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CUBE: Approach to Literary Analysis

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Presentation on theme: "CUBE: Approach to Literary Analysis"— Presentation transcript:

1 CUBE: Approach to Literary Analysis
Characterization Setting Theme Plot Point of View Tone/Attitude/Effect

2 Setting: The time, location, and atmosphere of a story.
Historical time period Geographic location: Topography, scenery, stage set Cultural backdrop/social context: Way of life, talking and behaving, gender roles, traditions, customs, beliefs, values, laws, etc. Artificial Environment: cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods, houses, etc. Props: clothing, furniture, tools, technology, etc

3 Setting: The time, location, and atmosphere of a story
Setting establishes mood and atmosphere. Setting conveys not only an accurate picture of the time and place, but also the emotional content and attitudes of the characters and society in which they live. Setting can be used to create the conflict in the story: Man vs. Nature Man vs. Society Archetypal settings have some universal aspect that is associated by most people with a particular human experience.

4 Characterization/ Character
Character: An individual in a story or play. Characterization: The process by with the writer reveals the personality of a character.

5 Character Static or Dynamic Flat or Round
Static: Changes little over the course of a story. Dynamic: Changes in some important way as a result of the story’s action. Flat or Round Flat: Has only one or two personality traits Round: Has many dimensions to his/her personality – complex, three-dimensional Archetypal characters embody a certain kind of universal human experience.

6 Characterization: Direct: The writer tells us what the character is like, i.e. beautiful, generous, sneaky, etc. Indirect: The writer reveals character from: Dialogue – what they say. Actions – what they do. Interior monologue – what they think Other character’s dialogue – what is said about them Associations – with whom they are in relationship Status – what they have, wear, live, where they are, etc.

7 Plot The sequence of events in a story
Plot focuses on a central conflict or problem faced by the main character. The actions that the characters take to resolve the conflict build toward a climax. The conflict is resolved and the story ends. Cause and effect invariably drive plot.

8 A plot typically develops in five stages:
Exposition Introduces the setting, the background, the characters, and generally the conflict(s). Rising action The conflict develops and build toward a climax. Climax Point of maximum interest or tension. Usually a turning point in the story. Falling action Shows the results of the important action that happened at the climax. Leads to the final resolution of the conflict. Resolution/Denouement The conflicts of the story are resolved. Denouement in French means “unraveling.”

9 Diagram of Plot Climax Falling Action Rising Action Exposition
Denouement Resolution Inciting incident/ Opening situation

10 Special Techniques of Plot
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

11 Plot Diagram 3 4 2 1 5

12 1. Exposition This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).

13 2. Rising Action This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.

14 3. Climax This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.

15 4. Falling Action All loose ends of the plot are tied up. The conflict(s) and climax are taken care of.

16 5. Resolution The story comes to a reasonable ending.

17 Imagery Imagery is words or phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses. Writers use imagery to describe how their subjects look, sound, feel, taste, and smell.

18 Theme Theme: The central, underlying, and controlling idea of a literary work. The message about life or human nature that a writer wants the reader to understand A perception about life or human nature that the writer shares with the reader. Usually not stated directly (explicitly), but must be inferred (implicitly). May imply how a person should live but should not be confused with a moral. Can be stated in one or more complete sentences, but not in a single word.

19 Ask the following questions:
How Do I find the Theme? Ask the following questions: How has the main character changed? What lessons has he/she learned? What is the central conflict in the work? What is the subject(s) of the work? What does the author say about the subject? Can this idea be supported entirely by evidence from the work itself? Are all the author’s choices of plot, character, conflict, and tone controlled by this idea?

20 Point of View: The vantage point from which the writer tells a story.
Refers to the method of narration used to tell the story. The Narrator of a story is the character or voice that relates the story’s events to the reader.

21 There are two basic types of point of view:
Participant point of view (first person) One of the characters (major or minor) tells the story using first person pronouns. (I, me, my, our, we, etc). The reader only knows what the narrator knows. Nonparticipant Point of View (third person) Third-person limited Unknown narrator relates the inner thoughts and feelings of only ONE character, or of a few of the characters using third-person pronouns (he, him, she, her, they, them, etc) Third-person omniscient An ALL-KNOWING narrator who can enter the minds of all the characters relates the story using third-person pronouns. Objective Narrator The narrator does not enter a single mind, but instead records what can be seen and heard. Allows the reader to observe dialogue and external action.

22 Tone can be discovered by looking at the author’s use of:
Attitude/Effect Tone/Attitude/Effect: The narrator’s attitude toward the subject, which is revealed by the words he/she chooses. Tone can be discovered by looking at the author’s use of: Diction Word choice: abstract/concrete; connotative/denotative, etc Imagery Vivid descriptions or figures of speech that appeal to the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell). Details Facts the author has chosen to share with the reader. Language The overall use of language, such as formal, clinical, jargon, etc. Sentence structure The grammatical structure, sentence length, and organization of a writer’s sentences.

23 Tone/Attitude/Effect
To misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning. Watch for: Symbols Something which is itself and also stands for/represents something else Allusions References to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. Motifs An often-repeated idea or theme in literature. Irony A discrepancy between appearances and reality. May be situational, dramatic, or verbal. Satire Ridicules the shortcomings of people/institutions of a society in an attempt to bring about change.

24 Understanding the CUBE allows a reader to analyze a story from different sides.
Characterization Setting Theme Plot Point of View Tone/Attitude/Effect

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