Presentation1 - Year11LiteratureSSC

Strathmore Secondary College
Unit 1 and 2 Literature 2013
Student Roll
Course Handouts
Submission of homework
Intro to Literature
Welcome to Year 11 Literature!
Why did you choose to study
1. Write down 5 reasons
2. Discuss with the person beside you
What is Literature???
Write down your definition.
Find a different person to compare your ideas
Literature – a definition:
(Write this in your books)
Writings in which expression and form, in
connection with ideas of permanent and
universal interest, are characteristic or
essential features.
1. Underline the key words of this definition.
2. Use this definition to come up with 10 texts
that you would categorise as literature
Literary Fiction
Popular Fiction
Can have a strong plot,
but this feature is not
necessarily dominant
Develops the plot with a
strong sense of narrative
forward movement
Requires more
concentrated, sustained
attention when reading
Requires less
concentrated type of
reading than Literary
Is interested in the
Is less inclined to dwell
nuances and complexities on the minutiae of
of language and the
experience or the
human experiences
description of a
TASK 1: Look at your list of literary texts again.
Do they fit the ideas from the table?
TASK 2: Now make a list of the texts you
read/viewed in the holidays. Put a mark beside
the ones that you would class as literature.
Now we know what it is, why do we
study it???
1. List 5 reasons why the study of literature is
2. Share you 5 reasons with 2 other people (not
the same people as last time)
Circle activity – double circle discussions
Form an outer and inner circle – facing each
2 minutes for each discussion point
1. What is your favourite piece of literature?
2. What literary character best represents you?
3. What literary character would you most
aspire to be like? Why?
4. What literary character do you dislike the
most? Why?
1. What are your strengths in English?
2. What are your weaknesses in English
3. What do you hope to get out of the
Literature course?
Learning Goal:
To understand the context of Louis Nowra and
Louis Nowra:
• Born on December 12th 1950
• One of Australia’s leading playwrights
• He is a significant cultural commentator
What does the word CONTEXT mean??
What is Louis Nowra’s context?
Write down your definition
Context: Yours and Nowra’s
• Context: environment, surroundings,
circumstances, time period……
• When we think of context, we think of
‘where’ and ‘when’ a text was created. This
impacts the meaning of the text.
• Remember – the context of the texts, writer
and audience can be different!
Context Definition:
Copy the definition into your workbook
1. The parts surrounding a written or spoken
word or passage that can throw light on its
2. The interrelated conditions in which
something exists or occurs
Your Context…
• What is your context? Consider the era in
which you are born and live, the place you
live, social and political issues that impact you,
family influences…?
• What influences your life and your view of the
Write these ideas in your book
Reflect on your holiday homework…
What was Nowra’s context??
When did he write ‘Cosi’?
Why did he choose the setting?
What were the major social and political
issues presented in ‘Cosi’
TASK: Discuss with the person beside you. Take
notes in your workbook.
Quotes from the introductory notes
that might help you…
• autobiographical re-construction
• Myriad collection of differently and
imperfectly remembered situations
• Nowra investigates our culture through
metaphor, parable and influence
• Details with frightening precision the tragedy
and humour of every day lives
Nowra’s Context
• When he wrote the play he was going through one of
his most difficult periods in life
• The character of Lewis is loosely based on Nowra
himself. At 21 he took a job of directing a play in an
institution. He felt terror and responsibility.
• Nowra felt 21 was a major turning point in his
understanding of people.
• Both of his grandmothers suffered from mental illness.
He was interested in peoples’ perception of the
mentally ill and the treatment they received
Your Perceptions…
Discuss the following in groups:
• How did people view the mentally ill 100 years ago? 50
years ago? Today?
• What has changed? What is similar?
• How do you view the mentally ill? Why do you hold
these perceptions?
• Do you know someone with a mental illness? What are
their experiences?
Think back to last year and your study of ‘Curious
incident of the dog in the night time’
• How does he see the world?
• How does society view him?
