Monday, September 28, 2009

Notes on fiction unit test

The test will cover the following material:
  1. Lectures on Western literary canon
  2. Lectures & textbook assignments on character, irony, plot, point of view setting, symbol, theme, tone & style
  3. All stories we’ve read from all the various angles we’ve discussed (character, irony, plot, etc.)
  4. Head notes for all stories
  5. One five-point extra-credit question on “The Rich Brother” (87)
The test will be a mixture of multiple-choice, true-false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions. Eighty percent of the test will be objective questions; two essay questions, graded holistically, will count 10 points each.

Vocabulary: banal, boisterous, decorous, dulcet, languor, puritanical, reprimand

And here, as a bonus, is a copy of my own (unedited) notes that I'll be using to compile the objective portion of the test:

“The Appointment in Samarra”
“The North Wind and the Sun”
“The Camel and His Friends”
“Godfather Death”
“A Rose for Emily”
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”
“Miss Brill”
“Greasy Lake”
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”
“Barn Burning”
“The Gift of the Magi”
“Dead Men’s Path”
“The Parable of the Prodigal Son”
“Harrison Bergeron”
“The Lottery”
“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
“Young Goodman Brown”
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

Differences in fable, parable, tale, legend, myth

Character: epiphany, stock character, flat & round, static or dynamic
Irony: Verbal, dramatic, cosmic
Plot: protagonist, antagonist, conflict, foreshadowing, climax, flashback, coming-of-age or story of initiation
Point of View: all-knowing or omniscient, limited omniscient, reliable or unreliable narrator
Setting: Setting as metaphor or symbol
Symbol: symbol & allegory, symbolic act
Theme: nihilism, "moral of the story"
Tone & Style: be able to compare & describe differences in different stories

Western canon: two main streams of influences; examples of works from each; didactic & belletristic stories, lessons from each stream, early relationships of religion & art

Please don't assume that if you don't see a term written here, then you definitely won't see it on the test. Remember: anything we've read or discussed is fair game. But if you are thoroughly familiar with the works and words listed here, you should do well.

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