EXPERT SOLUTION:  please see attachments for details Reading Comprehension Assignment: ZZ Packer’s “Gideon,” Neil

 please see attachments for details

Reading Comprehension Assignment:

ZZ Packer’s “Gideon,” Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” and Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween”

Type your answers in the boxes below.

1) ZZ Packer’s “Gideon”

Main Characters

(Identify Narrator)

Setting

(Time/Place)

Summary of Events

(What Happened?)

Central Conflict

(Internal/External)

Central Themes

(Universal Idea(s) Explored throughout the Story)

2) Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”

Main Characters

(Identify Narrator)

Setting

(Time/Place)

Summary of Events

(What Happened?)

Central Conflict(s)

(Internal/External)

Central Themes

(Universal Idea(s) Explored throughout the Story)

3) Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween”

Main Characters

(Identify Narrator)

Setting

(Time/Place)

Summary of Events

(What Happened?)

Central Conflict(s)

(Internal/External)

Central Themes

(Universal Idea(s) Explored throughout the Story)

Literary Analysis Lecture Notes

Jenna Miller – Spring 2022

Analysis involves examining the parts of something in order to determine how they function as a whole.

We are writing a Literary Analysis, in which we are analyzing pieces of literature to ascertain how successfully it incorporates literary elements, such as characterization, plot, narration, mood, tone, setting, irony, various themes, etc.

Analysis

Freytag’s Pyramid
(Structure of a Narrative)

Freytag’s Pyramid
(Structure of a Narrative)

Exposition: background information, that introduces the characters, their situations, and, usually, a time and place, giving the reader all the basic information the reader needs to understand what is to come.

Rising Action: the second phase of the plot, which begins with an inciting incident or destabilizing event—that is, some action that destabilizes the initial situation and incites open conflict.

Typically, what keeps the action rising is a complication, an event that introduces a new conflict or intensifies an existing one.

Climax or Turning Point: the moment of greatest emotional intensity. It is also the moment when the outcome of the plot and the fate of the characters are decided.

The turning point involves a discovery or new insight or even an epiphany, a sudden revelation of truth inspired by a seemingly trivial event.

Freytag’s Pyramid
(Structure of a Narrative)

Falling Action: brings a release of emotional tension and moves the reader toward the resolution of the conflict or conflicts.

Conclusion or Resolution: presents the reader with a new and at least somewhat stable situation—one that gives a sense of closure because the conflict or conflicts have been resolved, if only temporarily and not necessarily in the way we or the characters had hoped.

Dénouement: pronounced “day-new-mah,” literally means “untying” (as of a knot) in French. Is is a plot-related term used in three ways:

As a synonym for falling action

As a synonym for conclusion or resolution, and

As the label for a phase following the conclusion in which any loose ends are tied up.

Suggested Essay #3 Structure

Introduction: General ? Specific

Thesis: State the short story you are analyzing and list the four subtopics you are analyzing.

Body:

ONE paragraph of plot summary (This is purely “what happens” in the short story.) Plot summary should not exceed one paragraph. The remaining body paragraphs should include analysis.

First subtopic – ONE of these MUST be a THEME

State the subtopic in a topic sentence, explain the way this subtopic is used/appears in the short story, give examples from the text (directly quote), and explain how each of the examples

Please note: Students may use multiple paragraphs for a single subtopic.

Second subtopic (Same as above: Topic sentence, explanation of subtopic, examples from text, explain examples)

Third subtopic (Same as above: Topic sentence, explanation of subtopic, examples from text, explain examples)

Fourth subtopic (Same as above: Topic sentence, explanation of subtopic, examples from text, explain examples)

Conclusion:

Begin this paragraph by restating the thesis (using different language to convey this idea). Wrap up the essay by restating main ideas. Do not start this paragraph with “In conclusion.”

Write a direct thesis that clearly states the the short story you have chosen to analyze and the four subtopics (literary elements) you are examining in each. ONE of these elements must be a theme.

There are many ways to write a thesis. Here is one example:

Octavia Butler’s “Speech Sounds” effectively utilizes characterization, foreshadowing, irony, and the theme of good vs. evil to engage readers and comment on the nature of humanity.

Thesis Example

Theme: a universal idea that is explored throughout the story.

Examples of themes include, but are not limited to:

Good vs. evil

Man vs. nature

Loss of innocence

Knowledge vs. ignorance

Heartbreak of betrayal

Identity crisis

Justice

The illusion of power

The will to survive

Wisdom of experience

Power of change

Coming of age

Fate vs. freewill

Love & sacrifice

Self-reliance

Darkness and light

Consequences of greed

Inevitability of death

Crisis of faith

Fear of failure

Literary Elements: Theme

Tips for Identifying Theme

Pay attention to the title.