• How did studying this text alter your perceptions
of people with a mental illness?
TASK: Discuss these ideas with the person beside
Write down 2 ideas for each dot point
‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ clip
Homeland clip
Use of humour in ‘Cosi’
• In ‘Cosi’ humour is used to move the play along
and to reflect critically on what is often a tragedy
of human suffering.
• The play exposes weaknesses and stupidity, it
ridicules our prejudices and popular institutions.
• The comic element links the suffering and the
existence of a range of individuals.
Importance of Setting
• Setting – the burnt out stage. This is a
metaphor for the world at large.
• The Vietnam war (1962-1975) frames the
drama – war, anti war beliefs. Shows the
madness on the outside.
• The play says just as much about life outside
the institution as it does about life inside.
Theatre and Life
• Metaphor for the real world torn apart by the
chaos of war. It implies that theatre not only
has a political role in the real world, but also
that it’s potentially as powerful as a
moratorium in voicing an opposition to war.
• The merging of real and illusory worlds thus
draws strong parallels between art and life,
highlighting the importance of art in our lives
‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ – the Opera
• The Play within the play – Cosi Fan Tutte
This creates ironies – juxtaposition of
moral/immoral behaviours, sanity and insanity
Use the introductory notes in your text,
‘Frankenstein’s Mozart: The making of Cosi’ and
‘Trial by Madmen’, to develop your
understanding of the play.
Use the handout to take notes. Due next lesson.
Things to consider when studying a play
1. What creates meaning for us when we see a stage
Obviously reading and watching a play are very different.
2. How do we respond when we read the script,
compared to when we watch it being acted out?
3. What are the positives and negatives of the stage?
4. How is it different to the form of film?
Some theatre devices that create
Stage directions and performance aspects
Props and sets
Costumes and characters’ physical appearances
Stage positions and movement
Sound effects
Narrative structure
As we read the play, consider how these devices help to
create meaning.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Characters
Act 1 Scene 1
Aspects to consider
Learning Objective:
To understand how meaning is created in
Act 1, Scene 1
You will need to discuss the following discussion
points in groups and take notes.
Leave a space under each of your answers to add to
your notes later
What does the theatre represent?
• How is light and darkness used?
• What does the darkness symbolise?
How are the characters introduced?
How do they interact with each other?
What do they represent in this Act?
What is revealed about them?
• The opening scene is very practical: it introduces us to
Lewis and his role in the play; to each of the patients, and
to Mozart’s opera. (This is almost a character in itself!)
• We see how these characters relate to the opera, and what
these relationships represent about each character.
• Lucy and Nick represent Lewis’ knowledge and experience
from the outside world
• Lewis is the central character – but is so lacking in
confidence that Lucy initially takes control
• It is a physical setting for the play and also a
symbolic space for the narrative to inhabit.
• It is a burnt out theatre – as mentioned in
your introductory notes
• The darkness represents the nature of the theatre and of
performance: until a theatrical work has been rehearsed
and put together, it is nothing but an idea and there is no
light or sound.
• At this moment of the play, all that exists is possibility. So
far we are at the beginning and there is not magic.
• The darkness also represent Lewis’ lack of knowledge,
preparedness and inspiration – he is ‘in the dark’ about
what to expect from the patients and from his role.
• The stage direction ‘a chink of daylight enters’, is perhaps
symbolic of Lewis bringing with him a glimmer of the
outside world into the institution
Reading Journal
Imagine you are a theatre reviewer. What would
you say about the opening scene of the play?
Try to comment on:
Characterisation – how were the characters
introduced and presented?
Setting – what does it symbolise?
Key ideas – what were the key issues?
Language – why was it used?
Act 1 Scene 1
In Act 1 Nowra introduced key ideas of mental
illness, institutions, social workers, love and fidelity
and the importance of the Arts, war, reality and
illusion (a lot for one act!!)
TASK: You are going to write a detailed paragraph
on 1 of these key idea
You need to write about HOW the key idea is
conveyed. How do we know what Nowra’s opinions
are about this key idea?
