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Characteristics of Historical Fiction

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Skye Van Dusen

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of Characteristics of Historical Fiction

Guilt is an inherent part of human nature that we feel after we do horrible things.

Characteristics of Historical Fiction
General Characteristics of Historical Fiction
March - Geraldine Brooks
The Book Thief
How does it fit the characteristics of a historical fiction novel?
-The Title "of mice and men" is an allusion to the poem "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns
Of Mice and Men
The Boy in Striped pajamas
Time appropriate dialogue
Accurate time line
Relate-able characters

What is a historical
fiction novel?

It is a genre of novels that represents an actual event that happened in history.

The Book Thief
follows many conventions of a historical fiction genre.
"Heil Hitler"

Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf
3. Important Dates & Historical events
World War 2 (Holocaust)
Hitler's Birthday
creates a framework for the plot
The social setting of the novel creates a dark mood and deeply impact on the characters.

Hans Hubermann struggles with an inner conflict between his conscious and the injustice occurring around him.
Max is a Jew who suffers many hardships during the Holocaust in this novel.
The coexistence of good and evil in mankind
Brief info of the novel
Soledad, California
George (Left) Lennie (Right)
Curley's wife allows Lennie to pet her hair
-takes place during the Great Depression

-Lennie and George are on the run from the law and looking for work

-lands a job on a ranch and meets the story's antagonist, Curley

-Everything goes into chaos after Curley's wife lets Lennie pet her hair
- The novel refers to the Great Depression and the racism that took place in the 1930s
Characters speak in southern accents by using words such as "ain't" "would of" and "brang"

They also use old farm terms such as skimmers, swampers,etc.
Often an element of death
Actual geographical settings
1. About a little kid named Bruno

2. During World War Two

3. Bruno moves from Berlin to the middle of nowhere and encounters a fence.
Characteristics that fit my novel....
All Quiet on the
Western Front

The setting of the novel is in Soledad, California, which is an actual place on the map
The story has a huge element of death which is the main event that takes place
The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both
What does the novel imply about human nature?
About the Novel
1. Real events from History
World War Two, Holocaust

2. Holocaust was from 1933
to 1945

Characteristics Continued ...
2. Real Geographical setting
Characters Affected By the setting....
Bruno and Shmeul
The setting's effect on the characters
As it takes place in the depression, everyone is desperate for money and jobs

Markus Zusak
What does the novel imply about human nature ?
1. Dialogue
2. Allusions
In the 1930s people did not have enough money for transportation so walked to their destination usually with 1 or more people.

As the story takes place where racism is common, some of the characters are racist to African Americans
Back then, people did not like to work with people lwho have mental disorders like Lennie. So they did not accept people like Lennie as he was different
During the great depression, people looked for jobs on farms as it provides them with food to survive
Of mice and men tells us that humans have a tendency to prey on the weak
The crooks (an African American) insults Lennie of his life long dream. Lennie gets upset whenever some one makes fun of his dream
Curley bullies and fights with Lennie as Lennie is mentally weaker and soft at heart
Curley's wife threatens the Crooks as she is racially superior in that time frame
1. Evil and good in mankind
2. Fear
Takes place between 1939 to 1942
Set in Germany
During the Holocaust
Nazism (propaganda and corruption)
is the narrator of this novel
Real events from history (accurate facts)

Happened in the past
A young german girl and the protagonist of the novel
She is the book thief
Liesel's solution for her curiosity and desire for books is thievery
Liesel's foster father, Hans Hubermann teaches her to read, and embrace the beauty of words.
Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
Liesel is exposed to the reality and injustice in the world as she develops a strong friendship with Max
The Book Thief ultimately shows how us, humans have the capacity of goodness but also the capacity of evil.

The absent father from Little Women's experiences during the American Civil War, as well as his struggle to come to terms with everything he has seen and done.
March & historical fiction
1. Happened in the past
2. Allusions

Little Women
Civil War
3. Death
4. Real events
Battle of Ball's Bluff
5. 19th century dialogue
6. Actual places
7. Relatable characters
Mr. March
Mrs. March
“Better show Annie you Yankee notions then, and be quick about it, for I ain’t got no time for dawdlin’.”
1. Makes up the plot (civil war)
2. "A woman's place"
3. Slavery leads to internal conflict
4. The brutality of the war leads to more internal conflict
Who is the brave man—he who feels no fear? If so, then bravery is but a polite term for a mind devoid of rationality and imagination.
A sacrifice such as his is called noble by the world.
This novel tells the story of a young man named Paul Bäumer voluntarily joined the German Army to fight in WWI on the Western front. He soon realizes the war is not as glorious nor honorable as he once thought. Instead it is a terrifying journey that seems to never end.
Paul Bäumer
Albert Kropp
Fredrich Müller
Stanislaus "Kat" Katczinsky
- He is the narrator and protagonist
- Sensitive and sweet at heart
- Passionate, creative, avid poem writer
- Losses innocence
How the Setting Affects the Characters
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how people are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Historical Novel Characteristics
Happened in the Past
Geographical Setting
Element of Death
- Death is evident throughout the novel
- War
- 1917-1918
- Occasional allusion of past events
-Plato, William Tell, Battle of Zama, Charles the Bald, poison gas.

One day, I hope to go back. To my wife, to my girls, but also to the man of moral certainty that I was that day; that innocent man, who knew with such clear confidence exactly what it was that he meant to do.
-Paul's close friend
- Serves with Second Company
-Intelligent and rational
- Analyzes the causes of the war
- Paul's best friend
- Serves with Second Company
- Fatherly figure
- Resourceful and experienced soldier
-18 years old
- Values learning and
- Paul's classmate
-Paul's friend
- Serves with Second Company
- 19 years old
- Formerly a locksmith
- The German/French front a.k.a the Western front
-Historical, Literary and Philosophical References
War in the early 20th century was a brutal
and miserable experience.
Time: Late in World War I (1917–1918)
Place: The German/French/Western front

- More comfort - "Rituals" - Play card games
Front Line
- Terrible living conditions
- Poor nutrition
- Constant bombings

- Blood, mud, noise
- Rats and lice
Paul's Home
Abandoned Town
- Diseases
- Fear of being attacked
- Constant killings and deaths

-Make-shift hospitals, spotless train-hospitals, fancy Catholic hospitals.
- Incompetent nurses
- Surgeons with odd fetishes
- Process of recovery is dangerous
- Everyone man for himself.

- Books
- Food
- Bed
- Quiet
- Feels out of place

- All they could eat - "Paradise" - Good time
The Lost Generation
"Human Animals"
The message behind All Quiet on the Western Front is the horrors and futility of World War I has destroyed a generation, thus the lost generation .
Hospitals were not safe, welcoming, or warm operations.
Only place where they could find peace.
Paul's home is comforting,
but not the same.
Better experience at camps
Real Event From
- World War 1
1. Berlin
2. Poland
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