Houston Community Key Concepts in Analysis of Fiction Paper

Humanities

Elements of Fiction-3

Listed below are elements you will commonly find in literary fiction. Get to know these, or brush up on them if you’re already familiar, as the assignment this week will require you to discuss Frankenstein with reference to some of them.

  • Plot covers the sequencing and revelation of the events in the narrative. It does not cover the meaning of these events—only their sequencing.
  • Conflict covers the central issues and concerns of the characters in the narrative.
  • Theme covers the central issues and concerns that the narrative is intended to provoke, or address in the reader.
  • Setting covers the time and place in which the narrative occurs and the significance of those elements to the narrative. Setting can be localized, or it can be diffuse, covering large areas and swaths of time.
  • Character covers those individuals involved in the narrative, their dispositions, and the ways in which those dispositions are accentuated in relation to each-other.
  • Point of View covers the perspective of the narrator and its bearing on both the structure and the meaning of the narrative. Below each of the major kinds of point of view are described:
    • First person point of view: this is the point of view of a character in the story. Any story in which the character in the story narrates it is a first person narrative.
    • Second person point of view: this is the point of view of the reader. It is very uncommon for a narrative to use second person, in which the reader is actually invited and required to be involved in the story.
    • Third person point of view: this is the point of view of a narrator from outside of the story. Any story that features a narrator who is NOT also a character in the story is a third person narrative. Like first person, this is quite common.
  • Symbol covers the use of language to accentuate meaning or message; when an image or a word represents more than itself (like when a sword represents power, or when spring represents youthfulness).

Assignment: Understanding Key Concepts in the Analysis of Fiction

For this assignment, you should start writing about Frankenstein. In order to give you some practice distinguishing between the various elements of fiction when you write about it, this assignment first asks you to choose three of the elements of fiction from those that you’ve reviewed earlier in the module. Choose the three elements that you think are most compelling to discuss, with Frankenstein in mind. The assignment should be three paragraphs in length, and each paragraph should address one of the three elements of fictions that you’ve chosen. Here’s how it should look:

  • In the first paragraph, discuss the role of the first element of fiction you’ve chosen to write about in Frankenstein. Answer the following questions:
    • What is a key moments or scene in the novel that helps to illustrate how this element functions?
    • How does this moment or scene help us better understand how this element functions? (For instance, if you are focusing on “setting” first, you might want to discuss the way that Victor describes his ascent up Mt. Blanc and then explain how that description helps us better understand the role of setting in the novel.
  • In the second paragraph, transition to the second element of fiction you’ve chosen to write about, answering the same questions as above.
  • In the third paragraph, transition to the third element of fiction you’ve chosen to write about, answering the same questions as above.

Remember that this is an analysis assignment–you should be breaking down the novel into some component parts, explaining a little bit about these parts. There shouldn’t be a lot of pressure to write in a certain way. Think through your writing and do the best that you can.

Nuts and Bolts: 700 words, three paragraphs, typed, double-spaced, MLA formatted. Try to cite at least one line or passage from Frankenstein in each paragraph, for a total of three citations.

I have attached the ebook herewith and converted the file to .zip format, the original format is .epub, which is for Amazon Kindle or other reading devices. Please use “Microsoft Edge/Internet Explorer” to open the file. Thanks.

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