Man vs. Himself Man vs. Machine
Conflict Conflict Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces Every Every plot must contain some kind of conflict Stories Stories can have more than one conflict Conflicts Conflicts can be external or internal External External conflict- conflict- outside force may be person, group, animal, nature, or a nonhuman obstacle Internal Internal conflict- conflict- takes place in a character’s mind
Theme A central message, concern, or insight into life expressed through a literary work Can be expressed by one or two sentence statement about human beings or about life May be stated directly or implied Interpretation uncovers the theme
Example of Theme “Every man needs to feel allegiance to his native country, whether he always appreciates that country or not.” From “A Man Without a Country” by Edward Hale pg. 185 in Prentice Hall Literature book
The point of view is the perspective of the story “That rotten wolf tried to eat us!!!!” “I was framed! I just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar!”
Whether you’re the reader, or the writer, a great story includes all these literary elements!!! conflict setting point of view climax characters protagonist antagonist foreshadowing theme plot resolution denouement
How to Determine a Thesis
The Goal of Analysis To demonstrate some new understanding of the literary work State this new understanding in the form of an assertion Support your analysis with evidence and commentary.
What’s an Assertion An assertion is an opinion about a general subject, like life, relationships, gender or class that you think the author is making through some element (character, theme, symbol) of the novel
Think aloud: Finding an assertion I noticed that in Stargirl the main character Stargirl changes Stargirl changes twice during the novel: first she is an eccentric, free-spirit, later she tries to conform to the behaviors of her peers, but finally she returns to her true individualistic self
What’s Next? Now make an assertion based on this analysis of Stargirl: Ask: What new understanding about life, relationships, gender or class does this present? Answer: Stargirl doesn’t like this society…she finds it shallow and phony…so she quits it.
Formula to make an assertion: (author’s name) is making a point about (general subject); the specific point s/he is making is that _____________________. Example: In Stargirl, author Jerry Spinelli makes a point about the superficial nature of modern society; the specific point he is making is that society is shallow and does not value individuality and it therefore should be rejected.
From Formula to Thesis Revise your assertion statement adding that the author is using the character(s) to make that specific point Example: Jerry Spinelli, author of Stargirl, uses the protagonist Stargirl to argue that modern society is superficial and incapable of valuing individuality and should be rejected. This then becomes the preliminary thesis.
Let’s try another one: I noticed that in The Pearl, the main character, Kino, changes. Kino changes during the course of the novel. First he is a young father and husband who is poor but content. However, after he finds a great pearl, he changes into a ruthless murderer.
What’s next? Now make an assertion based on this analysis of Kino. What new understanding about life, relationships, gender or class does this present? (In other words, why does he change? – this is your analysis.) Answer: Kino changes because of his greed. He finds out that greed is a destructive force that can ruin one’s life.
Formula to make an assertion: (author’s name) is making a point about (general subject); the specific point s/he is making is that _____________________. Example: Author John Steinbeck makes a point about the destructive nature of greed in man; the specific point he is making is that placing one’s greedy needs over the more important intangible needs of family can destroy a man’s life.
From Formula to Thesis Revise your assertion statement adding that the author is using the character(s) to make that specific point. Example: Through Kino’s struggles with the pearl, Steinbeck demonstrates that placing one’s greedy needs over the more important intangible needs of family can destroy a man’s life.
Think Aloud: Character compare/contrast I noticed that Arthur, in Button, Button and Chris in Hundred Bucks of Happy are similar in that both decide to do the right thing. Both characters are tempted by wealth, but choose to make good, selfless decisions
A Formula To Use To Make an Assertion Use the formula Richard Matheson, author of Button, Button and Susan Beth Pfeffer, author of A Hundred Bucks of Happy are making a point about self-sacrifice; the specific point they are making is that good people think of others before themselves.
Now turn this into a thesis. Revise your assertion statement adding that the author is using the character to make that specific point. The authors Matheson and Pfeffer are using their characters of Arthur and Chris to illustrate that to be a good person, one must put the welfare of others above one’s own desires.