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“Reading the Novel”. Setting  Time Chronological time [the time from beginning to the end of a story] Novel time [the timeline in which events are presented.

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Presentation on theme: "“Reading the Novel”. Setting  Time Chronological time [the time from beginning to the end of a story] Novel time [the timeline in which events are presented."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Reading the Novel”

2 Setting  Time Chronological time [the time from beginning to the end of a story] Novel time [the timeline in which events are presented – may include flash backs or flash forwards]  Place Location like woods or at sea as well as city, country  Objects Buildings, vehicles, clothing  Environment Weather, lighting, temperature  Ambience How do we feel about the setting?

3 Who is the narrator?  First person: Narrator as I  Third Person: He/She Narrator may be Omniscient [knows everything about everyone inner thoughts as well as exterior actions], limited omniscient [knows everything about some characters], intrusive [talks directly to the reader and breaks flow of text], objective – recorder [acts like a video camera so only records what is external])  Stream of consciousness Like a narrators thoughts flowing across a page  Questions to ask yourself: Who is telling the story? Is this person in the story or outside of the story? Does the author ever intrude?

4 Reliable or unreliable narrators  Should we believe what the narrator tells us? Sometimes a narrator is a character in the story and may have an agenda or a reason to tell the story in a certain way – for example, to make himself look innocent.  What makes a narrator unreliable? As readers, we have to decide why the author has a character telling us a story, and we should pay attention to this. Often is the narrator is outside of the story, the narrator may be more reliable, but that is not always the case.

5 Plot [order of events]  Exposition ( who, what, where, when )  Conflict ( problem – there may be more than one )  Climax ( pivotal point in action )  Resolution ( How it ends up ) Expo Conflict Resolution Climax

6 Characters in novels have more depth  How do we learn about them? Dialogue Physical actions Thoughts or mental actions Judgment by others Narrator judgment Author’s judgment

7 Theme versus Overall Message  Theme: main topics of the book Ex: Marriage  Overall Message: what we should think about the topic? Ex: Marriage sometimes makes people unhappy

8 Symbolism + Irony  Symbolism Cultural symbols – commonly recognizable symbols  Red rose = love or gold ring = marriage Personal symbols – must be figured out by reading the text  Swan = death if in the text when someone dies a character sees or hears a swan  Irony Dramatic Irony – when someone in the text or the audience knows something another character does not.  For example, in one chapter the murder is illustrated so the reader knows who did it but the other characters in the text don’t. Circumstantial Irony – when situations occur that cause surprise and chagrin.  For example, you have just bought a bus ticket and someone offers you a free ride.

9 Narrative Precursors to the Novel These stories led to the eventual creation of what we call the modern novel. Essentially, smaller stories eventually got linked into a longer whole.  Heroic Epics : Gilgamesh, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Mahabharata, Valmiki’s Ramayana, Virgil’s Aeneid, Beowulf, The Song of Roland  Ancient Greek and Roman Romances and Novels: Ovid’s metamorphosis  Oriental Frame Tales : Ramayana, A Thousand and One Nights  Medieval European Romances : Arthurian tales culminating in Malory’s Morte Darthur  Novelle: Boccaccio’s Decameron, Margurerite de Navarre’s Heptameron, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

10 The First Novels  The Tale of Genji ( Japan, 11th c. )by Lady Murasaki Shikibu  Monkey, Water Margin, and Romance of Three Kingdoms (China, 16th c.)  Don Quixote ( Spain, ) by Miguel de Cervantes  The Princess of Cleves (France, 1678) by Madame de Lafayette  Love Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister (England, 1683) and Oroonoko (1688)by Aphra Behn  Robinson Crusoe (England, 1719), Moll Flanders (1722) and A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) by Daniel DeFoe  Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (England, ) by Samuel Richardson  Joseph Andrews (England, 1742) and Tom Jones (1746)by Henry Fielding

11 Journey to the West or Monkey [one of the earliest novels]  Brief Description supernatural novel with gods and demons began with a series of oral and written versions attained its most definitive version written by Wu Ch'eng-en (1500?-1582)  Journey to the West is divided into three parts: (1) an early history of the Monkey spirit; (2) pseudo-historical account of Tripitaka's family and life before his trip to fetch the sutras [scriptures] in the Western Heaven; (3)the main story, consisting of 81 dangers and calamities encountered by Tripitaka and his three animal spirit disciples - Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy.


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