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Description and Early Prose

Description and Early Prose. AP Language and Compostion Ms . Defer. Journal #11.

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Description and Early Prose

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  1. Description and Early Prose AP Language and Compostion Ms. Defer

  2. Journal #11 • Look around the room. Pick an object, any object, and describe it in writing with as much detail as possible, without naming the object. Don’t tell anyone what you chose, we are going to try and guess in a few minutes.

  3. Sentence Leveling Practice • It’s a good thing that you brought your own books with you, for you couldn’t just go to the library and borrow some.

  4. Sentence Leveling Practice • Since you are a tourist, a North American or European—to be frank, white—and not an Antiguan black returning to Antiqua from Europe or North America with cardboard boxes of much needed cheap clothes and food for relatives, you move through customs swiftly, you move through customs with ease.

  5. How Can Something Be Described?

  6. Effective Selection of Detail Clearly, a good description must evoke sensory impressions in order for the reader to respond to or engage in a description.It is not surprising that most descriptions focus on how something or someone looks. Why might this be?

  7. Effective Selection of Detail “Sophia…the only daughter of Mr. Western, was a middle-sized woman; but rather than inclining to tall. Her shape was not only exact, but extremely delicate; and the nice proportion of her arms promised the truest symmetry in her limbs. Her hair, which was black, was so luxuriant that it reached her middle, before she cut it to comply with the modern fashion; and it was now curled so gracefully in her neck that few could believe it to be her own…Her eybrowswer full, even, and arched beyond the power of art to imitate. Her black eyes had a lustre in them which all her softness could not extinguish.” In this passage, Fielding does not give ALL the details of Sophia’s appearance because an overly detailed listing would be tedious and dull. Instead he selects those precise physical characteristics that enable us to see her in our mind’s eye. Why do you think he chose the details above? Let’s look at them one by one.

  8. Effective Selection of Detail Next we will read a descriptive passage by Jamaica Kincaid, Coming to Antigua. In it Kincaid imagines herself a tourist, arriving on her native island of Antigua for the first time. As you read, identify the various sensory details she uses to bring the scene alive for the reader.

  9. Journal #12 • Take a minute to think about places that are important to you or where something significant has happened to you. This should be a specific place, not just a type of place (ex. Central Park, not “a park”). Start to describe that place with sensory details.

  10. Effective Arrangement of Detail As we discussed the other day, the first basic principle of description is that it should involve the senses or evoke sensory impressions through the selection of detail. Next, it is important to maintain a consistent point of view and arrange details in an order that is inherent to the subject or dictated by the context.

  11. Effective Arrangement of Detail A meaningful organization for a description of an event is often chronological (beginning to end). A meaningful organization for a series of related actions would be causal (cause and effect).

  12. Effective Arrangement of Detail A meaningful organization for a description of a place is often spatial: • The author describes from right to left, or vice versa. • The author describes from up to down, or vice versa. • The author describes from out to in, or vice versa. • The author moves from general or larger detail to specific or smaller detail, or vice versa. • The author spirals around a space, in a circular fashion.

  13. Effective Arrangement of Detail In spatial organization, point of view is especially important because it determineswhat writers can see, how they see what they do, how what they see makes them feel, and so on. For example, in Kincaid’s essay, the writer imagines a moving observer, passing from one point in Antigua to another, describing, item by item, what the observer sees as he/she goes along.

  14. Effective Arrangement of DetailThe Kingdom of Diddby Dr. Seuss The Kingdom of Didd was ruled by King Derwin. His palace stood high on the top of the mountain. From his balcony, he looked down over the houses of all his subjects—first, over the spires of the noblemen’s castles, across the broad roofs of the rich men’s mansions, then over the little houses of the townsfolk, to the huts of the farmers far off in the fields. It was a mighty view and it made King Derwin feel mighty important. Far off in the fields, on the edge of a cranberrry bog, stood the hut of the Cubbins family. From the small door Bartholomew looked across the huts of the farmers to the houses of the townsfolk, then to the rich men’s mansions and the noblemen’s castles, up to the great towering palace of the King. It was exactly the same view that King Derwin saw from his balcony, but Bartholomew saw it backward. It was a mighty view, but it made Bartholomew Cubbins feel mighty small. How does the viewpoint change the description and the effect of the description?

  15. Effective Arrangement of Detail Now we will read a passage by John V. Young, Moonrise over Monument Valley. Pay attention to Young’s arrangement of detail and the impact this has on the way we experience the place he describes. Note the point of view Young uses and how this contributes to the organization of the piece.

  16. Journal #13 • Look back at Journal #12, where you started to describe a significant place. Now that you have gotten some sensory details down, let’s convert some into rhetorical devices. Pick 5 different devices and rewrite a detail of your description using that device: Personification Alliteration/Assonance/Consonance AnalogyBalance or Antithesis Metaphor/Simile OnomatopoeiaAllusion Inversion Parallel Structure Pathetic FallacyHyperbole Appositive Phrase Incongruous Juxtaposition

  17. Journal #14 • Describe the gunky stuff that gets caught in the basket at the bottom of the sink. Don’t use the words disgusting or gross.

  18. Creating Mood in Description What is mood? Mood is the overall feeling the reader gets from a text. How is it created? Mood comes from word choice and sentence structure.  Mood can be created in descriptions of the surroundings, feelings of the characters and actions that take place.  Choosing appropriate words for different events will create the mood that is right for a particular scene.

  19. Creating Mood in DescriptionMood Activity Part 1: You will get into your groups of 4. Each group will be given a “mood” and 5 minutes to come up with as many words that fit that mood as possible.

  20. Creating Mood in DescriptionMood Activity Part 2: You will stay in your groups, but your “Mood” list will be switched with the list of another team. Your group will have 10 minutes to use ALL of the words on the list to write a short story that creates that “Mood”.

  21. Creating Mood in DescriptionMood Activity Part 3: Let’s share!

  22. Creating Mood in Description As we read “Shady Grove, Alabama, July 1936” think about the mood James Agee creates and the ways that he does this. Highlight words that you think contribute to the mood of the piece as you read. Also, think about how the selection of detail and the organization of the piece contribute to it’s mood.

  23. Journal #15 • Describe a car, using at least five comparisons to food. Only one of these can be a color related comparison.

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