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How to Analyze a Quotation Like an English Teacher

How to Analyze a Quotation Like an English Teacher

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Published by jeffherb

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: jeffherb on Aug 31, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/09/2013

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How to Analyze a Quotation Like An English Teacher
Quotation: ³Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infusethem with shades of deeper meaning.´ ±Maya Angelou
Questions to Ask Yourself 
 
1.
 
Who is the speaker?
Maya Angelou is a well-respected and revered African American female author. Her works aresome of the most influential and important in American literature.
2
.
 
Who is the audience?
he audience is undefined and so anyone can be included in the list of intended recipients.
3.
 
What is the context of this quotation? Why was it said?
 Angelo is commenting on her craft and on how her work only becomes meaningful when it is filtered with the deeper meaning offered by multiple perspectives.
4
.
 
I
s there any character development?
N
o, the author is speaking directly about herself and her experiences.
5
.
 
What theme(s) are evident in this quotation?
I
nnocence and Experience and 
he Human Spirit 
6
.
 
Are there any literary devices used?
I
f so, for what effect?
he human voice is personified which adds a unifying sense to this quotation. We are all in thistogether to shade literature and create meaning from it.
7
.
 
H
ow do
I
see this idea in the world?
L
ike any art form, literature is a meant to be devoured and appreciated.
I
t is given depth of color and dynamism through its audience. For example,
o Kill a Mockingbird by Harper 
L
ee isgiven new light when read after reading Sue Monk Kidds
he Secret 
L
ife of Bees. When viewed together, new ideas become evident.
8
.
 
H
ow do
I
see this idea in my life?
I
spend a lot of my work life writing comments on students papers in the hopes of helpingthem to become better writers. My comments are given life and context by the reader.
his hasboth positive and negative effects. Sometimes my comments are misread or misinterpreted and sometimes students really learn and grow from them.
9
.
 
H
ow do
I
see this idea in the context of the literature being studied?
I
n our study of Greek culture and Mythology, it is incredibly important that we look beyond theoutlandish stories of amoral immortals and wild monsters and search for the meaning of thesemyths. For example, the myth about Demeter and Persephone is really about explaining theexistence of winter in the world. Greek people would not have necessarily believed that thesegods were real, just like American children know that Goldilocks and the
hree Bears is a fablemeant to teach morals and not a literal portrayal of life in the woods.

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