List any recurring phrases or words, especially those for abstract concepts (love, honor). At what points in the story do these recurring words appear? What larger point might the author be making?

Identify any statements that the characters or narrator(s) make about a general concept, issue, or topic such as human nature, the natural world, and so on. Consider whether and how the story as a whole corroborates, overturns, or complicates any one such view.

If a character changes over the course of a story, explain the truth or insight the he or she seems to discover. Consider if the story as a whole corroborates or complicates this insight.

Identify a conflict depicted in the work. Then think about the insight or theme that might be implied by the way the conflict is resolved.

Literary Elements: Characterization

A character is any personage in a literary work who acts, appears, or is referred to as playing a part. Though personage usually means a human being, it doesn’t have to.

Protagonist: The main character of the story (often the hero or heroine)

Antagonist: The character who is most frequently in conflict with the hero or heroine

In analyzing character, we need to consider not only who a character is and what precisely are his or her most important traits, motivations, and values, but also precisely how the text shapes our interpretations of, and degree of sympathy or admiration for, the character; what function the character serves in the story; and what the character might represent.

Characters that act from varied, often conflicting motives, impulses, and desires, and who seem to have psychological complexity are said to be round characters.

Simple, one-dimensional characters that behave and speak in predictable or repetitive (if sometimes odd) ways are called flat characters.

Flat characters who represent a familiar, frequently recurring type – the dumb blonde, the mad scientist, the inept sidekick, the plain yet ever-sympathetic best friend – are called stock characters because they seem to be pulled out of a stock-room of familiar, prefabricated figures.

A character that changes is dynamic; one that doesn’t is static.

Literary Elements: Characterization (Contd.)

Narrator: someone who recounts a narrative or tells a story.

1st Person Narrator: an internal narrator who consistently refers to himself or herself with the first-person pronoun “I” (or “We”).

2nd Person Narrator: consistently uses second person (“You”).

3rd Person Narrator: uses third person pronouns such as “she,” “he,” “they,” etc.

3rd person narrators are said to be omniscient or unlimited (“all-knowing”) when they describe the inner thoughts and feelings of multiple characters.

3rd person narrators are said to be limited when they relate the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of only one character (the central consciousness).

Literary Elements: Narration

Plot: the way the author sequences and paces the events so as to shape the reader’s response and interpretation.

Sequencing: the precise order in which events are related.

Linear narrative: the story is told chronologically from the beginning to the end

Nonlinear narrative: the story is told out of sequence

In medias res: the story begins somewhere in the middle of the action

Foreshadowing: occurs when an author merely gives subtle clues or hints about what will happen later in the story.

Tone: the attitude a literary work takes toward its subject, especially the way this attitude is revealed through diction.

Literary Elements

Setting: The time and place of the action.

Mood: the atmosphere or emotion effect that is evoked from the setting.

Imagery: any sensory detail in a work. Imagery is the use of figurative language to evoke feeling, to call to mind an idea, or to describe an object. An image is a particular instance of imagery.

Irony: a meaning or outcome contrary to what is expected; in verbal irony, the text says one thing and means the reverse. When the intended meaning is harshly critical or mocking, it is called sarcasm.

Literary Elements

All plots hinge on at least one conflict—some sort of struggle—and its resolution.

Conflicts can be external or internal.

External conflicts arise between a character and something or someone outside themselves.

For example, James Bond’s struggle to outwit and outfight an arch-villain intent on world domination or destruction.

Internal conflicts occur when a character struggles to reconcile two competing desires, needs, or duties, or two parts of aspects of himself: His head, for instance, might tell him to do one thing, his heart another.

Often a conflict is simultaneously external and internal.

Literary Elements: Conflict

Figures of speech, or figurative language, are similar to symbols in that they supplement or replace literal meaning, often by creating imaginative connections between our ideas and our senses.

Metaphor: a representation of one thing as if it were something else, without a verbal signal such as like or as.

Simile: a representation of one thing as if it were something else, with an explicit verbal signal such as like or as. For example: “They wear gloves like a scarecrow.”

Personification: sometimes called anthropomorphism, is attributing human qualities to objects or animals.

Literary Elements: Figurative Language Examples

A symbol is something that stands for or represents something else.

A symbol in a work of literature compares or puts together two things that are in some ways dissimilar.

