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Writing Boot Camp AP Literature & Composition. Characterization Writing about people in literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Boot Camp AP Literature & Composition. Characterization Writing about people in literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Boot Camp AP Literature & Composition

2 Characterization Writing about people in literature

3 Characterization… Defined as: Verbal representation of human beings Action, speech, description, commentary ALL actions, interactions, speeches and observations are deliberate

4 Characterization… Types of characters: Round-dynamic; recognize change with or adjust to circumstances Usually protagonist and antagonist Flat- do not grow, remain static and are usually stock characters (representatives of their own class or group)

5 Characterization… Character trait A character trait is a word that describes a person. A physical trait describes a person's physical features and physical abilities, but a character trait focuses on a character's personality/demeanor. Examples: active, ambitious, charming, curious, hateful, popular, stubborn and wise Character traits help to determine the quality of mind or habitual mode of behavior which is often a primary characteristic.

6 Characterization… How authors disclose characters in literature: SATDO S (SAY): What characters say-statements that reveal what they are like A (ACT): Actions by characters reveal their natures T (THINK): What characters think reveal motives D (DESCRIPTIONS): The author’s descriptions, both personal and environmental O (OTHERS SAY): We learn about characters from what others say about them

7 Characterization… Possible approaches to writing about character: Develop a central trait or major characteristic Explain a character’s growth or change Reveal primary characteristics around central actions, objects or quotations Develop qualities of a flat character

8 Characterization: AP Prompt Carefully read the following excerpt from the novel Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena María Viramontes. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze the development of Estrella’s character. In your analysis, you may wish to consider such literary elements as selection of detail, figurative language, and tone.

9 Setting THREE basic types: Nature and the Outdoors Objects of human manufacture and construction Historical and Cultural

10 Setting… Nature and the Outdoors Natural settings: hills, shorelines, valleys, mountains, meadows, trees, lakes Living creatures: birds, dogs, horses and snakes Seasons, time and conditions: day or night, summer or winter, sunlight or darkness, wind or stillness, rain or snow

11 Setting… Objects of human manufacture and construction Interior and exteriors of houses Possessions such as: canes, kitchen tables, bedroom furniture, couches Personal possessions: jewelry, hair ribbons, glasses, shoes, pictures on the walls

12 Setting… Historical and Cultural Catholic rituals, religious skepticism, political climates, historical eras Democrat, Republican, Roaring 20’s, Buddhism, Atheist

13 Setting… Functions of Setting: Helps establish literary credibility May be a strong guide to character May be an organizing element such as framing (a work begins and ends with descriptions of the same scene forming an enclosure: Of Mice and Men) May be a literary symbol May establish a works atmosphere or mood: TONE Some authors use setting IRONICALLY

14 Setting: AP Prompt “And, after all, our surroundings influence our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency.” Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces Choose a novel or play in which cultural, physical, or geographical surroundings shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. Many writers use a country setting to establish values within a work of literature. For example, the country may be a place of virtue and peace or one of primitivism and ignorance. Choose a novel or play in which such a setting plays a significant role. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the country setting functions in the work as a whole.

15 Point of View Defined: Point of View (POV) is the position or stance of the work’s narrator Concerns NOT only the speaker’s physical position as observer and recorder, but also how his/her political, social and mental circumstances affect the narrator

16 POV… Conditions affecting POV Physical situation of the narrator. A major participant of witness-close or distant? (did the narrator witness something) How much is he/she priviledged to know? Qualifications-What are his/her qualifications and/or limitations as observer? How accurate are his/her reports?

17 POV… Speaker’s (narrator) intellectual and emotional position How much will he/she gain or lose from the story? Are his words colored by his interest? Any hidden agenda (persuasive purpose)? His/her values impacting to the action?

18 POV… First Person POV Defined: tells what he/she has PERSONALLY witnessed Reliable? Usually authoritative. Unreliable? Has misleading information or may intentionally mislead, distort or lie. Is he/she a major or minor participant? A non- participant?

19 POV… Third Person POV Defined: is a form of storytelling in which a narrator relates all action in third person, using third person pronouns such as "he" or "she." Speaker is anonymous who emphasizes actions and speech of others Dramatic (objective) “fly on the wall” technique (renders action by an unidentified speaker, the presentation is limited only to what is seen and heard-said or happens (action).) OMNISCIENT: ALL knowing (reports not only happenings and dialogue, but the inner-working of a character’s mind) LIMITIED OMNISCIENT: Limits the narrations to actions and thoughts of ONE character

20 POV… What to write about? How is the narration made probable? What are his/her qualifications? Is the story from his/her imagination? How does the narrator perceive time or the action? If tense is past, how does he/she establish relationships between present and past? (by drawing lessons, explanations) To what extent does he/she make the work interesting and effective?