In your paragraph include discussion of the theatrical
techniques we have discussed, and how they develop
• Characterisation: how characters behave, interact,
dialogue, appearance (Consider stage directions!)
• Setting: what it symbolises in relation to the key idea
• Language: what impact does the language have? How
does it help create meaning?
• Tone: what is the mood of the opening scene? How
does this develop the key idea?
To write this paragraph, you need to ‘jump in’! No introduction – just a
paragraph. Choose your focus idea and start writing about how it is
Eg. In Act one Scene one of Louis Nowra’s play ‘Cosi’, the issue of
mental illness is quickly introduced. Nowra relies on his own context to
develop his central character ‘Lewis’, who is cast into a ‘burnt out’ and
‘pitch black’ theatre. This darkness symbolises…….
Nowra emphasises the stigma placed on the mentally ill through Nick’s
offhand comment that mad actors are bad enough, but madmen…’
The negative attitude towards those with a mental illness is further
conveyed by Justin and his use of the negative connotation of the word
queasy. …….
Nowra uses black humour, especially through the characterisation of
Doug, to provide relief from the seriousness of the issue. Doug’s
offhanded comment that when you want a lobotomy you just can’t get
it, allows the audience to relate to the characters through their
The play is naturalistic in style. Doug’s colloquialisms of poofter and
dunny engage the audience as it is Australian and contemporary.
Description of Setting pg. 1
A burnt out theatre. It is day outside but pitch
black inside the theatre. A heavy door opens, a
chink of daylight enters, as do three people: Lewis,
Lucy and his friend.
Comment on Nowra’s choice of setting. What
does it represent? Consider the idea of:
• the darkened, destroyed theatre
• use of light
• tone
Views and values
Key ideas
Narrative structure
What is wrong with this paragraph about the setting?
The opening setting is of a theatre; in a theatre. This
shows that the theatre is a stage for society and the
world. Louis shows there isn’t any hope because it is
dark, but maybe some hope will come because there
is a chink of light.
his views
Look for
Louis Nowra’s choice of the opening setting Where
does it
in his play ‘Cosi’ introduces his cynical
come in
views on key social issues of the 1960s and the text?
modern society. The ironic use of the ‘burnt
out theatre’ that is ‘pitch black’ is a
on tone.
metaphor of the world as a stage,
Describe it.
conveying a bleak tone of moral
destruction and hopelessness in regards to
both war and the mentally ill. This tone is
contrasted however, as it is revealed that ‘a What is being
chink of daylight enters’, symbolising the
hope and possibilities that Lewis may bring
to the patients, and revealing a sense of
change regarding perceptions of Australia’s
involvement in war.
Opening line: author’s name, title, context,
significance of where it falls in text.
Sentence Starters…
• The ‘burnt out theatre’ is symbolic of ……
• Contrasting the ‘day outside’ and ‘pitch black inside’
represents…(what is implied about mental illness
and war?)
• Nowr’s view of society’s perception of war is evident
• The tone alters as a ‘chink of daylight enters’,
revealing that…
More on humour…
‘Cosi’ – A Comic Drama
In ‘Cosi’ the oppositions between ‘sane’ and
‘insane’ characters are a source of much ironic
humour. Nowra tends to blur the line between
sanity and insanity
Through his humour, Nowra overturns audience
expectations and assumptions about certain
What is black humour?
Examples of its use in films or tv shows?
• This style of humour finds its humour in joking
about sensitive subjects and dark elements in
human nature.
• In ‘Cosi’ the patients themselves, with their
amusing and often perceptive comments are the
source of much of the play’s black humour.
• Doug’s sexual humour violates social conventions
or taboos in comedic ways.
• What is farce?
A comedy with an improbable plot; a travesty, a
• ‘Cosi’ involves stereotypical characters, physical
humour, deliberate nonsense and the
entanglement of the protagonist…essential
elements of farce.
