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ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE

THEME
The meaning of the story or why the author wrote the story; the underlying meanings of the authors words. The major ideas in a piece of literature, such as romantic love, political oppression, the struggle for survival, etc. You are focusing on one of these.

PLOT
What happens and why. Exposition introduction of the story where the characters and setting are introduced. Rising Action a series of events that builds from the conflict. Begins with the inciting force and ends with the climax. Climax - When does the character MAKE his decision and ACT on it? What actions results from this decision? What is the highest point of interest (in terms of action) in the story? When is the suspense (regarding what the character will do to solve the problem) over? It is the result of the crisis. High point of the story. The outcome of the conflict can be predicted. Falling Action event after the climax which close the story. Resolution (Denouement) rounds out and concludes the action. Foreshadowing - When the writer clues the reader in to something that will eventually occur in the story; it may be explicit (obvious) or implied (disguised). Suspense - The tension that the author uses to create a feeling of discomfort about the unknown Crisis - A significant turning point in the story that determines how it must ends What is the moment of decision (internal dilemma resolved) for the main character? When is the character faced with his/her internal conflict and realizes she/he must make a decision? Conflict - Struggle between opposing forces.The conflicts we encounter can usually be identified as one of four kinds.

Man versus Man Man versus Nature Man versus Society Man versus Self

SETTING
The time, place, and the environment around the characters. In stories in which place is the important element of setting, the writer usually provides specific, sometimes extended descriptions of the place. In other stories, the treatment of time is more significant than place. In literature, time functions in three different ways: the period of time in which a story takes place, how 3 much time passes during the plot of the story, and how the passage of that time is perceived by the lead character (such as, if he or she is having fun time goes quickly, but if he/she is lonely or worried time drags). Just as important as time and place, is the social context of a story, which is often a product of time and place. We must understand enough about the society its customs, values, possibilities to know what constraints the characters face, what they are free to chose, and what they may not do.

CHARACTERS
- representation of a person, place, or thing performing traditionally human activities or functions in a work of fiction Protagonist - The character the story revolves around. Antagonist - A character or force that opposes the protagonist. Foil - A character who provides a contrast to the protagonist.

Minor character - Often provides support and illuminates the protagonist. Static character - A character that remains the same. Dynamic character - A character that changes in some important way. Characterization - The choices an author makes to reveal a characters personality, such as appearance, actions, dialogue, and motivations. Round/Complex character interesting character, cant be second guessed Flat/Simple character not very interesting, often a stereotypical character

TONE/STYLE
The language of the work where it is modern, old, easy, or difficult. Also, the techniques the author uses to convey his or her message. Tone = methods by which writers and speakers reveal attitudes or feelings Style = ways in which writers assemble words to tell the story, to develop an argument, dramatize the play, compose the poem

Essential aspect of style is diction Diction - word choice that both conveys and emphasizes the meaning or theme of a poem through distinctions in sound, look, rhythm, syllable, letters, and definition Formal = standard or elegant words Neutral = everyday standard vocabulary Informal = colloquial, substandard language, slangTone and Style (contd) Connotation - word suggestions Denotation - dictionary definition of a word. Word meaning Imagery - the authors attempt to create a mental picture (or reference point) in the mind of the reader. Remember, though the most immediate forms of imagery are visual, strong and effective imagery can be used to invoke an emotional, sensational (taste, touch, smell etc) or even physical response. Meter - measure or structuring of rhythm in a poem Rhythm - often thought of as a poems timing. Rhythm is the juxtaposition of stressed and unstressed beats in a poem, and is often used to give the reader a lens through which to move through the work. Paradox: An apparent contradiction that is nevertheless somehow true. It may be either a situation or a statement. Paul remained "sane" as long as he "simple ducked" the reality around him (a metaphor). In order to stay "sane" on the front one had to stay out of touch with reality. Language may be: Specific = images General = broad classes Concrete = qualities of immediate perception Abstract = broader, less palpable qualities Figurative language - the use of words to express meaning beyond the literal meaning of the words themselves Metaphor - contrasting to seemingly unalike things to enhance the meaning of a situation or theme without using like or as o You are the sunshine of my life. Simile - contrasting to seemingly unalike things to enhance the meaning of a situation or theme using like or as o What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun Hyperbole - exaggeration o I have a million things to do today. Personification - giving non-human objects human characteristics o America has thrown her hat into the ring, and will be joining forces with the British. Idiom - An expression peculiar to a people or language. Example: She was as happy as a clam. He was green with envy.