21 POV: AP Prompt The following passage is from the novel Middlemarch by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans (1819–1880). In the passage, Rosamond and Tertius Lydgate, a recently married couple, confront financial difficulties. Read the passage carefully. Then write a well-developed essay in which you analyze how Eliot portrays these two characters and their complex relationship as husband and wife. You may wish to consider such literary devices as narrative perspective and selection of detail.

22 Plot Defined: is how the action in a work of literature is developed. (it is more than sequential incident that follow one another in chronological order. Conflict: is the connected pattern of causes and effects which a character must face and try to overcome Is directly related to doubt, tension and interest Opposing forces arouse curiosity, cause doubt, create tension and produce interest Identify the protagonist and antagonist and how their characteristics put them into conflict Dilemma: is a difficult or impossible choice

23 Plot… Freytag’s Pyramid a diagram of the structure of a five-act tragedy, given by Gustav Freytag widely accepted (and sometimes adapted) as a means of analyzing the structure (Plot) of many kinds of fiction in addition to drama.

24 Plot… Freytag’s Pyramid

25 Plot… Exposition the introductory material, which often creates the tone. Gives the setting, introduces the characters, and supplies other facts necessary for understanding.

26 Plot… Inciting Moment the event or force that sets in motion the rising action of a work of fiction. Also called the precipitating (sudden) incident exciting force or narrative hook.

27 Plot… Rising Action the part of the dramatic action that has to do with the complication of the action. Begins with the inciting moment, gains interest or power as the opposing groups/ideas come into conflict, and proceeds to the climax. It can also be called the complication (introduces the problem).

28 Plot… Climax the turning point in the action, the crisis at which the rising action reverses and becomes the falling action.

29 Plot… Falling Action the second half of the dramatic plot. It follows the climax and often exhibits the winding down of the climax.

30 Plot… Resolution the end of the falling action and the solution of the conflict. The resolution is not always a happy ending.

31 Plot… Denouement involves not only the resolution of the conflict but an explanation of all the secrets and misunderstandings connected with the plot; the tying up of loose ends, exposure of a villain, clearing up a mistaken identity, reuniting characters, etc. NOT EVERY STORY HAS ONE!

32 Plot… Types of Structure: Formal Pattern (most common) Flashback Selective Recollection- in which present circumstances are explained by the selective introduction of past events Speaker’s Memories of the Past Geography or Room Arrangements Unfold in an apparently accidental way or with fragments of conversation

33 Plot… When writing about structure (plot): Note if the story is divided into sections or parts. What structural importance do they have? What changes do you note? Weather, times of day, places? If the story departs from the formal structure, what purpose do these departures have? What variations in chronological order appear? Are there any delays of crucial details of the exposition? For what effect? Where does an important action or major section begin?

34 Plot: AP Prompt In The Writing of Fiction (1925), novelist Edith Wharton states the following: At every stage in the progress of his tale the novelist must rely on what may be called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation. Illuminating incidents are the magic casements of fiction, its vistas on infinity. Choose a novel or play that you have studied and write a well-organized essay in which you describe an "illuminating" episode or moment and explain how it functions as a "casement," a window that opens onto the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

35 Theme Defined: A theme is an idea that results from abstract thinking. There can be many themes in a literary work

36 Theme… Discovering a theme in a literary work: Analyzing: Action, character depiction, scenes and language

37 Theme… The major idea in a work is called the THEME To what do the ideas pertain to? Individuals? Society? Religion? Economic Justice?

38 Theme… How balanced is the THEME? How balanced are the ideas in the work? If a particular idea is strongly presented, what conditions and qualifications are also presented? Any contradictory ideas? Are the ideas limited to members of any groups represented by the character? Age, race, nationality, personal status? Are the ideas applicable to general conditions of life?

39 Theme… When writing about THEME: Analyze the ideas as it applies to character. Show how actions bring out the idea. Show how dialogue and separate speeches bring out the idea. Show how the work’s structure is determined by the idea.

40 Theme: AP Prompt The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is the recurring theme of many novels, plays, and essays. Select the work of an essayist who is in opposition to his or her society; or from a work of recognized literary merit, select a fictional character who is in opposition to his or her society. In a critical essay, analyze the conflict and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society. Do not summarize the plot or action of the work you choose.


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