S I F T AP English Literature Hilltop High School Mrs. Demangos
SIFT • When exploring HOW a writer uses literary elements and stylistic techniques to convey meaning or theme, begin by using the SIFT method to “sift” through the parts in order to comprehend the whole.
Symbol Images Figures of Speech Tone and Theme • SIFT
Symbol • Examine the title and the text for symbolism. • A literary symbol is something that means more than what it suggests on the surface. It may be an object, a person, a situation, an action, or some other element that has a literal meaning in the story but that suggests or represents other meanings as well.
Images • Identify the images and sensory details. • Imagery is the representation through language of sense experience. It appeals directly to our senses: • Sight= visual imagery • Touch= tactile imagery • Smell= olfactory imagery • Sound= auditory imagery • Taste= gustatory imagery
Figures of Speech • Analyze figurative language and other devices. • A figure of speech is any way of saying something other than the ordinary way. • Figurative language is language that cannot be taken literally.
Figures of Speech • Simile and metaphor are both used as means of comparing things that are essentially unlike. • Personification consists of giving the attributes of a human being to an animal, an object, or a concept. It is really a subtype of metaphor.
Figures of Speech • Paradox is an apparent contradiction that is nevertheless somehow true. • Overstatement, or hyperbole, is simply exaggeration, but exaggeration in the service of truth. • Understatement, or saying less than one means, may exist in what one says or merely how one says it. • Verbal Irony is saying the opposite of what one means.
Tone & Theme • Tone is the writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward a subject, the reader, or himself or herself. • Tone is the emotional coloring, or the emotional meaning, of the work and is an extremely important part of the full meaning.
Tone & Theme • Theme is the controlling idea of a piece or its central insight. • It is the unifying generalization about life stated or implied by the story or poem.