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Text interpretation Stylistic analysis
Text interpretation. Analysis • The purpose of Text Interpretation and Analysis is a literary and linguistic commentary in which the reader explains what the text reveals under close examination.
Text interpretation. Analysis 1) 2) 3) 4) Information about the author of the text; Summary (5 -6 sentences); The main part of analysis; Conclusion (main idea, message, your opinion);
Plot • A major function of plot is the representation of characters in action. Events of any kind, of course, inevitably involve people, and for this reason it is virtually impossible to discuss plot in isolation from character. • The plot of the traditional short story is often conceived of as moving through five distinct sections or stages: exposition, complication, crisis, falling action, resolution.
Plot • • 3. Crisis • • 2. Complication 4. Falling action • _______ ______ • 1. Exposition 5. Resolution • • Beginning Middle End
Exposition • The exposition is the beginning section in which the author provides the necessary background information, sets the scene, establishes the situation, and dates the action. It may also introduce the characters and the conflict, or the potential for conflict.
Complication • The complication which is sometimes referred to as the rising action, breaks the existing equilibrium and introduces the characters and underlying or inciting conflict (if they have not already been introduced by the exposition). The conflict is then developed gradually and intensified.
Crisis • The crisis (also referred to as the climax) is that moment at which the plot reaches its point of greatest emotional intensity; it is the turning point of the plot, directly precipitating its resolution.
Falling action. Resolution. • FALLING ACTION: Once the crisis has been reached, the tension subsides and the plot moves toward its appointed conclusion. • RESOLUTION: The final section of the plot is its resolution; it records the outcome of the conflict and establishes some new equilibrium or stability (conclusion, denoument).
The ordering of Plot • Chronological plotting represents the several episodes in direct way, tightly controlled; as in conventional five-stage detective stories. Each episode logically and inevitably unfolds from the one that preceded it, thereby generating a momentum that drives the plot forward its appointed resolution. • There also can be a stream of consciousness, in which the reader’s attention is centered on the protagonist’s unfolding state of mind as it wrestles with some internal conflict or problem
The ordering of Plot • Flashback - a summary or fully dramatized episode framed by the author in such a way as to make it clear that the events being discussed or dramatized took place at some earlier period of time.
Analyzing Plot 1. What is the conflict (or conflicts) on which the plot turns? Is it external, internal or a combination of the two? 2. What are the chief episodes or incidents that make up the plot? Is its development strictly chronological, or the chronology rearranged in some way? 3. Compare the plot’s beginning and end. What essential changes have taken place? 4. Describe the plot in terms of its exposition, complication, crisis, falling action and resolution. 5. Is the plot unified? Do the individual episodes logically relate to one another? 6. Is the ending appropriate to and consistent with the rest of the plot? 7. Is the plot plausible? What role, if any, do chance and coincidence play?
Character 1) Ability to establish the personalities of the characters themselves and to identify their intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities. 2) The techniques an author uses to create, develop, and present characters to the reader. 3) Whether the characters so presented are credible and convincing.
Character in Fiction • The major, or central, character of the plot is the protagonist; his opponent, the character against whom the protagonist struggles or contends is the antagonist. • Flat characters have much in common with the kind of stock characters who appear again and again in certain types of literary works: e. g. , the rich uncle of domestic comedy. • Round characters are just the opposite. They embody a number of qualities and traits, and are complex multidimensional characters of considerable intellectual and emotional depth who have the capacity to grow and change.
Methods of characterization • Direct: 1. Characterization through the use of names (Mr. Hide, Jago, Othello, Dethdemona); 2. Characterization through appearance; 3. Characterization by the author; • Indirect: 4. Characterization through the dialogue (tone of the voice, stress, vocabulary, etc. ); 5. Characterization through action;
Analyzing character • Who is the protagonist of the work and who (or what) is the antagonist? Describe the major traits and qualities of each. • What is the function of the minor characters? • Identify the characters in terms of whether they are flat or round, dynamic or static. • What methods does the author employ to establish and reveal the character? Is the method of characterization direct or indirect? • Are the actions of the characters properly motivated and consistent? • Are the characters of the work finally credible and interesting?
Setting • Setting encompasses both the physical locale that frames the action and the time of day or year, the climatic conditions and the historical period during which the action takes place; setting helps the reader visualize the action of the work, and thus adds credibility and an air of authenticity to the characters.
