Techniques in Literature


Prose - Modes of Narration

First Person Narrative - Narrator is placed directly in story, refers to his/herself as 'I.' Allows author to expose narrator's inner thoughts to the reader. Usually more subjective.

Second Person Narrative - One character is referred to as 'you,' drawing the reader into the text as one of the characters.

Third Person Narrative - Narrator refers to all characters as 'he,' 'she' or 'they' etc. An OMNICIENT third person narrator expresses all the character's thoughts equally. More objective,  but readers can interpret their own ideas of what is happening in the tale. A limited narrator may be internal or external.

Internal = works from inside the consciousness of characters by telling us how they think/feel.

External =Observes characters and events from the outside

Restricted = narrators with restrictions on their knowledge

Unrestricted = narrators with no restrictions on their knowledge

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Mode of narration in Pride and Prejudice

Third person unlimited omnicient, we can see into all the character's minds.

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Free indirect discourse

  • Free indirect discourse:

Narration of character's thoughts, not through dialouge - narrator is speaking to US

'mrs bennet thought...'

  • Stream of Consciousness
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Prose - Structure

  • Climax/twist
  • Sentence structure
  • Structure of extract (eg, if it refers back)
  • Foreshadowing
  • Flashback
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Prose - Language

  • Description - prose tends to be quite descriptive
  • Figurative language - metaphors/similies
  • Imagery
  • Characterisation - realistic/symbolic
  • Connotations 
  • Vocabulary - formality 
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Poetic Form

  • Ballad (dealt with religion/ love/tragedy etc). Most written in quatrains, usually 2nd and 4th lines rhyme - singing.
  • Dramatic monolouge (poet speaks through another 'character''s thoughts)
  • Sonnet (Shakespearean/English - abab/cdcd/efef/gg - petrarchan - abba/cddc (variation). Usually 14 lines, with a twist near the 8 line, usually in Iambic pentametre.
  • Lyric (from romantic era, express the thoughts/emotion of the poet
  • Elegy (funeral song/lament for the dead)
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Poem - structure

  • Stanzas - If tone changes throughout etc
  • Line length 
  • Caesura
  • Enjambment 
  • Questioning
  • Shifts in tone
  • Metre:  

English poetry employs five basic rhythms of varying stressed (/) and unstressed (x) syllables. Each unit of rhythm is a 'foot' in poetry.

Iambic = (x/) unstressed, stressed = eg, That time of year thou mayst in me behold)

Trochaic = (/x) Stressed, unstressed = eg, Tell me not in mournful numbers

Spondaic = (//) Stressed, Stressed = eg, break, break, break/ on thy cold gray stones, oh sea!

Anaseptic (**/) unstressed, unstressed, stressed = eg, and a sound of a voice that is still

Dactylic (/**) stressed, unstressed, unstressed = eg, This is the forest primeval,

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Poem - Lanugage

  • Visual - imagery, personfication, figurative language, concrete images, abstract images, pathetic fallacy, motifs (idea repeated many times), diction
  • Oral - tone of voice, alliteration, sibillance, assonance, onomatopeia, consonants hard/soft
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Drama - form

  • Set, 
  • lightining, 
  • music/ sound, 
  • costume, 
  • dramatic irony, 
  • scene entrance/ exits
  • tension
  • surprise
  • comic relief 
  • twists
  • asides
  • solliloquy

-The fact that is a certain genre and the effect this has on the audience

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Drama - structure

  • Conflict/change (situation at start usually on verge of major upheavel)
  • Progatognist/antagonist/catalyst
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Drama - Language

  • Dialouge
  • Metaphorical/poetic/symbolic
  • Direct writers point of view often limited - expressed through character as a mouthpiece
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Metre (2)

Each line of a poem contains a certain number of iambs, trochees, spondees, anapests or dactyls.

A line of one foot is a monometer, 2 feet is a dimeter, and so on--trimeter (3), tetrameter (4), pentameter (5), hexameter (6), heptameter (7), and octameter (8).

iambic pentameter (5 iambs, 10 syllables)

 That time| ofyear| thoumayst| inme| behold

trochaic tetrameter (4 trochees, 8 syllables)

Tell me | not in | mournful | numbers

anapestic trimeter (3 anapests, 9 syllables)

And the sound | of a voice | that is still

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