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Analyzing literature

Analyzing literature

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Analyzing literature

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  1. Analyzingliterature Whatdoes it mean?

  2. Definition ”a carefulstudy of something to learnaboutits parts, whattheydo, and howthey are related to eachother” (Merriam-Webster)

  3. Morespecifically… • An analysis is not… • Retelling the story • A reviewdescribingwhat you liked or dislikedabout a novel • Instead, analyzingliteraturemeans… • Offering your ownunderstanding of the text you have read (sometimesreferred to as a thesisstatement) • Looking at the different aspects of a novel (themes, themedevelopment, characters) to seehowthey are related to eachother and contribute to your understanding • Supporting your understanding by usingevidence (quotes)

  4. Examples of starting points for a literaryanalysis text: • ”In The BookThief, Markus Zuzak shows ushowpowerfulwords and languagecan be and howwordscan be used for very different purposes” • ”In Of Mice and Men, the authortries to depict problems in American society by critiquingitsdouble social standards”

  5. How to usequotes in literaryanalysis • Usingquotes is a vital part of analyzingliterature. However, quotesalsohave to be properlyincorporatedinto your analytic text. • Topicsentence – In onesentence, describewhy you have chosen to use this particularquote, what it means. • Provide context – Briefly mentionwhere in the novel your quote is taken from • Cite passage – Always provide page numbers for your quotes • Analyze – Describe and discuss the importance of the passage in relation to your text as a whole

  6. Themes • A theme is a central idea or concept in a story. Usually this idea or concept, the theme, can be putintoone or a fewwords (All  American: Glossary of Literary Terms, Twoexamples of familiarthemes: • Loneliness in Of Mice and Men (generally all characters are troubled by not havinganyreal/true friends). • The power of language in The BookThief (the impact of words, learning to read and propaganda).

  7. Themedevelopment • Howthemes are shown in the narrative structure • The theme(s) in all literature is in more or less obviousways linked to specific points in time in the narrative; concretescenes and key events where the theme is manifested in a story. These points in time can be marked down on a plotline of a story.

  8. Characters • A person who is responsible for the thoughts and actionswithin a story, poem, or otherliterature. Characters are extremelyimportantbecausethey are the medium throughwhich a readerinteracts with a piece of literature. Everycharacter has his or herownpersonality, which a creativeauthoruses to assist in forming the plot of a story or creating a mood. The different attitudes, mannerisms, and evenappearances of characterscangreatlyinfluence the other major elements in a literary work, such as theme, setting, and tone. With this understanding of the character, a readercanbecomemoreaware of otheraspects of literature, such as symbolism, giving the reader a morecompleteunderstanding of the work. The character is one of the mostimportanttoolsavailable to the author.

  9. Ways to describecharacters in literature: Protagonist Antagonist Static or dynamic (round or flat) Character motivation Charactertraits http://www2.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/allam/geneal/glossary.htm#c, 2014-03-05

  10. How to correctly cite a quote: • Always remember to use your quote(s) as smoothly as possible. That is, make way for the quote by introducing or explaining the cited part in your text by using topic sentences. Examples: In the following quote you will easily see Sam’s mood: “I don’t like this, I’m scared”. “I hope she is still alive” is one of the things that Freaky says to herself, which points out that she suspects Riedmay have hurt Krista (156).

  11. Shorter quotes are normally incorporate into a sentence using a tag or signal phrase. Example: Rosenblumand Williamson argue that ". . ." (346). • If the quote is longer than four (4) lines you have to use the long quote format. This is a long quote: “Everycharacter has his or herownpersonality, which a creativeauthoruses to assist in forming the plot of a story or creating a mood. The different attitudes, mannerisms, and evenappearances of characterscangreatlyinfluence the other major elements in a literary work, such as theme, setting, and tone. With this understanding of the character, a readercanbecomemoreaware of otheraspects of literature” (Reid, Freaky Green Eyes, 345). • When you cite from a work of literature you wouldhave the character’sname in the signal phrase, ratherthan the author of the book. Example: “Go to hell”, Francesca said (23).

  12. Always end punctuation AFTER the page number. • A quote may be shortened down, as long as the meaning of said quote is not lost. This is an example of how you do this: Ried said: “I hate you because /…/ and it is all your fault” (34).

  13. Preparation work • Try to formulate your understanding of the text in a sentence or two • Think of onecharacter and onetheme that can be used to convey that understanding • In addition, find at leastthreetellingquotes that can be used as evidence to support the above • Read through your sparknotes to find inspiration