Story Dissection A.K.A. Literary Analysis Getting inside an author’s head Did you ever wonder what an author was thinking as they wrote a story that you were reading? Why did he/she include specific characters? How did he/she decide who should tell the story? Why did the story take place in this setting? Did the author provide hints throughout the story about what would happen later? Literary Analysis helps answer these questions. The Protagonist The main character (The protagonist can be human, animal or anything else the author chooses.) Example: Greg Heffley is the protagonist in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The Antagonist The force that opposes (works against) the protagonist. (The antagonist can be human, animal, emotion, weather – anything.) Example: Rodrick is the antagonist in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Setting The time and the place a story occurs. (You must identify both.) Example: The setting in The Hunger Games is post-apocalyptic North America in a town called Panem. Conflict The struggle between opposing forces which causes the action in the story. The conflict can be: EXTERNAL – character versus character, character versus nature, character versus machine, or character versus world. INTERNAL – character versus himself (emotion, self struggle, insanity) Plot The series of events that make up the action of the story. Exposition-introduces the characters, setting, and basic situation Rising Action-events as the conflict increases Climax-high point of interest or suspense Falling Action-the central conflict ends Resolution-the ending of the story Plot Line Climax (turning point) Exposition Resolution Mood The feeling that the author creates for the reader. Example: happiness, fear, anticipation, mystery, etc. The mood can change from scene to scene. The mood of “The Three Little Pigs” ranges from suspenseful, scary, to jubilant. Theme The general idea, truth, or concern about life the author wants the reader to learn from the story. “The moral” Example: Laziness does not pay off. The pig who built his house out of brick and took his time found that his time paid off. Foreshadowing The dropping of clues by the author to prepare the reader for what is to come. Example: In Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte tells Wilbur that “every living thing must die.” Why is this an example of forshadowing? At the end of the book, Charlotte herself dies. Point of View How the story is told; the narration. There are three commonly used points of view: first person, omniscient 3rd person, or limited 3rd person point of view.