english i: short stories comprehension and analysis

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  • ENGLISH I: SHORT STORIES Comprehension and Analysis
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  • Harvard Reading Skills Look around the text Annotate Outline, Summarize, Analyze Look for repetitions and patterns Contextualize Compare and Contrast
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  • The Most Dangerous Game pp 19-36 Plot: the events/circumstances that make up a story Exposition- The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story. Conflict- The essence of fiction; it creates plot. The conflicts (or obstacles/problems) we encounter can usually be identified as one of four types (see below). Rising Action- A series of events that builds from the conflict. It begins with the inciting force and ends with the climax.
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  • Plot continued Climax- The climax is the result of the crisis. It is the high point of the story for the reader. Frequently, it is the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion. The point at which the outcome of the conflict can usually be predicted. Falling Action- The events after the climax which close the story. Resolution- (aka denouement) Rounds out and concludes the action.
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  • Plot Triangle
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  • Types of Conflict Internal: problem within oneself (person versus self) examples: a major decision, insanity, difficult emotions External: person has a problem with outside forces Person v Person Person against another personcould be mental, emotional, physical, etc. Person v Society Person against a collective groupcould be oppressive society, etc. Person v Nature Person against natural forcesex: weather, terrain, etc. Person v Supernatural Person versus forces that arent naturalex: God, superheroes, etc. Person v Technology Person against science/technologyex: Terminator, robots, etc.
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  • Setting Definition: Where and when the plot takes place(ex: 1915; London, England) Importance: Setting can influence the action of the story, and can also help establish mood
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  • Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark
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  • Point of View (POV) Definition: the narrators position in relation to the story being told TYPES First personI, me, my, our, wethe narrator is directly involved in the story 2 nd personyou, you all (usually in self-help books, guide books, and DIY manuals) 3 rd personthey, he, she, itthe narrator is removed from the action in the story/ not a character (most common POV used in novels, short stories, etc.) Omniscientknows thoughts and actions of characters Limitedlimited to only what is observed/heard; doesnt know thoughts
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  • Diction Diction: Element of style an authors word choice; affects tone; determined based on purpose and audience Example: "Dearest reader, I humbly entreat you to eschew the latest celebrity tittle-tattle and instead devote your attention to diction and tone." Sophisticated/elevated word choice very formal versus "Listen up! Drop the gossip magazine and get with the diction/tone program!" Informal/colloquial word choice used with peers/friends/people of equal or lower status
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  • Tone Definition: implied attitude of the author/speaker toward the subject/audience; determined by diction Review the tone descriptors on your handoutthese are great words to use to describe the authors tone! How does tone influence the meaning of a text? (Part of our essential question today!)
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  • Connotation and Denotation Denotation: the literal, dictionary definition meaning of a word Connotation: the commonly understood, subjective cultural association of meaning with a word, in addition to the dictionary definition For example, we use many different terms for young people. While little one and brat both literally refer to a young person, little one usually has a positive connotation (association), whereas brat typically has a negative connotation. You wouldnt want to compliment a young mother by calling her child a cute little brat. Other examples: Stink versus aroma Reckless plan versus daring plan Easygoing friend versus lazy friend Answer with arrogance versus answer with confidence
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  • Positive, Negative, and Neutral Connotations POSITIVE= LITTLE ONE NEUTRAL=CHILDNEGATIVE=BRAT
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  • Positive, Negative, and Neutral Connotations POSITIVE= STROLLING NEUTRAL=WALKING NEGATIVE=TRUDGING
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  • Character and Characterization Characterization the process of revealing the personality of a character Character- a person in a story, poem, or play (sometimes animals) Ways to reveal character: 1. Letting us hear the character speak 2. Describing how they look or dress 3. Letting us listen to the characters inner thoughts and feelings 4. Revealing what other characters think or say about the character 5. Showing us what the character does how they act. 6. Tell us directly what the characters personality is like: cruel, kind, sneaky, etc. Indirect Characterization- (first 5 ways) we have to use our own judgment to decide what a character is like, based on the evidence the writer gives us. Direct characterization- (#6) we dont have to decide; were told
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  • Character (continued) Characters are classified as: Static- one who does not change much (ex: Zaroff in MDG) Dynamic- character changes as a result of the storys events (ex: Rainsford in MDG) Flat- has only one or two traits (ex: Ivan in MDG) Round- like a real person, has many different character traits (usually, protagonists in novels, plays, etc.) Motivation- the fears or conflicts that drive a character (ex: vengeance, fear, greed, love, boredom) Motivation plays a role in characterization as wellby analyzing motivation, we can make judgments re: character traits
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  • Character Classification Staticalways meanDynamicchanges
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  • Character Classification Flatjust evil Roundstubborn, tender- hearted, playful, loyal, etc.
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  • The Scarlet Ibis pp 333-344
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  • Summary: The narrator has to care for his younger brother Doodle, who is physically disabled. The narrator is frustrated by this burden, but succeeds in teaching Doodle to walk. After the narrator leaves Doodle in the middle of a storm, Doodle dies trying to meet the narrators expectations. Setting: Southern America, ~1918 (WWI) Characters: Doodle and Brother (narrator); Mama, Daddy, Aunt Nicey, Bleeding tree, Scarlet Ibis, Mr. Heath
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  • The Scarlet Ibis Information (cont) Conflicts: Doodles disabilities Brother wanting a brother to play withDoodle is more of a burden (p. 335) Brother and Doodle trying to overcome disabilities and walk, run, paddle, etc. Scarlet Ibis dies in yard Thunderstormmust get back to the house, but Doodle falls behind Resolution: Doodle does learn to walk, and the boys become closer than theyd probably ever imagine. While trying to teach Doodle to run (and being somewhat mean-spirited), Brother leaves him behind in a storm. When he goes back to get him, Doodle is dead and has blood on the front of his shirt. His figure resembles that of the dead Scarlet Ibis from the yard earlier that afternoon. Brother sounds serious and nostalgic in his tone while portraying this event from earlier in his life, from which he most likely felt significant guilt, sorrow, and helplessness.
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  • Symbolism Definition: A symbol is a person, a place, an activity, or an object that stands for something beyond itself. Examples:
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  • Symbolism in The Scarlet Ibis Red Scarlet Ibis Casket Blighted summer Rain
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  • Dialogue Some vocabulary to know Dialogue= character conversation An essential part of most short stories and novels. It is always better to show or have happen than to explain or to describe, and dialogue is one way to show and not tell. Dialogue Tags= identify who is speaking Examples of common dialogue tags include: I said Sallie yelled She said muttered Janice Fred said said Max Mark commentedasked William
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  • Dialogue Rule 1 All talking needs to be surrounded by quotation marks ("). "Go to your cupboard - I mean, your bedroom," he wheezed at Harry. The first (") is used just before the first word that the person says, and the second (") is used just after the last word. The comma has to go inside the quotation marks.
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  • Dialogue Rule 2 Instead of using a period at the end of the speech, use a comma, if you are going to tell who is talking. "Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mum's eyes. After the word baby, Rowling used a comma because she was letting the readers know it was the giant speaking. But after the word eyes, she could use a period to finish the sentence.
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  • Dialogue Rule 3 If you use a question mark, you don't need to change to a comma. "What do they think they're doing, keeping a thing like that locked up in a school?" said Ron finally. "If any dog needs exercise, that one does. After the word school, Rowling used a question mark. Usually, we use a comma