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Unseen Prose. Introductory Lecture . Beginning with the end in mind. At the year end exam, you are expected to demonstrate ability to read and understand the text show ability to engage with the language ad style employ literary concepts and terminology in your evaluation of the text.

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unseen prose

Unseen Prose

Introductory Lecture

beginning with the end in mind
Beginning with the end in mind

At the year end exam, you are expected


  • demonstrate ability to read and understand the text
  • show ability to engage with the language ad style
  • employ literary concepts and terminology in your evaluation of the text
making macro sense
Making Macro Sense

You first have to read the text and

establish for yourself its Meaning by

asking the following questions:

Who Questions

  • Who is the speaker?
  • Who are the main characters?
What Questions
  • What is going on here?
  • What is being communicated?
  • What is the purpose of this passage?
  • Where Questions
  • Where are we?
  • Where is the story set? Time period?
How Questions
  • How would you characterise the tone and attitude?
  • How has the writer managed to convey that tone/attitude?
  • How would you characterise the style used?
  • How effective is the writer with his use of stylistic conventions?
making connections
Making Connections
  • Therefore you will have to ascertain and make notes on :
  • The Content ( What is the passage about? Why is this extract given as a test piece?
  • The Theme – Connection between content and human significance, of universal value
making connections1
Making Connections
  • Characters ( The Who)
  • Find the speaker/narrator
  • Is the speaker/narrator necessarily the protagonist?
  • Who are the other characters?
  • The Antagonist?
  • What drives these characters? Conflict? Internal Conflict?
making connections2
Making Connections
  • Conflicts (The What)
  • The Plot ( as driven by the conflict)
  • Orientation? Climax? Resolution?
  • Unique characteristics of each
making connections3
Making Connections
  • The Setting ( The Where)
  • Sympathetic background – to flesh out or reinforce the theme
  • E.g. Of Mice and Men
  • Situational Irony – contrast to evoke emotions
  • E.g.
making connections4
Making Connections
  • Diction and Imagery (The How)
  • Diction is essentially the author’s choice of words.
  • Diction gives rise to Tone (Attitude/Feelings)
  • Imagery
  • The Images conjured in the reader’s mind through use of diction
  • Repetition and Recurrence
making connections5
Making Connections
  • Tita was so sensitive to onions, any time they were being chopped, they say she would just cry and cry; when she was still in my great-grandmother's belly her sobs were so loud that even Nacha, the cook, who was half-deaf, could hear them easily. Once her wailing got so violent that it brought on an early labor. And before my great-grandmother could let out a word or even a whimper, Tita made her entrance into this world, prematurely, right there on the kitchen table amid the smells of simmering noodle soup, thyme, bay leaves, and cilantro, steamed milk, garlic, and, of course, onion. Tita had no need for the usual slap on the bottom, because she was already crying as she emerged; maybe that was because she knew then that it would be her lot in life to be denied marriage. The way Nacha told it, Tita was literally washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor.
making connections6
Making Connections
  • Alliteration: Repeated consonant sounds at the beginning of several words in a phrase (Robbie saw rabbits resting by roses.)
  • Hyperbole: An exaggeration (That building can touch the clouds.)
  • Idiom: An expression that cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in kick the bucket or under the weather.
  • Irony: The opposite of what is meant.
Metaphor: A comparison of two unlike things that suggests a similarity between the two items. (Love is a rose.)
  • Onomatopoeia: Words that sound like what they are. (POP! BAM! Slosh)
  • Personification: Making an inanimate object or animal act like a person
  • Puns: A word or words, which are formed or sounded alike, but have different meaning; to have more than one possible meaning. (Using that pencil is pointless.)
  • Simile: A comparison using "like" or "as" (She sings like an angel.)
  • Read the passage given, answer questions in point form
  • Follow-up lesson – discussion
  • Essay due on _____.