Using literary terms

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How to Analyze
Literature using the
Literary Features
(Criteria C)
Let’s use an
analogy –
analyzing art
What
could we
say about
artistic
CHOICES
made by
this
painter?
Level 1: You
don’t mention
any details from
the painting:
“This painting
shows a girl
sitting on a log
with a butterfly
net.”
Level 2: some
mention of the
painting features
(but no effects):
“There are mainly
blue and green
colors used, and the
face is sideways.”
Level 3: general
appreciation of the effects
of the features, supported
by some examples:
“The eye-catching use of
flat perspectice gives the
face a odd 3-d effect,
allowing her to look out
at the viewer and the
butterfly at the same
time.”
Level 4: Good appreciation of
the effects of the features,
illustrated by relevant
examples:
“Picasso lends the child a sense of
solid health using wide arms and
body. Her size dwarfs her net and
the butterfly. The cubist style is
at once both distinctive and
universal – showing human
features in child-like playful
form.”
Level 5: Excellent appreciation of the
effects of the features, illustrated by
detailed & well-chosen examples:
“Picasso, inventor and master of the cubist
style, shows in this painting that depth,
energy and humor can be created by using
cubist elements. The face is turned sideways,
but the eyes, mouth and ears share the flat
plane. This creates a sense of fullness to the
individual – a complete human face. Note
that her green-eyed gaze contrasts the red
mouth, suggesting a hint of feminine allure
in an oddly squat body that is much less
feminine. This suggest a child maturing into
an adult woman. Yet the child is clearly
dominant, as the net symbolizes youthful
play, and the sailor suit is in a traditional
childish palette of blue, white and yellow.
Let’s practice
this analogy –
using a text
example
Level 1: You don’t
mention any
literary features:
“In this text a man
doesn’t like drunk
people. He calls them
“hopeless” and
“useless”.
Mr. De Silva stood waiting by
the car. His expression
changed when he turned
towards Hari and his father.
He asked a few short questions
but frowned at the long,
mumbled answers and turned
his head away from the hot
toddy breath that accompanied
the mumbles. Finally he shook
his head and went up the steps
to the veranda to say to his
wife, “Useless, drunken
villagers – dead drunk in the
morning. What can you do for
them? They’re hopeless.
--Village by the Sea, Anita Desai
Level 2: some
mention of the
literary features
(but no effects):
“This text includes
metaphor and
repetition to show
that the man doesn’t
like the villagers.”
Mr. De Silva stood waiting by
the car. His expression
changed when he turned
towards Hari and his father.
He asked a few short questions
but frowned at the long,
mumbled answers and turned
his head away from the hot
toddy breath that accompanied
the mumbles. Finally he shook
his head and went up the steps
to the veranda to say to his
wife, “Useless, drunken
villagers – dead drunk in the
morning. What can you do for
them? They’re hopeless.
--Village by the Sea, Anita Desai
Level 3: general
appreciation of the
effects of the features,
supported by some
examples:
“The text uses repetition
such as “drunken, dead
drunk” to show that the man
has no sympathy for the
villagers. The man “turned
towards” the villagers but
soon “turned his head away”
from the “mumbled answers”
and the “mumbles”. The man
is impatient.”
Mr. De Silva stood waiting by
the car. His expression
changed when he turned
towards Hari and his father.
He asked a few short questions
but frowned at the long,
mumbled answers and turned
his head away from the hot
toddy breath that accompanied
the mumbles. Finally he shook
his head and went up the steps
to the veranda to say to his
wife, “Useless, drunken
villagers – dead drunk in the
morning. What can you do for
them? They’re hopeless.
--Village by the Sea, Anita Desai
Level 4: Good appreciation
of the effects of the features,
illustrated by relevant
examples:
Mr. De Silva stood waiting by
the car. His expression
changed when he turned
towards Hari and his father.
He asked a few short questions
but frowned at the long,
“Metaphor – “hot toddy
mumbled answers and turned
breath” is used to show the
his head away from the hot
negative feelings the rich man toddy breath that accompanied
the mumbles. Finally he shook
has for the poor. He
his head and went up the steps
generalizes, calls them “useless
to the veranda to say to his
drunken villagers” and “dead wife, “Useless, drunken
drunk”. This repetition also villagers – dead drunk in the
includes alliteration –”dead morning. What can you do for
them? They’re hopeless.
drunk”, the hard sounds
emphasizing his disgust.
--Village by the Sea, Anita Desai
Level 5: Excellent appreciation of
Mr. De Silva stood waiting by
the effects of the features,
illustrated by detailed & well- the car. His expression
changed when he turned
chosen examples:
towards Hari and his father.
“Desai has captured the snobbery and disdain He asked a few short questions
but frowned at the long,
in the rich Mr. De Silva using well-chosen
literary features such as metaphor, repetition mumbled answers and turned
and onomatopoeia. De Silva “turned toward” his head away from the hot
the villagers, but in his perspective, they
“mumbled”. He thus “turned his head away” toddy breath that accompanied
the mumbles. Finally he shook
from their bad breath and “mumbles”. The
repetition of “turned” and “mumbled” shows his head and went up the steps
the gulf in status between the rich man and
to the veranda to say to his
the poor villagers. He is the active one,
wife, “Useless, drunken
choosing to briefly face them yet quickly
villagers – dead drunk in the
turning away. His view of their shy,
uneducated speech as “mumbles” is repeated morning. What can you do for
to emphasize his impatience and disdain. The
them? They’re hopeless.
word “mumble” is an onomatopoeia, its
whispered sound reinforcing the shyness of the
poor near this rich man.”
--Village by the Sea, Anita Desai
You try! Let’s
move through
the levels:
Level 1: You
don’t mention
any literary
features:
I must down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick
And the wind’s song,
And the white sail shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face,
And a grey dawn breaking;
I must down to the seas again,
To the vagrant, gypsy’s life,
To the gulls way and the whales way,
Where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and sweet dream
When the long trick is over.
-- “Sea Fever”, John Mansfield
Level 2: some
mention of the
literary
features (but
no effects):
I must down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick
And the wind’s song,
And the white sail shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face,
And a grey dawn breaking;
I must down to the seas again,
To the vagrant, gypsy’s life,
To the gulls way and the whales way,
Where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and sweet dream
When the long trick is over.
-- “Sea Fever”, John Mansfield
Level 3: general
appreciation of
the effects of
the features,
supported by
some examples:
I must down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick
And the wind’s song,
And the white sail shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face,
And a grey dawn breaking;
I must down to the seas again,
To the vagrant, gypsy’s life,
To the gulls way and the whales way,
Where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and sweet dream
When the long trick is over.
-- “Sea Fever”, John Mansfield
Level 4: Good
appreciation of
the effects of
the features,
illustrated by
relevant
examples:
I must down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick
And the wind’s song,
And the white sail shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face,
And a grey dawn breaking;
I must down to the seas again,
To the vagrant, gypsy’s life,
To the gulls way and the whales way,
Where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and sweet dream
When the long trick is over.
-- “Sea Fever”, John Mansfield
Level 5:
Excellent
appreciation of
the effects of
the features,
illustrated by
detailed & wellchosen
examples:
I must down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick
And the wind’s song,
And the white sail shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face,
And a grey dawn breaking;
I must down to the seas again,
To the vagrant, gypsy’s life,
To the gulls way and the whales way,
Where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn
From a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and sweet dream
When the long trick is over.
-- “Sea Fever”, John Mansfield
Well done! Now let’s
see those literary
terms and their
effects in your
commentaries &
essays!
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