Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Post #1 Literary Devices

Learning Goal:  Understand the use of imagery, figurative language, and symbolism in fiction.
1.        Identify a literary device used in the novel.  Copy the line and page number.
2.       Explain how the device helped to make meaning clear.
3.       What effect did the device have on the mood, tone, or message?
Refer to pages 538-539 of the blue Holt Elements of Literature textbook for detailed descriptions of literary devices.  The main literary devices include imagery, figurative language, and symbolism. According to our textbook they can be defined as:
Imagery is language that creates pictures.  Imagery can reach our other senses.  It can help us not only to see something but also to smell or taste it, hear it, and feel its texture and temperature. (Example: “The first stroke of the young violinist’s bow produced a piercing whine, so unintended that the artist’s eyes rolled in sympathy with his audience.” )
Figurative language includes similes, metaphors, and personification.
In a simile, a writer compares two unlike things using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ or ‘than’ or ‘resembles.’
(Example:  “The sea was as smooth as glass.” )
In a metaphor a writer compares two things directly, without using the words like, as, than, or resembles.  (Example:  “The sea was a sheet of glass.”)
In personification something nonhuman is given human characteristics.  (Example:  “The sea sang a song of peace.”)
In literature a symbol is a person, place, or thing that stands for itself and for something beyond itself as well. For example, a red rose might stand for or symbolize love.

Post #2 Character Development

Learning Goal:  Recognize that the lesson a character learns can often be stated as a theme.
Often, understanding how a character develops will help the reader understand the theme.
As is written in our red Reader’s Handbook… As you read you’ll want to be aware of the differences between static and dynamic characters.  Static characters stay the same throughout the story.  They hardly change at all.  In contrast, dynamic characters change from beginning to end.  They often learn something.  That change is something the author expects you as a reader to recognize and interpret.  Ask yourself what the author is suggesting by those changes. 
Since change may be a real clue to the theme of a novel, describe here one change you see in the main character so far. 
1.       Find one passage that shows a change in the character.
2.       Copy it down.
3.       Tell us the page number. 
4.       Then, explain how this passage shows a change in the character.

Post #3 Theme

Learning Goal:  Understand theme as conveyed through characters, actions, and images.
Please read pages 220-221 of our blue Holt Elements of Literature textbook for more information about theme.  According to our textbook:
The plot of a story is only what happens in it.
The theme is what the story reveals about life.
What happens in a story may help readers infer the theme, but the theme goes beyond the specific story to state a truth about real life.  A life lesson.
To discover the theme of a story, the reader will have to ‘read between the lines.’  Authors don’t usually come right out and state the theme word for word.  Authors want us to infer the theme based on what the character discovers or how they change.
The lesson a character learns can be stated as a theme.  Always state the theme as a complete sentence. 
Remember that plot is what happens in a story and theme is what the story reveals about life. 
1.       What is one major theme of the novel?
2.       Support your answer by referring to a significant part of the plot.

Post #4 Conflict and Resolution

Learning Goal:  To identify the main conflict of the plot and the way it is resolved.
Please read pages 2-3 of our blue Holt Elements of Literature textbook for more information about conflict.  According to our textbook:
A conflict is a struggle.  It is a problem the character is trying to deal with or a goal the character is trying to reach. The author tells us about the conflict at the beginning of the story in the exposition. 
Rising action plot events are events in the story where the character takes action to solve the conflict. 
The climax of a story is the most exciting moment of the story.  This is the point where you find out how the conflict will soon be resolved.
In the final part of the plot, the character’s problems are solved one way or another.  We say that the conflict is resolved.
1.       Describe the main conflict of the story.
2.       Describe the climax of the story. Include page numbers or chapter numbers.
3.       Describe where the conflict is resolved.  Include page numbers or chapter numbers.