Analysing a narrative (fictional) text




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 How to analyse a fictional text
Narrative perspectives:
Third-person omniscient narrator
- not visible, tells the story from the outside
 How to analyse a fictional text
Narrative perspectives:
Third-person omniscient narrator
- not visible, tells the story from the outside
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How to analyse a fictional text Narrative perspectives: Third-person omniscient narrator - not visible, tells the story from the outside - knows everything (thoughts, feelings, background of the story) - comments on the characters behavior sometimes - mainly neutral and more distant narrative techniques Third-person limited narrator First-person narrator: tells the story from the outside - a character narrates the story - only describes the feelings and thoughts of from his own perspective one particular character - we only know what he thinks, knows, sees, hears - the narrator is not identical with his character - often the main protagonist we sympathize more easily with the character we are told most about Useful phrases: - The story is written from the few point of the...-narrator. - The neutral description of...lets the reader judge for himself. We immediately share the experiences/feelings of the first person-narrator. - The narrator perspective is limited because the reader only sees... - we sympathize most easily with this type of narrator Structure: - exposition: first part of the narrative, gives basic information about setting, characters and plot - rising action: a development in the main part, in which a conflict escalates; builds tension - climax: most exciting part of the story - falling action: solutions to the conflict - dénoument: resolution of a conflict / solution to a mystery, making the ending happy or tragic - frame story: presents a story...

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within a story Chronology: - back story: gives the history of characters, objects, places or other elements in the story - flashback: narrative is taken back in time - flash-forward: future events are revealed - foreshadowing: clues early in the story that hint at a future development narrative situation: - point of view: shows the attitude to the narrator to the character and can limit what the reader knows - unreliable narrator: does not tell the whole truth to the narrator - suspense: created by not giving away too much information - Tense: influences the distance between reader and characters if the narrator uses present tense you feel close to the action - narration: dialogues, description or comment - stream of consciousness: represents as exactly as possible the thoughts of the character, seems unstructured, chaotic and very close to the reader Language and structure: - choice of words (negative/positive, many adjectives - register (formal, informal, neutral/colloquial English) - stylistic devices - sentence structure (coordinate sentences => main clauses, compound sentences => subordinate sentences; questions, imperatives etc.) - tone (dry, ironic, joyful, pessimistic, inspirational, fearful) Useful phrases: The author makes use of everyday/colloquial/informal/vulgar language An atmosphere of is created by using. a humorous/ironic/serious/critical/positive tone. ... vivid/animated/exaggerated language. Analysing narrative texts Introduction: include general information about the text (author, title, year, text type, theme) Body: - Each paragraph should make one point to support your argument/interpretation - always connect the author's choice (stylistic devices, characters, location etc.) with its effect. Look for \. reasons why the author made these choices use quotations and line references Conclusion: - short summary or (if asked) a comparison of this text with other works or with your own experience