• Farce provokes laughter through caricatures of
people in improbable or silly situations.
• It is highly tolerant of immoral behaviour and
tends to depict human beings as vain, irrational
and childish.
• The action moves at a frantic pace.
• The typical ‘happy ending’ of farce is not evident
Sample Sentences
• Nowra’s characterisation of Lewis in Act One Scene
One reveals him to initially be….
• The ‘burnt out stage’ metaphorically represents…
• The chaos of the outside world, and the chaos caused
by war, is symbolised by…
• The language used by Doug in Act One conveys the
contrast between the beauty of the opera and the
reality of the real world…
• Nowra’s use of ‘the play within the play’ conveys the
universal nature of the issues of…
Follow up to week 2 homework tasks
1. Take out the sentences you wrote about
characterisation, key ideas and techniques.
2. Share with your table group. Provide feedback.
• Expression/clarity – do they flow, make sense, are
there any unnecessary words
• Word choice – appropriate words, varied vocab,
interesting word choice
• Ideas – depth of ideas, plausible/relevant comments
• Quotes – relevant quotes, embedded within the
• Analytical language – conveys, explores, reveals,
critiques, subverts, exposes
Using the A3 paper, make a list of the best
sentences from your group. (Don’t be shy!)
Use of Music – Notes from Insight Study Guide
• Mozart took up the theme of fiance swapping, a
notion which dates back to the thirteenth
century. Mozart’s opera follows the tradition of
Renaissance comedia dell’arte plots which
question the fidelity of married women – an issue
which troubled Mozart.
• The title literally means ‘Thus do all’ and implies
all women, but is usually translated as ‘women
are like that’.
• Despite his glorious music, Mozart’s audiences
found the plot trivial (just as Nick does).
• Nineteenth century composer Richard Wagner
(Zac’s musical hero) found Cosi Fan Tutte
demeaning to women, whom he regarded as
noble and, potentially, the moral saviours of
• Despite many objections to the plot, the opera
is still popular with audiences.
Listen to the overture. Discuss with your group:
• How does it make you feel?
• How is it significant to Cosi?
Think about tone, contrasts, Roy’s comments
• Roy believes that it echoes with the ‘harmony of
the spheres’.
• This notion originated with Pythagoras, who
believed that each of the planets was enclosed in
a sphere, and these spheres ascended towards
heaven; each sphere emitted a sound
corresponding to notes in the musical scale, thus
creating order and harmony in the universe.
• The idea of music creating universal harmony still
• Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (the most famous
piece from his opera Die Walkure) is well known
today for its numerous references in popular
culture, including the helicopter scene in
Apocalypse Now. Why do you think this is?
• Wagner’s music exemplifies the intense passion of
grand opera, with its powerful and melodramatic
style, and it the antithesis of the more graceful,
classical style of Cosi Fan Tutte.
• Ride of the Valkyries would be inappropriate as the
overture to Cosi Fan Tutte. Why?
Listen to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries
• How does it make you feel?
• How does it link to Cosi?
• What does it reveal about the play? Links to
characterisation, tone, irony, contextual
Shared writing Task
Write a paragraph in which you discuss the use of
music – Mozart’s overture and Ride of the
Possible points for discussion:
• The contrasting mood each piece evokes
• The context of each piece
• How each piece symbolises, exaggerates,
contrasts the characters and key ideas
• The universal use of both - links to key ideas
• Cosi is a two act play which loosely follows a
traditional structure: exposition,
development, complication, climax,
• In Act One a sense of impending crisis is
driven by the tensions between the
characters, the impossibility of the task
they’ve undertaken and the incompetence of
the director.
• In Act Two, tensions escalate and the crises
become more dramatic, whilst the patients’
needs to perform the opera become the play’s
driving force.
• The performance itself ends on a high note of
hilarity and hope.
• However, Lewis’ final address to Cosi’s
audience reminds us that theatre is about
creating illusions and that real life is more
The Play within the play
• The backdrop of war is a significant feature of
both texts: The Vietnam war in the 1970s and
the Albanian battle for independence from
the Ottoman empire in 1790.
