Discovering Voice Mr. Yorke Teacher Consultant - NVWP
What is voice? Voice is created through conscious choices. As a writer, you purposefully choose your tools.
Marc Chagall Self-Portrait
Self Portrait with Brushes, otherwise known as Autoportrait, is one of the more important Marc Chagall paintings because it gives us a glimpse of the artist through his own eyes. This communicates more about him than any biography ever could. The way an artist sees himself is often a window straight to his soul, and Chagall’s image of himself in Autoportrait is no exception. Self ImageThe fact that Chagall chose to paint himself in the profile view speaks of his (low) self-esteem, as the profile shows less of his face. It also serves to give him an intense and passionate appearance, which certainly mimics his work. StyleAutoportrait, though completed in 1965, appears to show a younger Chagall, but the style of the painting is definitely from later in his career. Note the complex brush techniques, especially in the area of his suit and its lapels. Unlike earlier Marc Chagall paintings, this painting seems more focused and less far-fetched than some of his earlier works. PurposeOne of the less subtle, but often overlooked aspects of Autoportrait is the fact that Chagall is shown doing what he loves, painting. He could have chosen any number of settings to immortalize himself in, but he chose the one thing that he was most passionate about. The purpose of Autoportrait was to make Chagall synonymous with his paintings. Not too many people want to be remembered primarily by what they did to earn a living; but for Chagall it was so much more than that, it was a way of life.
Debussy • Clair de Lune • http://www.1stpiano.com/clair-de-lune/
As you consider the conscious choices writer’s make, ask yourself some fundamental questions: 1. What is he/she (or the work) saying?(What does the work mean?) 2.How do you know? (What evidence can you find in the work to determine meaning?) 3.How does he/she do that? (What tools does the writer use to create meaning and how does he/she use these tools?)
Voice in Reading/Writing The little fish swam upstream and died. Think about this carefully. Is this sentence sad? (This is a rhetorical question.) Don’t focus on the idea of a dying fish. Instead, focus on the sentence itself and the effect it produces. Does the sentence make you feel sad, or like crying, when you read it? Why or why not? (Again, a rhetorical question.)
The little fish swam upstream and died. Most people will agree that the sentence is not very sad. Why? (This is NOT a rhetorical question. Fire away!) What specific characteristics in the sentence keep it from being sad? (Again, NOT a rhetorical question. Respond and save me!) As you identify these characteristics, you are beginning to look at the tools writers have to choose from as they create voice.
Your Turn Write a sad version of the sentence, The little fish swam upstream and died. What did you do to make it sad? In other words, whatconscious choicesdid you make? As you make this sentence sad, you are on your way to usingvoicein your writing.
Elements of Voice Writing with a clear voice doesn’t just happen; it requires conscious choices. • figurative language • imagery • details • diction • syntax • tone
Poetry Analysis • “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser. • what elements of voice can you identify in this poem?
Advertising Sales Flyer Catalog Internet MIHARA MY-9 LOVE (PUMA – WOMEN’S) Color: Camouflage Price: $180.00 Launched as MY-9 LOW for the ﬁrst time in Spring-Summer 04 the MY-9 LOVE is a very special re-edition offered exclusively to DC 6. It features a special execution camouﬂage pattern upper with ﬂower print and embroidery. Its ironic soul is unmistakably “Mihara”. Inspired by past Puma short track trainers made for runners in West Germany this re-edition style merges the MY ‘egg sole’ with the design of a past model. Mihara has always felt that expressing his feelings about the future is more important than denying the past. Staying true to this motto he designed this model combining the past and the future in contrast. Printed and embroidered full grain upper, textile lining and moulded PU outsole. What elements of voice can you identify in these advertisements?
Your Turn: Advertising Guru Remove one of your shoes. Using the elements of voice (diction, detail, figurative language, imagery, syntax, tone), craft an ad to sell your footwear. Be ready to share! How does this all translate to college admission essays? Are there any corollaries?
Tying Up Loose Ends • Read sample student college admission essay. • Begin brain dumping...what unique stories do you have to tell?
College Board • Http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/9406.html • Keep Your Focus Narrow and Personal • Prove It • Be Specific
FASHION AS A METAPHOR FOR STYLE One way to introduce literary style to students is to think about fashion styles and how we dress differently for different situations.
Casual Chic: appearance is spare and lean yet ripe with elegant padding.
Credits • Dean, Nancy. Discovering Voice: Voice Lessons for Middle and High School • Advertisements: JC Penny, Land’s End, Puma THANKS for your ATTENTION!