Every work of literature is made up of a combination of elements. What makes each work unique isthe creative way in which the author handles and blends these elements. Careful readers ofliterary texts are able to identify these elements and to discuss how they influence the meaning ofthe literary work.
What Is ItCalled?What Does It Mean? What Does it Look Like?
Refers to the creation anddevelopment of characters,the people who carry on theaction in a literary workDescription by the narrator, dialogue &thoughts, and character actions are allmethods of characterization.
The time and place in whichevents occurCan include descriptions of locations, dates,times of year, etc.
The sequence of events thattake placeMajor and minor events or conflicts thatinvolve the characters.
The word choice of theauthorWords that help to convey different attitudesor tones. Adjectives & adverbs (describingwords) and verbs (action words) are helpful inconsidering the author’s diction.
The attitude or viewpointthat an author shows towardhis or her subjectThe tone may be serious, sympathetic, angry,etc. You can usually determine the narrator’stone by studying the author’s diction (or wordchoice).
The atmosphere or feeling ofa literary workThe mood may be joyful, gloomy, suspenseful,etc.
Point of view
The perspective from which astory is toldIn the first-person point of view, the narratortells the story using “I” and “me” and mayparticipate in events. In the omniscient pointof view, the narrator is an all-knowingimpersonal observer who does not take part inevents but can describe the thoughts andactions of all the characters.
How the parts of a literarywork are organized andarrangedThe structure of a novel may be based onchronological order with occasional flashbacks.The structure of poetry includes the number,form, pattern of lines, and stanzas.
The central idea of a literaryworkThemes often have to do with widely heldhuman concerns such as love, death, justice,dignity, happiness, etc.
Great Sentence Starters
“The author uses dialogue as a method of characterization to show…”“The narrator’s use of diction helps to express a tone of…”“The first person point of view of the narrator helps the reader to understand…”