• An important structural feature to note is the
play within the play.
• This highlights the parallels between the
characters and the themes in Mozart’s opera,
and those in Nowra’s play.
• Wars also involve loyalties and betrayals
• They exemplify chaos on a grand scale; this
underscores the chaos in the lives of the
characters in the opera and the play.
Now it’s time to write about ‘Cosi’…
• Are you tired of the same old text response
essays that which you have been writing since
year 7?
• Are you ready for something new? Do you need
a new challenge?
• If this sounds like you, then the Passage Analysis
SAC is for you!
• 3 passages from anywhere in the text
• Your task: To use the passages to show your
interpretation of the text
• HOW? Making links between the passages
and the text
What to focus on??
• Why the passages are significant
where they fall in the text
how they reveal character development
what key ideas they convey
how meaning is created through language and
literary devices:
tone, pace, dialogue, language, stage
directions, intertextuality, music, lighting, setting,
symbolism etc
Time to write…
The good news….You have already been writing
in the style of the ‘Passage Analysis’!
Your analysis of a key aspect of Act 1
The analysis of the music
The comparison of the play to the film
Go to page 10 of ‘Cosi’ or use the handout.
Highlight and annotate the following:
 How characterisation is revealed (Lewis and Roy) and
the purpose of this characterisation
 How the context is conveyed
 The key ideas
 Why and how foreshadowing is used
 How music and lighting is contrasted and why
Now look at sample passage analysis
of this page.
• Carefully read the annotations
• Consider how ideas are ordered
• Look at how quotes are embedded into the text
• Review the information which is included
• Notice how the focus is on how meaning is
created, not merely what the meaning is.
Your Turn…
• Now you are going to try to complete your own single
passage analysis.
• Read and annotate page 61. Look for what is revealed
about characterisation and key ideas through specific
literary devices. (Mini handout)
• Make a dot point plan of how you will order your analysis
of this page.
• Now try to write it! Remember – there is no ‘right’ way. It
is up to you to choose what you focus on and how you
order your analysis.
Putting it all together….
TASK: Individually: Read over the 3 passages
TASK:As a group: Think about what stands out to
you? How do these passages link to the overall
ideas of the text?
TASK: Individually: Read the student response to
these passages
Task: As a group: discuss the points at the end of
the essay
Now try it with 2-3 passages…
• Look carefully at the 3 passages.
• Highlight key moments in characterisation,
dominant key ideas, literary techniques – use
different colours.
• Annotate as you highlight – make notes/lines
between passages.
• How are the passages important in regards to the
whole text? (What do they represent?)
• How is language used to develop mood/tone
What threads can you see between the 3 passages?
• Lewis’ development and what it reveals about people’s
perceptions (HOW is his development shown?)
• Importance/perceptions of love (How are different
perceptions shown?)
• love and fidelity
• war/betrayal (metaphors/symbolism?)
• Links to overall interpretation?
• Remember – HOW is it SHOWN? Don’t just tell what the
ideas are. Analyse HOW they are conveyed/
Some more tips
• You don’t have to write about everything!
• Pick things that interest you and ideas that you
can develop
• Try no weave between the passages to form you
• Focus closely on the passages, and then make
broader links to the wider text to support your
Use you annotations to make a plan
• How will you order your ideas?
• Write a dot point plan roughly outlining what
areas of the 3 passages you will discuss, and in
what order
• Look at the sample response to see how their
ideas are ordered.
Tips for passage analysis
Discuss 2-3 of the passages
Engage with the language of the passage as much as
Deconstruct and comment on your chosen quotes
You can jump straight in to your analysis
If you want a separate intro/conclusion make them
very specific to the main points you will discuss in the
passages – no overviews of the writer/text!
Do not describe what is in the passages. Your focus is
your interpretation of the passages through your
analysis – what are the ideas – how are they revealed?
Write in present tense
Do not write in first person
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