This year of English, I learned how to analyze literature. In this paper I will give an overview of all the important literary analysis points I learned this year.
The Parts of a Fiction Story
A fiction story has five different parts, plot, setting, character development, theme, and author’s style.
The plot of the story has five sub parts. The first, exposition which is the introduction to the story, usually the main characters and setting are introduced, the exposition usually starts at the very beginning of the story.
The rising action builds tension towards the climax or the highest point in the story, it may introduce some subplots along the way. The rising action usually begins at the end or after the first chapter.
The climax is the highest point of the story, since the rising action builds tension the climax usually shows you how the characters respond to this tension. The climax is probably the most important part of the story and usually starts a little over halfway through the story or book.
The falling action is the release to the tension, it is the part of the book where the tension caused by the rising action and climax is released.
The final part to the plot, the resolution is exactly what you might guess it is. It is the conclusion to the story.
Setting, character development, theme, and author’s style, are all very important parts to making a story unique and interesting.
The setting of the story tells you where the story is taking place, how the place looks, and what events have happened in this location.
Character development is how information of the characters is revealed by the author as the story goes on, or the way the author presents the characters in the story. Characters in a story can also be categorized as either primary, which is the character or characters that the story revolves around, they are the character or characters who play the most important roles in the story; or secondary. Secondary characters are not super important to the story like the primary ones, they usually have interaction with the main characters, but they don’t usually impact the outcome of the story; they are the supporting cast.
The theme of the story is the point that is trying to be made or the moral to be learned. The theme is not the same one for every person, so expect people to disagree with you when it comes to the theme of a story.
The author’s style, is the personal style of the author. It is the way the author presents he/she’s story. Every author has their own style, no matter how similar two authors styles are.
There are five major forms of literature, novel, short story, novella, drama, and poetry.
A novel is a long prose (prose is a written or spoken language, in its ordinary form without metrical structure),narrative that usually describes characters and events in a sequential way.
A short story, is very similar to a novel since it also written in prose. Short stories use the plot, resonance, and other dynamic components, but in a lesser degree than a novel.
A novella has fewer conflicts than a novel, but more complex ones then a short story.
Poetry is much different than the first three literature forms. A poem uses rhythm in addition to prosaic language. Poems read much differently than novels, and you have to read them in a different style to understand a poem properly; poems can also be very long or very short in length.
Drama is a special type of literature that is presented in the form of the performance arts. This can include plays, ballets, or other types of theater works. This type of literature is written as a story and then interpreted by actors. Drama has its own symbol. The symbol is two masks, one mask stands for comedy the other tragedy.
A genre is a term for any category of literature or other forms of art or entertainment, based on some set of style criteria.
Non-fiction and fiction is the largest distinction in literature when it comes to genres. Non-fiction literature mostly consists of histories of individuals or of some particular historic event. The two most common sub categories in non-fiction literature are biographies and autobiographies.
Biographies are books that are written by historians or researchers about some famous person in history.
Autobiographies are like a memoir or journal of the person who is the subject of the book.
Fiction literature has many sub genres much more than non-fiction does. Here are some of these sub genres.
Historical fiction is any piece of fiction literature written about an actual time in history, and the story contains varying degrees of history.
Science Fiction, is a story based on the impact of actual, imagined, or potential science. These stories are usually set in the future or on a completely different planet.
Fantasy stories are stories that have a strange or other world setting or characters. Usually the setting of a fantasy novel is in a completely different world.
A world view is what someone believes about the world they live in. World views also shape the way a person makes decisions and choices in everyday life; everyone has a worldview of some type. Most books or novels give an insight on what the author’s worldview is. An example of this is in the book, Little Men by Louisa May Allcot, while reading this book it is very easy to identify what the author’s worldview or views are, which are Transcendentalism(is the belief that everyone has some good in them) and Theism(which is the belief that God created the world and that God is real), since the characters in the story act in a way that shows these two beliefs. Another example of a book that is very easy to identify the author’s worldview is in the book Lion of the North by G.A Henty, like Little Men the characters in this book act in a way that shows the author’s beliefs which are Theism and Rationalism(which is a belief that actions should be based on reason and knowledge instead of religious belief or emotional response).
Terms For Poetry And Plays
There are many terms for poetry and plays, here are the most important.
The first person tells the story as if the author is retelling some personal adventure. You can identify the first person by looking for “I” or “my” in the writing.
The second person, is the person that is used by a speaker(first person), in referring to one to whom he or she is speaking, in English “you” is a second person pronoun.
The third person, is used by the speaker(first person), referring to anything or anyone other than the speaker or the one or ones being addressed.
Types of voice. In grammar a voice describes the relationship between the subject of the sentence and the action in the sentence; there are two main types of voice. Active voice, which is used to describe a sentence where the subject of the sentence is the cause of the action; and passive voice, which describes a sentence where the subject is the subject of the action in the sentence.
The assignment of human characteristics or behaviour to anything that is not a human is known as personification. Personification is most seen in novels with animal main characters, as well in many poems; subjects of personification can be, animals, forces of nature, and inanimate objects.
Soliloquy, means talking to yourself. Soliloquy is used in theater and literature to let the audience know what the characters are thinking. People usually don’t dialogue their conversations in their head but in theater it is not uncommon.
Symbol, is a device for literature that contains many layers of meaning, that is often concealed at first sight. It is also representative of several concepts or traits than those that are visible. The symbol is the part of a story that has a concealed meaning, basically.
Author’s use words and phrases to create a “mental image” for the reader; this is helpful for the reader to visualize more vividly while reading, this is known as imagery.
There are many important terms when it comes to theatrical plays, these terms are; Script, which is the text of the play, the script is what you read when reading a play, cast, which are the actors of the play, the introduction of the play is just like a normal novel. It is the intro to the play,
act is a marker for smaller section in a play, this generally is a change of location or characters; and finally the exit, which is the cue to the actors to leave the stage.
Almost all poetry uses a concept known as poetic foot. A foot in poetry, is a group of syllables consisting of a metrical unit. English poetry and poems consist of stressed and unstressed syllables, unlike ancient poetry which uses long and short syllables. Meter in poetry is the number of rhythm of a piece of poetry, this is determined by the number of feet in a line. The beat in poetry is the main accent or rhythmic unit to music or poetry.
There are many types of poetic feet, here are a few. Iamb(pronounced I-amb), a poetic foot that consists of one unstressed syllable which is then followed by one stressed syllable. Dactyl, a poetic foot in poetry that has one stressed syllable and is followed by two unstressed. And finally Trochee, this foot has one stressed followed by an unstressed syllable.
Poetry also has different types of poetic meters; some of these are, Trimeter, a line of verse that consists of three metrical feet, Pentameter, a line of verse that consists of five metrical feet, and Octameter, a line of verse that consists of eight metrical feet.
Rhythm is very important for poetry since it gives the poem a flow or songlike quality. Rhythm is a measured flow of words, and phrases in a verse or prose. This is determined by stressed and unstressed syllables. A verse without rhythm is known as a blank verse. There are many types of rhythm, each type uses different patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables.
These are the most important things I have learned in this year of English.