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Literary Elements

5 elements

sherry sims

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Literary Elements

The knowledge of the literary elements and the forms of literature will be extremely important when you are analyzing a piece of literature.
There are several standards you can cover by understanding these elements. Analyzing Literature A central message, concern, or insight into life expressed through a literary work
Can be expressed by one or two sentence statement about human beings or about life
May be stated directly or implied
Interpretation uncovers the theme Theme
First-person point of view – the narrator is a character in the story – when you read this type you feel like you are in the story
Third-person point of view - limited – the narrator is NOT a character in the story – he/she is telling the story about other people. The narrator only knows the feelings and thoughts of one character. 

Third person point of view - Omniscient or all knowing– the narrator is NOT a character but knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters. Point of View Man versus Destiny/Fate or Person versus Destiny/Fate – these conflicts have characters who attempt to break free of the fixed path set before them. This is usually found in Greek and Roman mythology. Mixture of internal and external.
Example: In the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, Will Turner is against anything to do with pirates. However, by the end of the first movie, he cannot escape the fact that piracy is in his blood. Types of Conflict (continued) Man versus Supernatural or Person versus Supernatural – this conflict can deal with a character struggling against elements outside of the natural realm. This includes: ghosts, demons, or other mystical experiences. Also external conflict.
Example: In “Hamlet” a play written by William Shakespeare, the main character Hamlet encounters a ghost which is his dead father who reveals that Hamlet’s uncle murdered him. Types of Conflict (continued) Man versus Society or Person versus Society/Environment – this is a conflict where a person’s values and customs are being challenged. It is an external conflict.
Example: Can include problems with nature, but can also include problems with society (their environment) such as the rules or traditions of their society.
Winston Smith, the main character in “1984” by George Orwell, is in conflict with the repressive society he must live in. He has strong views about individuality and freedom of expression. Types of Conflict (continued) Man versus Man or Person versus Person – this is a conflict that pits one person against another person. It is an external conflict
Example: In “The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane, armies of soldiers fight each other. Types of Conflict 1. Man versus Man
2. Man versus Nature
3. Man versus Environment
4. Man versus Supernatural
5. Man versus Technology
6. Man versus Destiny
7. Man versus Self TYPES OF CONFLICT Conflict is part of the plot.
Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces
Every plot must contain some kind of conflict
Stories can have more than one conflict
Conflicts can be external or internal
External conflict- outside force may be person, group, animal, nature, or a nonhuman obstacle
Internal conflict- takes place in a character’s mind Conflict Suspense- excitement or tension
Foreshadowing- hint or clue about what will happen in story
Flashback- interrupts the normal sequence of events to tell about something that happened in the past
Surprise Ending- conclusion that reader does not expect Special Techniques of Plot Exposition – introduces the setting, gives readers important background information, introduces characters, conflict and basic situation
Rising action- events that occur as result of central conflict; complications that increase tension in the story; helps build suspense
Climax- highest point of interest; most intense or exciting suspenseful of story
Falling Action – sets up the story’s ending
Resolution or Denouement- when conflict ends or is settled, final outcome of story Parts of a Plot A characters actions
A characters choices
A characters thoughts and feelings
A characters comments
Other characters thoughts and feelings about the character
Other characters actions toward the character Factors in Analyzing Characters Physical appearance of character
Background/personal history
Does character change? Factors in Analyzing Characters The reader learns about characters:
Through actions
Through dialogue (conversation)
description Characterization The old man bowed to all of us in the room. Then he removed his hat and gloves, slowly and carefully. Chaplin once did that in a picture, in a bank--he was the janitor.

