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SJU ENG 101 - METHOD FOR ANALYSIS OF FICTION FOR COLLEGE BOUND notes

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METHOD FOR ANALYSIS OF FICTION FOR COLLEGE BOUNDI. NATURE OF THE STORYA. Identify the conflict. Can it be described as the individual against nature, a person against fate, person against person, or the individual against his/her selfB. Is the story primarily concerned with plot, with character, with setting, or with idea?I. PLOT and STRUCTUREA. Trace the main events in the action. How does the plot affect the structure of the story?B. Explain the development of the plot1. Exposition, complications, turning point (climax) and denouement2. Is the suspense a main element of the plot? What techniques does the author use to create and sustain suspense?3. How does the author present the exposition? For example, how does he describe the physical and psychological setting, the identity and relationships of the characters, and the important offstage events that occur before or during the action? Is the handling of these details clumsy or skillful, implicit or explicit, natural or contrived?1. Is there an emotional climax and , if so, does it correspond with the structural climax in the story?C. How does the action of the story reveal or develop character?D. How do the events illuminate the theme of the story?II. TIMEA. How does the author use time in structuring the story? Does the writer present the story primarily in summary passages (compressions of lengthy action) or in scenes (passages of immediate action and dialogue)? Is there an effective balance between the two methods?B. How does the handling of time affect the presentation and understanding of character? Which use of time-summary or scenic-makes the reader more vividly aware of the character’s identity?III. CHARACTERA. How important is the author’s analysis of a character’s state of mind or motivation?B. If the author does not analyze the character, how does the story encourage the reader to make an analysis of the character or to infer his feelings, state of mind, and motivation?B. How does the author use the following techniques in presenting and developing the characters in the story:Physical description of the character (Physique, clothes, manners, characteristic gestures): speech; action; relationships between a character’s words and actions; interaction between the character and the physical environment; interaction with social environment (character’s estimate of others and their estimate of him or her); the character’s ideas and attitudes about him/her self, toward others, toward life, toward the world.C. To what extend do the major characters develop or change? Which characters are static and why? To what extent are the character individualized? To what extend are they stereotyped?D. Evaluate the characterizations according to individuality, intelligibility, credibility, vividness, vitality, and consistency.A. To what extent can a reader identify with the major character(s)? How does the degree of identification affect the reading/understanding of the story?IV. SETTINGA. How the setting create or Reinforce the mood in the story? Does the physical setting correspond to or contrast with the psychological tone?B. To what extent does the setting reinforce the central idea in the story? Are there symbolic elements—e.g., light, darkness, weather conditions—that relate to the theme.V. TECHNIQUEA. Point of View1. What is the narrative point of view—first person involved or observer; third person limited; third person dramatic, omniscient? Is the same point of view used consistently? If there are shifts in the perspective, what is their purpose?2. What is the author’s attitude toward the characters and action—didactic, satirical, clinical, sympathetic, facetious (teasing), sarcastic, cynical, ironic?VI. SYMBOLISMA. Is there one unifying symbol in the story?B. Are there central symbols person? Objects? Terms?C. How does the central symbol, or symbolic cluster, or pattern, illuminate the theme?VII. THEMEA. Formulate a statement of the theme for a the story. What major moral or philosophical values does the story suggest? What statement about human experience does the story make? Is the theme explicitly stated or implied in the action?B. What major elements communicate the theme—character, symbol, action?METHOD FOR ANALYSIS OF FICTION FOR COLLEGE BOUNDI. NATURE OF THE STORYA. Identify the conflict. Can it be described as the individual against nature, a person against fate, person against person, or the individual against his/her selfB. Is the story primarily concerned with plot, with character, with setting, or with idea?I. PLOT and STRUCTUREA. Trace the main events in the action. How does the plot affect the structure of the story?B. Explain the development of the plot1. Exposition, complications, turning point (climax) and denouement2. Is the suspense a main element of the plot? What techniques doesthe author use to create and sustain suspense?3. How does the author present the exposition? For example, how does he describe the physical and psychological setting, the identity andrelationships of the characters, and the important offstage events that occur before or during the action? Is the handling of these details clumsy or skillful, implicit or explicit, natural or contrived?1. Is there an emotional climax and , if so, does it correspond with the structural climax in the story?C. How does the action of the story reveal or develop character?D. How do the events illuminate the theme of the story?II. TIMEA. How does the author use time in structuring the story? Does the writer present the story primarily in summary passages (compressions of lengthy action) or in scenes (passages of immediate action and dialogue)? Is there an effective balance between the two methods?B. How does the handling of time affect the presentation and understanding of character? Which use of time-summary or scenic-makes the reader more vividly aware of the character’s identity?III. CHARACTERA. How important is the author’s analysis of a character’s state of mind or motivation?B. If the author does not analyze the character, how does the story encourage the reader to make an analysis of the character or to infer his feelings, state of mind, and motivation?B. How does the author use the following techniques in presenting and developing the characters in the story: Physical description of the character (Physique, clothes, manners, characteristic gestures): speech; action; relationships between a character’s words and


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