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Literary Element Terms Review
Transcript of Literary Element Terms Review
Objective Point of View
First Person Point of View
Third Person Point of View
Point of View
Characterization = How an author develops a character so that they seem life-like to the reader.
Authors develop characters through . . .
1. Physical Appearance
2. Thoughts and Feelings
Physical Appearance = how the character looks.
Thoughts and Feelings = what the character says, thinks, feels, and dreams.
Actions = what the character does or does not do.
Reactions = how the character reacts to other characters, situations, or problems.
Harry Potter's scar and eyes are an important part of his characterization. The scar is a mark of his childhood trauma, and his eyes are the exact same as his mothers. These two physical characteristics always remind Harry of who he is.
Harry's words, thoughts, and feelings frequently demonstrate that he is a loyal and compassionate person. For example, Harry shows loyalty to Dumbledore when he verbally defends him while facing Voldemort in Chamber of Secrets.
Harry's actions speak volumes about his character. His actions show that he is brave, loyal, and compassionate. For example, Harry befriends Luna Lovegood, a girl who is frequently made fun of.
Harry Potter's reactions to other characters and situations show a lot about his character. For example, when Malfoy provokes Harry, he reacts by fighting back. This reaction shows that Harry will defend himself and his friends.
Point of View = the vantage point from which a story is told.
The point of view can vary from work to work.
Point of view is used to convey the feelings and motives of the characters.
Objective Point of View = the narrator tells a story without stating what the characters are thinking or feeling.
In objective point of view, the narrator will never tell you more than what can be observed.
This point of view is very similar to real life. You can observe what people do and what they look like, but you do not have access to their thoughts.
First Person Point of View = the narrator participates in the action of the story as a character.
When reading stories in the first person, you cannot always trust what the narrator is telling you.
When the narrator is not trustworthy, this is called an unreliable narrator.
Third Person Point of View = the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters but has access to the characters thoughts and feelings.
In third person point of view, the narrator lets us know exactly what the characters think and feel.
There are two types of Third Person Point of View
1. 3rd Person Limited
2. 3rd Person Omniscient
Third Person Limited = the narrator’s knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor.
With third person limited point of view, the read knows about the thoughts and feelings of one character.
Third Person Omniscient = the narrator knows everything about all the characters.
With third person omniscient point of view, the reader knows about the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story.
Theme = what the author is trying to say about life, society, or human nature.
The theme is revealed through the events of the story and the thoughts/feelings of the characters.
Theme is often described as the moral of the story.
Theme is NOT the actual conflict of the story! Rather, theme is what the author is trying to SAY about the effects of that conflict.
An understanding of theme is dependent upon your previous experience with life and literature.
At the same time, theme in literature can enlarge your own understanding of life.
Setting = The environment in which a story takes place
In some stories, the setting is crucial. The story could not exist without its setting. Ex. The Hunger Games relies heavily on the setting of a futuristic society.
In other stories, the setting is not as important. The story could take place in any place or time and still be the same essential story. Ex. Cinderella can take place in any time or place and still be the same basic story.
Come up with an example of a story where the setting is crucial and another example of a story where the setting does not matter.
Aspects of Setting
Place = WHERE the story takes place (city, country, wilderness, etc.)
Time = WHEN the story takes place (historical time period, time of day, the year, etc.)
Culture = The culture, society, or environmental conditions of a story.
Come up with an example of a story where the place is crucial, the time is crucial, the culture is crucial, and the atmosphere is crucial (separate example for each one).
Example of a story where the PLACE is important: Soul Surfer
Example of a story where TIME is important: Titanic
Example of a story where CULTURE is important: The Outsiders
Atmosphere = The environmental conditions (ex. rainy, sunny, polluted) of a story.
Conflict = the basic opposition or tension that sets the story in motion.
Without conflict, there is no story!
Conflict ties one incident in the story to another and makes the plot move.
In shorter stories, there is generally 1 conflict.
In larger works, there are many conflicts.
Types of Conflict
There are five main types of conflict:
1. Character vs. Character
2. Character vs. Self
3. Character vs. Society
4. Character vs. Nature
5. Character vs. Supernatural
Character vs. Character (physical) = when the main character struggles against another person.
This struggle is not necessarily a physical fight. It can be a competition between two people.
Ex. Tom and Jerry
Character vs. Self (psychological) = when the main character struggles with something inside himself/herself (fear, depression, past experiences, etc.)
Ex. The Fault in Our Stars
Character vs. Society (social) = when the main character struggles against the ideas, prejudices, injustices, practices, or customs of other people.
Ex. To Kill a Mockingbird
Character vs. Nature (survival) = when the main character struggles to survive against the natural world.
Character vs. Supernatural (Paranormal/Magic) = when the main character struggles against a supernatural force (ghosts, evil spirits, magic, aliens, etc.)
Ex. Paranormal Activity
Come up with an example story for each type of conflict (separate example for each one).
Plot = the sequence of events in a story. Plot is a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end.
Shorter stories generally have 1 plot
Longer stories tend to have 1 main plot and several subplots, which enrich and deepen the story.
Exposition (background information) = the beginning of the story when the most of the main characters are introduced and the setting is revealed.
Example (Lord of the Rings): The main characters of Frodo, Hobbits, Gandalf are introduced. Middle Earth is revealed as the setting.
Inciting Incident (conflict) = the event that introduces the conflict of the story. The inciting incident begins the rising action.
Example (Lord of the Rings): Frodo discovers the one ring and is given the task of destroying it.
Rising Action (complication) = the series of escalating conflicts and problems in the story that lead to the climax.