The Functions of Setting 1. Setting as background for action; 2. Setting as antagonist (the forces of nature function as a causal agent or antagonist, helping to establish conflict and to determine the outcome of events); 3. Setting as a means of creating appropriate atmosphere; 4. Setting as means of revealing character;
Analyzing setting • What is the work’s setting in space and time? • How does the author go about establishing setting? Does the author want the reader to see or feel the setting, or does the author want the reader both see and feel? What details of the setting does the author isolate and describe? • Is the setting important? If so, what is its function? Is it used to reveal, reinforce, or influence character, plot or theme? • Is the setting an appropriate one?
Point of view • A storyteller: a narrative voice, real or implied, that presents the story to the reader. The choice of point of view is the choice of who is to tell the story, who talks to the reader. It may be a narrator outside the work (omniscient point of view); a narrator inside the work, telling the story from a limited omniscient or first-person point of view; or apparently no one (dramatic point of view).
Analyzing point of view 1. What is the point of view? Who talks to the reader? Is the point of view consistent throughout the work or does it shift in some way? 2. Where does the narrator stand in relation to the work? Where does the reader stand? 3. To what source of knowledge or information does the point of view give the reader access? What sources of knowledge or information does it serve to conceal? 4. If the work is told from the point of view of one of the characters, is the narrator reliable? Does his her personality, character or intellect affect an ability to interpret the events or the other characters correctly? 5. Given the author’s purposes, is the chosen point of view an appropriate and effective one? 6. How would the work be different if told from another point of view?
Theme 1) To some, who think of literature mainly as a vehicle for teaching, propaganding a favorite idea, or encouraging some form of correct conduct, theme may mean the moral or lesson that can be extracted from the work; 2) Theme is also used sometimes to refer to the basic issue, problem or subject with which the work is concerned: for example, “the nature of man”, “the discovery of truth”, or “the brotherhood of man”; 3) Or, we may speak of theme as a familiar pattern or motif that occurs again and again in literature,
Identifying theme When we attempt to identify theme of a work of fiction we are attempting to formulate in our own words the statement about life or human experience that is made by the total work. The task is often far from easy because it necessary involves us in the analysis of a number of elements in their relation to one another and to the work as a whole.
Analyzing Theme 1. Does the work have a theme? Is it stated or implied? 2. What generalization(s) or statement(s) about life or human experience does the work make? 3. What elements of the work contribute most heavily to the formulation of theme? 4. Does theme emerge organically and naturally, or does the author seem to force theme upon the work? 5. What is the value or significance of the work’s theme? Is it topical or universal in its application?
Symbol • A symbol, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance…a visible sign of something invisible”. • In literature symbols – in the form of words, images, objects, settings, events and characters – are often used deliberately to suggest and reinforce meaning, to provide enrichment by enlarging and clarifying the experience of the work, and to help to organize and unify the whole.
Analyzing Style and Tone • Describe the author’s diction. Is the language concrete or abstract, formal or informal, literal or figurative? What parts of speech occur most often? • What use does the author make of imagery, figurative devices (simile, metaphor, personification), patterns of rhyme and sound (alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia), repetition? • Are the sentences predominantly long or short; simple or compound, or complex; loose, periodic, or balanced? • Describe the author’s tone. Is it, for example, sympathetic, detached, condescending, serious, humorous, or ironic? How is the tone established and revealed? • What kind(s) of irony does the author use: verbal irony, irony of situation, dramatic irony? What purposes does the irony serve? • What are the distinctive characteristics of the author’s style? In what ways is the style appropriate to the work’s theme?
Notes on Style • Periphrasis is a stylistic device consisting in the replacement of one word denoting an object by its description in a round-about way, which brings our one of its features or qualities; “a woman of few ideas with an immense power of concentration”; • Polysyndeton is a repetition of conjunctions in close succession; “older and wiser and better people”; • Framing – when the same pattern is repeated at the beginning and at the end; • Zeugma is a stylistic device in which the word is used in relation to two (or more) other words in a different sense; “Nicholas felt perfectly capable of being in disgrace and in a gooseberry garden at the same time”
Notes on Style • Syntactical stylistic devices: 1. Repetition; 2. Syntactical parallelism or a parallel structure – repetition of the same syntactical structure; 3. Antithesis or contrast – opposition of two ideas or features thus heightening the effect of the utterance; • Lexical stylistic devices: 1. An epithet – an attributive word of phrase expressing some quality of a person, thing of phenomenon; “the cynical confidence” 2. A simile – an expressed imaginative comparison based on the likeness of two objects or ideas belonging to different classes; as if, like, such as; “it was like watching Atticus walk into the street”, “the girl is like rose”;
Notes on Style 3. A metaphor – an implied imaginative comparison expressed in one word or in a number of words and sentences; “the thought came down crashing my brain” 4. Irony is a figure of speech by means of which a word or words express the direct opposite of what their meaning denote; “how clever of you!” – meaning how silly he was.