For example: a white dove is a traditional symbol for peace; a rose can be a symbol of godly love, romantic desire, of female beauty, or mortality (because it wilts), or of hidden cruelty (because it has thorns).

Hyperbole: an exaggeration on a large-scale, often meant to add emphasis

Alliteration: repetitive consonant sounds (Example: She sells seashells by the seashore.)

Literary Elements: Figurative Language Examples

Read  the following stories below and use the attached powerpoint to complete the attached paper 

·
ZZ Packer’s “Gideon”

·
Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”

·
Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween”

In microsoft word please complete the following reflection

 

reflect on your experience reading ZZ Packer’s “Gideon,” “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” and Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween.” Answer the following in your response:

· Which of the stories did you find to be most enjoyable to read What about the text stood out to you as a reader

· Which of the three stories did you find to be most challenging to read Why Did you have any concerns while completing the Reading Comprehension assignment for these stories Explain.

·

· Though one of the shorter stories that we read for this week, ZZ Packer’s “Gideon” the characterization in this story is rich and complex. What does Gideon’s reaction to the false-positive pregnancy test reveal about his true character How does this differ from the version of himself that he presents to the world Why do you think the narrator pretends that the test is positive Explain.

·

· In “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” science fiction writer Neil Gaiman is once again introducing potentially fantastic elements to the story. However, as this is an event from the narrator’s past that happened thirty years ago, we have a potentially unreliable narrator. Based on your reading, do you think that the young women were actually aliens Or do you think the narrator is not 

·

· properly remembering events Explain. What might this suggest about the power of memory

· In what ways might Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween” be considered a coming-of-age story Do multiple characters embody that theme, or just the narrator What events or circumstances lead to this new awareness of the often harsh realities of life Explain.

Read

the following stories below and use the attached powerpoint to complete the

attached paper

·

ZZ Packer’s “Gideon”

·

Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”

·

Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween”

In microsoft word please complete the following reflection

reflect on

your experience reading ZZ Packer’s “Gideon,” “How to Talk to Girls at

Parties,” and Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween.” Answer the following in your response:

·

Which of the stories did you find to be most enjoyable to read What about the

text stood out to you

as a reader

·

Which of the three stories did you find to be most challenging to read Why Did

you have any concerns while completing the Reading Comprehension

assignment for these stories Explain.

·

·

Though one of the shorter stories that we read for this week,

ZZ Packer’s

“Gideon” the characterization in this story is rich and complex. What does

Gideon’s reaction to the false

positive pregnancy test reveal about his true

character How does this differ from the version of himself that he presents to

the world Wh

y do you think the narrator pretends that the test is positive

Explain.

·

·

In “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” science fiction writer Neil Gaiman is once

again introducing potentially fantastic elements to the story. However, as this

is an event from the na

rrator’s past that happened thirty years ago, we have a

potentially unreliable narrator. Based on your reading, do you think that the

young women were actually aliens Or do you think the narrator is not

·

·

properly remembering events Explain. What might th

is suggest about the

power of memory

·

In what ways might Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween” be considered a coming

of

age story Do multiple characters embody that theme, or just the narrator

What events or circumstances lead to this new awareness of the often h

arsh

realities of life Explain.

Read the following stories below and use the attached powerpoint to complete the

attached paper

? ZZ Packer’s “Gideon”

? Neil Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”

? Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween”

In microsoft word please complete the following reflection

reflect on your experience reading ZZ Packer’s “Gideon,” “How to Talk to Girls at

Parties,” and Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween.” Answer the following in your response:

? Which of the stories did you find to be most enjoyable to read What about the

text stood out to you as a reader

? Which of the three stories did you find to be most challenging to read Why Did

you have any concerns while completing the Reading Comprehension

assignment for these stories Explain.

?

? Though one of the shorter stories that we read for this week, ZZ Packer’s

“Gideon” the characterization in this story is rich and complex. What does

Gideon’s reaction to the false-positive pregnancy test reveal about his true

character How does this differ from the version of himself that he presents to

the world Why do you think the narrator pretends that the test is positive

Explain.

?

? In “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” science fiction writer Neil Gaiman is once

again introducing potentially fantastic elements to the story. However, as this

is an event from the narrator’s past that happened thirty years ago, we have a

potentially unreliable narrator. Based on your reading, do you think that the

young women were actually aliens Or do you think the narrator is not

?

? properly remembering events Explain. What might this suggest about the

power of memory

? In what ways might Venita Blackburn’s “Halloween” be considered a coming-

of-age story Do multiple characters embody that theme, or just the narrator

What events or circumstances lead to this new awareness of the often harsh

realities of life Explain.

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