Presentation on theme: "Thinking About Literature. What is literature? A work that rewards the time, concentration, and creativity put inot reading, re-reading, exploring, analyzing,"— Presentation transcript:
What is literature? A work that rewards the time, concentration, and creativity put inot reading, re-reading, exploring, analyzing, discussing, and interpreting it. Literary texts are ones we’re likely to remember – ones that may, in fact, influence who we are, how we experience our world, and what truths guide our lives.
Our sense of our lives and world requires going beyond a surface understanding. We must be able to infer meanings that may only be suggested, to understand the significance of symbolic gestures, to comprehend not just what has happened, but what it means.
Approaching literature 1. Experience: respond subjectively, personally, emotionally 2. Analysis: begin to ask questions, think about the way language is used, draw inferences – Hint: observation: no detail is unimportant 3. Extention: examination of the background of the author, research into the historical context, application of the ideas in the piece to life in general
Close reading Pose questions about what you are reading
Elements of style Go beyond merely summarizing a work to figuring out how a writer’s stylistic choices convey the work’s message or meaning
1. Diction Word choice Denotation: dictionary meaning Connotation: meanings and associations beyond the dictionary meaning Formal diction Informal diction: slang or colloquial language Diction can be abstract or concrete
Questions to ask yourself about diction Which of the important words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs) in the poem or passage are general and abstract, and which are specific and concrete? Are the important words formal, informal, colloquial, or slang? Are there words with strong connotations, words we might refer to as “loaded”?
2. Figurative Language Language that is not literal – a figure of speech – A. Metaphor – B. Simile – C. Personification – D. Analogy – E. Extended metaphor – F. Overstatement (hyperbole) – G. Understatement – H. Paradox – I. Irony
Question to ask about figurative language Are some words not literal but figurative, creating figures of speech such as metaphors, similes, or personification?
3. Imagery The verbal expression of a sensory experience that can appeal to any of the five senses – how things look, feel, sound, smell, or tast. Look for patterns, repetition
Questions to ask about Imagery Are the images – the parts of the passage we experience with our five senses – concrete, or do they depend on figurative language to come alive?
4. Syntax The arrangement of words into phrases, clauses, and sentences – Simple – Complex – Cumulative – Periodic – Traditional – Inverted – Syntactic patterns (long and short sentence patterns)
Questions about syntax What is the order of the words in the sentences? Are they usual subject-verb-object order, or are they inverted? Which is more prevalent in the passage, nouns or verbs? What are the sentences like? Do their meanings build periodically or cumulatively? How do the sentences connect their words, phrases, and clauses? How is the poem or passage organized? Is it chronological? Does it move from concrete to abstract or vice versa? Or does it follow some other pattern?
Tone and Mood Tone reflects the speaker’s attitude toward the subject of the work Mood is the feeling the reader experiences as a result of the tone Try to use at least two precise words to describe tone and mood, rather than general words like “happy”
Approaching a piece of literature 1.Think aloud: read a line or sentence and then comment a.Pose questions about something that confuses you or about a possible interpretation b.Identify unfamiliar vocabulary or allusions c.Not specific stylistic elements and their effect d.Rephrase inverted lines e.Make connections within the piece noting any repetition, patters, or contrasts
2. Annotation: noting on the page words that strike you, phrases that confuse or thrill you, or places where you want to talk back to the speaker or narrator A. Keeps you awake B. Makes you actively think about what you’ve read C. Helps you remember your thoughts Sticky notes
1. First reading: circle or highlight words or phrases that are interesting or unfamiliar, note elements of style 2. Second reading: make large scale observations – look for patterns, repetition, note shifts in tone or viewpoint – underline passages important to meaning, look for themes, pose questions 3. Third reading: write for 3-5 minutes about the work. Paraphrase it and then react to it as a whole and to its parts.