From “Gentleman of Rio en Medio” by J. Sedillo Indirect Characterization A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story.
Two primary methods of characterization:
Direct- writer tells what the character is like
Indirect- writer shows what a character is like by describing what the character looks like, by telling what the character says and does, and by what other characters say about and do in response to the character. Characterization Main/major characters - the story revolves around them and they usually have the conflict.
Minor characters - They are needed to help move the plot along. They can also tell the reader characteristics about the main characters.
Protagonist – hero; good person in the story
Antagonist – villain; bad person in the story
Dynamic – a character that goes through a significant internal change from the beginning of story to the end.
Static - a character that changes very little
Round – fully developed and exhibits many traits
Flat – one sided and often stereotypical Characters Elements of a Setting Setting
Point of View Story Grammar What parts make up a story? Literary Elements One of the standards asks how a certain section of text contributes to the whole.
Understanding literary elements will help you to be able to go back and show how the piece (chapter, scene, stanza, or sentence) fits into the whole. Analyzing Literature In a novel called, “Tangerine”, the writer Edward Bloor tells the story of Paul Fischer and his family. Tangerine is the city in Florida where the Fischer's make a new life. The reader learns something interesting about Tangerine: While it is a beautiful place, many dark secrets lurk beneath the surface. The same seems to be true of Paul’s brother, Eric. On the surface, he seems to be the storybook adolescent. He has good looks and athletic skill. But beneath the surface, Eric is full of darkness and secrets. The author Bloor presents the theme that appearances can be deceiving. Example of Theme is the vantage point from which a piece of fiction is told. The person telling the story is the narrator. Point of View Man versus Self or Person versus Self– this is a conflict that usually involves a test for the character where the good part versus the bad part of a person. They are unsure of an important choice they must make or they feel tormented by some kind of emotion. It is an internal conflict because it usually takes place in the character’s mind and through his/her actions.
Example: In “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Lewis Stevenson, the main character struggles between two sides of his own personality. Types of Conflict (continued) Man versus Technology or Person versus Technology – these conflicts deal with a character struggling against machines or other devices with artificial intelligence.
Example: In the short story, “Little Lost Robot” by Isaac Asimov, the character Dr. Colvin has to find a lost robot before it sends the town into panic. Types of Conflict (continued) In the movie “A Perfect Storm”, the characters try to survive a huge storm at sea. Man versus Nature or Person versus Nature – this is a conflict that pits a person against the forces of nature. It is an external conflict.
Example: These conflicts include natural-disaster scenarios like tornadoes, floods and severe storms. Can also include conflicts that involve hostile, rugged terrain, or a steep mountain that must be climbed. Types of Conflict (continued) Resolution Falling Action Climax Development/ Rising Action Introduction Inciting incident/ Opening situation Diagram of Plot Plot is what happens and how it happens in a narrative. A narrative is any work that tells a story, such as a short story, a novel, a drama, or a narrative poem. Plot Static Elements of Character …And I don’t play the dozens or believe in standing around with somebody in my face doing a lot of talking. I’d much rather just knock you down and take my chances even if I’m a little girl with skinny arms and a squeaky voice, which is how I got the name Squeaky.
From “Raymond’s Run” by T. Bambara Direct Characterization People or animals
Major characters
Minor characters
Round characters
Flat characters
Dynamic characters
Static characters Types of Characters Taken from “The Day the Sun Came Out” by D. Johnson We left the home place behind, mile by slow mile, heading for the mountains, across the prairie where the wind blew forever.
At first there were four of us with one horse wagon and its skimpy load. Pa and I walked, because I was a big boy of eleven. My two little sisters romped and trotted until they got tired and had to be boosted up to the wagon bed.
That was no covered Conestoga, like Pa’s folks came West in, but just an old farm wagon, drawn by one weary horse, creaking and rumbling westward to the mountains, toward the little woods town where Pa thought he had an old uncle who owned a little two-bit sawmill. To create a mood or atmosphere
To show a reader a different way of life
To make action seem more real
To be the source of conflict or struggle
To symbolize an idea The Functions of a Setting Time and place where the action occurs Details that describe:
Time of day
Time of year
Real or made up Setting
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