Onomatopoeia: A word or phrase that imitates the sound associated with the thing designated, such as buzz, hum, cuckoo, hiss, slap, or splash. Allusion is a reference to another literary or artistic work or cultural icon/event. Irony - Is the writer's meaning DIFFERENT (often the opposite)from what is actually stated or actually happening?

Verbal What is SPOKEN or said (the words) is different/opposite from what is meant: Overstatement (Hyperbole) Understatement (Litotes) Double Entendre (pun): EX: "Sonny's Blues" Dramatic Does the audience/some characters know more than another character? Is one or more character(s) speaking/acting without knowledge others have, thus creating a double meaning? Situational The EVENTS: do the events have a double meaning...the meaning of the situation as it actually happened versus the situation that we expected to happen or would normally happen? Does a set of circumstances turn out differently from what is anticipated or considered appropriate? Is the action/situation surprising or unexpected? Is there unexplained coincidence in the story? A surprise ending? Cosmic (or: "irony of fate"; a form of situational irony) is the universe itself, the cosmos, ironic? Is the situation unjust to a person or group of people in a manner beyond their control? Is a good person in a bad situation due to circumstances beyond his/her control in such a way unfair/inappropriate tha this person must suffer? Is this person a victim of fate?

POINT OF VIEW
Narrator: Who tells the story. It can be: 1) First person narrator: The narrator is a usually a character in the work. Pronouns such as "I" and "we" are used. Found in autobiographies and some fiction. Example: The hairs on my neck rose and my eyes widened. Amaroqs ears went forward aggressively and I remembered that wide eyes meant fear to him. 2) Second person narrator: When the narrator uses the pronoun "you." In effect, this comes across that the narrator is telling you the story. 3) Third person narrator: when the narrator uses the pronouns "he," "she," or "they." The third person narrator is the most versatile because it can tell the story from any time and place. Third-person omniscient lets the reader know all that is being said, done, thought, and felt by all characters. This gives a full over-view, yet prevents the reader from identifying with any particular character. Third-person limited omniscient- lets the reader know all that is being said, done, thought, and felt by only one character. This encourages emotional involvement between the reader and character.

SYMBOLS
Symbols represent things and ideas for something which they are not. For example, a character can be symbolic of a particular idea, or an object can be symbolic of a concept. A person, place or object which has a meaning in itself but suggests other meanings as well. Things, characters and actions can be symbols. Anything that suggests a meaning beyond the obvious. Some symbols are conventional, generally meaning the same thing to all readers. For example: bright sunshine symbolizes goodness and water is a symbolic cleanser. Symbolism and allegory are modes that expand meaning Symbol creates a direct, meaningful equation between: A specific object, scene, character, or action Ideas, values, persons or ways of life Symbols may be: Cultural (universal) = known by most literate people (e.g., white dove, color black) Contextual (authorial) = private, created by the author Allegory is a symbol = complete and self-sufficient narrative (e.g., Young Goodman Brown) Fable = stories about animals that possess human traits (e.g., Aesops Fables) Parable = allegory with moral or religious bent (e.g., Biblical stories) Myth = story that embodies and codifies religious, philosophical and cultural values of the civilization in which it is composed (e.g., George Washington chopping down the cherry tree) Allusion = the use of other culturally well=known works from the Bible, Greek and Roman mythology, famous art, etc.