Example (Lord of the Rings): Hobbits leave The Shire; fellowship forms; fellowship breaks up; Frodo and Sam venture in to Mordor to destroy ring
Climax (crisis)= the turning point in the story when the conflict reaches its most intense moment. The conflict is not always resolved at this point, it just comes to a head.
Example (Lord of the Rings): Frodo reaches Mount Doom and the ring is destroyed.
Falling Action (story settles) = the events and complications of the rising action and climax begin to resolve themselves.
Example (Lord of the Rings): Sam and Frodo rescued; victories celebrated; Hobbits return home
Resolution (conclusion) = the final outcome of the story. The resolution is when the conflict is resolved. The resolution does not have to be a happy one.
Example (Lord of the Rings): Frodo realizes that his life will never be the same; joins other ring bearers and leaves the shire forever.
Plot Structure Practice
Watch “For the Birds” and pick out the different components of plot from the short. Fill out the plot diagram on your worksheet when you are done watching.
You need at least 4 separate events in the rising action and 2 in the falling action.
Character = a person in a work of fiction.
Two Main Character Types
Protagonist = the major character of a story.
All of the major events of the story center around this character.
Protagonist does not equal good guy! There are many stories about people with questionable values, motives, or histories.
Harry Potter is an example of a Protagonist.
Antagonist = the person or force that the protagonist struggles against.
What the antagonist is depends on what the conflict is. If the conflict is man vs. man, the antagonist is a person. If the conflict is man vs. nature, then the antagonist could be a storm, an animal, or a deserted island.
Lord Voldemort is an example of an antagonist.
Come up with an example of a protagonist and an antagonist. They can come from the same story.
Characters can also be described as . . .
Static = a character that never learns or changes.
The events of the story do not make the character a better or a worse person. They stay the same.
Minor characters and villains are often static.
Dynamic = a character that changes, learns, or grows throughout the story.
Whether for better or for worse, the events of the story have changed the character and made them into a different person.
Protagonists and other main characters are usually dynamic.
Flat = a character that only has one or two characteristics.
These characters are not well developed. We as readers only get to see one side of a flat character’s background or personality, and we do not get into their heads.
In other words, these characters are stereotypes. e.g. brilliant detective, drunk, scrooge, cruel stepmother, etc.
Minor characters and villains are often flat.
Round = a character that is complex, multidimensional, and well developed.
We get to know these characters very well. We as readers get insight into their past, their thoughts, and their motivations.
Protagonists and other main characters are usually round.
Crabbe, Goyle, and Malfoy are examples of static characters.
Ron Weasley is an example of a dynamic character.
Professor McGonagel is an example of a flat character.
Hermione Granger is an example of a round character.
Come up with an example character for each character type (separate example for each one).
Common Literary Themes
1. Quest for Eternal Life
2. Individual Needs vs. Group Needs
3. Understanding/Accepting Yourself
4. Relationship to the Natural World
5. Obtaining Justice
6. What it means to be a hero.
7. What it means to be a survivor.
8. What does the future hold for us?
9. Love (in all its forms) and its effects
Come up with an example of a story for each different common literary theme (separate example for each one).
Quest for Eternal Life
When a character is dealing with death (avoiding it or accepting it).
Individual Needs vs. Group Needs
When a character is dealing with balancing their need to be individual with the need to fit in.
Ex. The Outsiders
Character is dealing with figuring out who they are. Often called "coming of age" stories.
Relationship to the Natural World
Stories with this theme deal with human interaction with and responsibility to nature.
These stories deal with the idea of getting justice for those wronged.
What It Means To Be a Hero
These stories deal with the idea of what makes someone heroic.
Ex. Robin Hood
What It Means To Be a Survivor
These stories deal with the idea of how people deal with and move on from traumatic experiences.
Ex. P.S. I Love You
What Does the Future Hold for Us?
These stories deal with what the future could look like if we don't change something in our present.
Love (in All Its Forms) and Its Effects
These stories deal with human relationships, in all their forms: Romance, Compassion, Love of Country, Admiration, Dependency, Possessiveness, Self-Centered Love, Unrequited Love, Godly Love, Familial Love, Infatuation, Erotic Love, Jealousy
Ex. My Sister's Keeper
Write down the 4 characterization techniques, and come up with a example where the protagonist's physical appearance is critical to the story.
Identify the point of view being used in the following examples:
Hansel walked ahead of me. I made sure I dropped breadcrumbs behind me as I went, since my bumbling brother couldn’t be counted on to find his way home from the outhouse, let alone from the middle of the woods.
Hansel walked ahead of Gretel; after all, he knew he belonged in the front because Gretel was just a girl. Gretel dropped breadcrumbs behind her as she went, knowing that her bumbling brother couldn’t be counted on to find his way home from the outhouse, let alone from the middle of the woods.
Ahead of them, an old witch waited, her stomach rumbling at the thought of what a delicious dinner the two plump children would make.
Hansel walked ahead of Gretel. Gretel dropped breadcrumbs behind her as she went, knowing that her bumbling brother couldn’t be counted on to find his way home from the outhouse, let alone from the middle of the woods.”
Hansel walked ahead of Gretel. Gretel dropped breadcrumbs behind her as she went. Ahead of them, an old witch waited. “Who is that?” Gretel asked Hansel.
Indiana Jones Application
Below is a clip from
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
. It is the opening scene of the movie, in which a flashback is used to show an important event in the character development of Indiana Jones. This scene is a complete, mini-story. You will use this video clip to apply the vocabulary you have just reviewed. Watch the clip, and then do the Indiana Jones Literary Terms Application worksheet, which is due NEXT class.