American Literature EOCT Review Common Themes in American Lit American individualism: an appreciation of individual ambition and achievement. The American Dream: the idea that anyone can achieve his or her dreams. Cultural Diversity: reflects the distinctive qualities of our cultural
melting pot. Tolerance: reflects how well we American Drama Terms Political Drama: a play with a political component or describing a political event (The Crucible) Modern Drama: attempts to recreate real-life situations and emotions. Theatre of the Absurd: popular in the 1950s and 1960s; depicts the belief that human existence is without meaning play often lacks usual conventions of plot, character, or setting.
Drama Terms (cont) Fourth wall: an imaginary wall separating the actors from the audience. Expressionism: a dramatic style which EXAGGERATES reality. Minimalism: the opposite of expressionism sparse scenery and limited dialogue. Dramatic irony a situation in which the audience knows more than the character on stage. Stage directions- How and where to move on stage
Literary Terms Thesis: In non-fiction, it is primary message or main idea. Main idea: In fiction, a brief summary of the plot. Theme: what the plot reveals about life (often a moral. Aphorism: A short saying which presents a lesson (Waste not, want not). Literary Movements Native
American (pre-1620): oral tradition of songs and stories. Focus on the natural and sacred worlds and the importance of land and place. Colonial (1620-1750): Reflects religious influence of Puritans William Bradford = establishment of colony Anne Bradstreet=poetry on daily life and family Jonathan Edwards = Puritan minister Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Literary Movements (cont) Revolutionary
(1750-1815): Focused on explaining and justifying the Revolution. Thomas Paine (The Crisis, Common Sense) Thomas Jefferson (The Declaration of Independence) Benjamin Franklin (The Declaration of Independence, Poor Richards Almanac) Romanticism and Transcendentalism (1800-1855): Celebration of
individualism, nature, imagination, creativity and emotions. Washington Irving (Legend of Sleepy Hollow) Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) Edgar Allen Poe ( Fall of the House of Usher) Herman Melville (Moby Dick) Walt Whitman Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance)
Henry David Thoreau (Walden, Civil Disobedience) Realism (1850-1900): Examines realities of life; human frailty; regional culture (dialect, local color). Stephen Crane (An Episode of War) Willa Cather (O Pioneers) Emily Dickinson (Because I Could Not Stop for Death) Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn) Bret Harte (The Outcasts of Poker Flats)
Naturalism (1880-1940): Views life as a set of natural laws (i.e. survival of the fittest). Jack London (White Fang) Modernism (1900-1950): Themes of alienation, disconnectedness; experimentation with new techniques; use of irony. The Harlem Renaissance is included in Modernism. F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams, The Great Gatsby) Ernest Hemingway (White Hills Like Elephants)
Langston Hughes (Dreams Deferred) Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road) Post-Modern Period (1950 present): Non-traditional topics and structures; embrace a changing reality. J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye) Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire) Understand & Acquire New Vocabulary
Idioms: phrases that are peculiar to a particular language (Dont look a gift horse in the mouth) Cognates: Words that have the same origin. (night=English, noche=Spanish, notte=Italian). Denotation: the dictionary definition of a word (laugh and giggle have the same denotation) Connotation: the meaning or idea behind a word. (Grandfathers laugh, but children giggle). Modes of Rhetoric Narration:
tells a story. Has a plot, climax and resolution. Description: uses language to describe a person, place or thing. Often colorful and precise. Persuasion: designed to influence the readers thoughts. Exposition: provides information or explains a topic. Common Persuasive Techniques Card stacking: only presents information that supports one side.
Bandwagon: appeals to peoples desire to fit in and be part of the group. Stereotyping: creates a simplified picture of a complex concept. Rhetorical questions: questions to which no answer is needed; encourages readers to agree with Steps in the Research Process 1. Pre-Writing Decide on a topic Locate primary and secondary sources Paraphrase information and cite your sources
2. 3. 4. 5. Drafting: Creating a rough version of the paper. Revising and Editing: Making improvements to content and organization. Proofreading: Making corrections in grammar and spelling. Publishing: Sharing your finished papers with others Basic Literary Elements Language Diction:
An authors word choice. Formal Informal Figurative language: language not meant to be taken literally. Imagery: descriptive, sensory language Symbolism: use of language to express more than the literal meaning of a word; an object may
Plot Elements Exposition: introduces the setting, characters, and the problem/conflict. Rising action: complications which serve to build tension. Climax: the turning point Denouement/falling action: events fall into place. Resolution: the conflict has been resolved one way or another. Types of Conflict Person Person
v. v. Person v. Person v. Person v. person nature self society machine Character development Protagonist:
usually the main character; always has a goal. Not always a good guy. Antagonist: the character that opposes the protagonist. Characterization: Direct (She is nice) Indirect (She served cookies and milk to the soldiers). Dynamic or Round: Characters who grow and change Setting Can clarify conflict (The Most
Dangerous Game) Can illuminate character (White Fang) Can affect mood (Cask of Amontillado) Can act as a symbol (The Turtle) Can serve as a protagonist (White Fang) Mood: the emotion created by the words and setting. Irony: Conveys the opposite of actual meaning.
Verbal irony: sarcasm Situational irony: events that are far from what is expected or deserved. Dramatic irony: When the audience knows more about the events in the play than the characters. Point of View: the perspective from which the story is told. First person: events told by a character in the story.(I knew it was risky, but had to try.) Third person omniscient: the narrator is
outside of the action and knows everything including the thoughts of all the characters. Third person limited: narrator knows only the perspective of one character and focuses on that characters thoughts and feelings. Basic grammar Use a comma OR a semicolon when joining two independent clauses. When separated they should form two distinct thoughts. Sage wanted a dog, so she adopted from the SPCA.
Use a comma after an introductory phrase. Before the end of the school year, make sure to clean out your locker. Use a comma to separate items in series of 3 or more (Todd bought milk, cereal, and bananas. Put end punctuation BEFORE the closing quotation marks. (She said, Dont forget to review your notes!) Parts of Speech Verbs: A word or phrase that states action
or state of being. Linking verbs: link the subject to a word that describes the subject (predicate adjective as in She is pretty) or renames the subject (predicate noun as in She is a student) Helping verbs: added before another verb to create a verb phrase and helps the main verb express action (I could have been a contender). Action verbs: Express physical or mental action (run, write, think, decide) Nouns & Pronouns Proper: names a specific person,
place, or thing. Always capitalize! (Lassiter High School). Common: names any person, place, or thing (high school). Pronoun: Replaces a noun (must agree in number) Antecedent: The noun the pronoun replaces. Participle: A form of a verb that ends in ing or ed, but ACTS as an ADJECTIVE. The exploding vehicle blocked traffic for
hours. The shattered windows must be replaced. Gerund: A form of a verb that ends in ing, but ACTS like a NOUN.
Squad car laptops. Access your personal information. Cell phone tracking. Triangulation (The tracing and measurement of a series or network of triangles in order to determine the distances and relative position)
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