Analysing a prose Context Content / plot Characters Theme (s) Narrative voice Diction / language Literary techniques Structure What clues are given about when / where the extract is set? What is the passage about? Who do we meet? How are they presented to us? By what they do / say? What other characters / the narrator say about them? With whom do we have empathy / for whom do we have sympathy and why? Who do we dislike and why? What central ideas are contained in the extract? What views are expressed about them and by whom? Who is speaking / writing? A character? An omniscient narrator? 1st or 3rd person? Effect of this? What tone is created by their voice? Word level - Be aware of descriptive / figurative (simile / metaphor / personification) technical / neologism / slang / pun / vivid / unusual / emotive / colour / sensory language Think about adjectives and adjective phrases Are there examples of exaggeration / hyperbole? Are there examples of contrast or juxtaposition / comparison? Look for contrasts / patterns / repeated words and images the effect they create Look for adverbs of time, manner and place (when / how / where?) Is the register formal / colloquial? To what effect? Is dialect used? To what effect? What mood (atmosphere) is created and by what means? Look for onomatopoeia / alliteration / assonance / consonance / sibilance / length of vowel sounds etc Humour / irony Sentence level – simple / compound / complex or a variety? - statement / directive (command) / interrogative (question) / exclamation - active / passive clauses - conditional clauses / sentences - patterns / rhythms - syntax – unusual / inverted - parenthesis / ellipsis / suspension points - noun and pronoun / adjective / verb phrases Where are the above used and to what effect? Are the tenses used important in any way? Audience Text level – length of paragraphs - sequencing of plot / character details – chronological / non-chronological - symbols - flashback and forward - stream of consciousness - is dialogue used? To what effect? - build up of tension / suspense to climax / anti-climax (bathos) How do you respond to the extract? What is your relationship to it – close / distant? Why?