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SOAPStone

A presentation on the SOAPStone method of analyzing literature
by

Jason Flanagan

on 9 January 2012

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Transcript of SOAPStone

SOAPStone+Theme Subject Occasion Audience Purpose Style Tone Theme What is the idea or topic of the text

How do you find subjects?
Look at the significant moments you've identified in the text. Then, identify the idea that those moments are discussing.

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete:
Shukar is speaking about adversity and abandonment. The rose that no one cared about has to learn to "walk without legs" and survive against all odds. What is the occasion of the poem? What is the event that prompts the speaker to speak?

How do you find occasion?
Sometimes it is state; other times, it is not. When unstated, consider the kind of events or observations that would get the speaker to start talking about the subject of the poem.

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete":
The occasion for the speaker could be a reflection on his tough life or his mentoring of someone who is also living a life of adversity.
To whom is the speaker speaking? What do you know about him or her?

How do I find the audience?
Consider who would benefit the most from knowing the subject and the theme - that is your audience.

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete":
The speaker is talking to those who struggle against all odds. The positive affirmation in the last two lines, "Long live the rose that grew from concrete ....," help us identify the audience. What is the purpose of the poem? Why do you think the poet wrote the poem?

How to find purpose:
There are five main types of purposes (to inform, to persuade, to explain, to entertain, to express feeling/idea). Think about the subject and the theme, and then consider which type of purpose best fits the subject/theme.

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete":
Shukar is speaking about a positive end to a tough situation. He is persuading others to rise above adversity. He could also be informing others of his past struggles. What is the author's style? Style includes an author's word choice (diction), use of figurative language, and tone.

Diction or word choice - find an example of how the author uses particular words for their meaning

Figurative language - find an example where the author uses figurative language (metaphors, simile, personficiation, imagery)

Mood - find an example of how the author uses words and actions to create a feeling What is the tone of the poem? What is the speaker’s attitude toward the subject of the poem?

How do I find tone?
Consider how the speaker desribes things related to the theme or subject. Look at the speaker's word choice and attitude toward the subject and to people/objects.

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete":
The tone of the poem is positive and encouraging. The speaker did not say anything negative about the rose and in fact said, "long live" the rose.


What is the theme of the poem? What is the poet pointing out about people, society, or life? State the theme succinctly.

How to find theme:
Take a look at your poem's subject. Then take a look at the explanations of your significant moments. What do your explanations say about the subject?

Example from "A Rose that Grew from Concrete":
The subject is about adversity ("learned to walk without feet', "no else cared"). Each significant moment in the poem deals with the rose's struggle against the concrete and the fact that no one wanted to help it. Therefore, the theme of this text is that beauty can come from tough surroundings, the possibility of overcoming adversity. What is SOAPStone+Theme It is an acronym that stands for
Subject
Occasion
Audience
Purpose
Style
Tone
Theme
Each of the letters represent key elements in literary analysis. Using SOAPSTone+Theme, you should be able to identify most of the major aspects of a text. This is commonly used in AP and college-level English classes Now, let's take a look at an easy poem, "A Rose that Grew from Concrete" by Tupac Shukar Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared. Now, let's analyze this poem using SOAPSTone+Theme Want to see this again? Go to bit.ly/soapstoneprezi
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