RECOMMENDED STEPS IN TEXT ANALYSIS
8 апреля 2019

1. The author of the extract under analysis. The author of the extract under analysis / review is a famous / well-known / outstanding / celebrated/ prominent American / British writer / poet / dramatist / essay-writer... (his name, some biographical fact about the writer, especially his ethical, esthetical, political etc. views, his belonging to a certain literary and cultural tradition) (4-5 sentences)

2. The source of the extract. The text under analysis running under the title... is an abridged extract taken from a novel / short story / essay / poem / drama...The title of the story is... (It reveals its subject matter, but it's only when we've read the whole story we shall understand what underlies this title...)

3. The plot of the extract under analysis. The scene of the extract is laid / takes place in... The extract deals with.../ touches upon.../ dwells or describes... / shows... / depicts... / gives coverage to... (What is the text about? What is the focus of author’s attention? What aspects of the topic are touched upon in the text? Does the text have a simple, or complex, or intricate plot? Is the setting of events realistic/historical/fantastic/exotic/rural?)(Point out the exposition, the development, the climax and the denouement of the action (8-10 sentences))(The exposition usually contains the setting of the scene (i.e. the time and place of the action) and some preliminary information about the topic and subject of the story, its main characters etc. By nature it is a static part of the story and contains no action. The plot consists of a series of episodes relating to the development of the central conflict of the story. It usually starts with the so-called narrative hook, which introduces the conflict and begins the dynamic action aiming at the ultimate resolution of the conflict. The highest point in the development of the plot is called the climax. The post-climax events that are falling action coming to a resolution are called denouement.)

- The climax of the plot/development is presented in…

- The denouement is shown in…

- The tension arises from/emerges in …

- The scene/dialogue/passage is the climax of the story/play.

- The climax/turning point is reached when/comes …

- The story/play has an open ending.

4. The form of speech. The extract is told in: a) direct speech;

b) indirect speech;

c) a mixture type of speech.

(The form of speech of the text under analysis is prevailingly indirect. The author employs also the samples of direct speech.... (examples...)

5. The point of view.

The extract is told from the point of view of:

- the author ( the 3rd person narration) – it can be proved by the wide usage of the 3rd person subjects, expressed by nouns, pronouns in Sg\Pl…

- the main\chief character (the 1st person narration) - it can be proved by the wide usage of the 1st person subjects, expressed by nouns, pronouns in Sg\Pl…

- the minor character\the onlooker

The choice of the point of view. The extract / story is told from the point of view of the author / the chief character / the onlooker. From the point of view of presentation the text is the 1st/3rd person narrative/ rather a description than a narration/ rather a narration than a description/a mixture of narration and description. (It is important to distinguish between the author, the person who wrote the story, and the narrator, the person or voice telling the story. The author may select a first-person narrative, when one character tells of things that only he or she saw and felt. In a third-person narrative, the omniscient author moves in and out of people’s thoughts and comments freely on what the characters think, say and do.)

6. Literary Representation Forms: Narration, description, dialogue\monologue, represented speech, reasoning, quotations, inner speech. The prevailing form of the utterance is…

7. Type of speech. The extract is told in: a) written; b) spoken; c) mixture type of speech. The types of speech have peculiarities at each language level.

 

WRITTEN

 

SPOKEN

1.On the phonological level/the level of phonetics

Full forms of modal and auxiliary verbs prevail (he cannot, he has been)

Contracted forms of the functional words prevail (examples – I’m, he’s), there are abbreviations

2. on the morphological level

The extract is characterized by past tense forms…, which are mostly used in narrations or descriptions (exemplify the answer, indicate the tense, explain what action it is used to denote,analyze the use of articles as to their meaning, non-finite forms of the verb, modals and moods)

Present and future forms prevail. They are mostly used in conversations or dialogues

3. on the syntactic level

Mostly long, compound, complex and composite sentences are used. They prevail in narrations and descriptions (examples)

The extract is characterized by the wide use of short simple, even elliptical sentences. They are mostly used in conversations and dialogues (examples)

4. on the lexical level

Neutral words prevail( neutral words form the bulk of the English Vocabulary and are used in both literary and colloquial language. Neutral words are the main source of synonymy and polysemy. Unlike all other groups, neutral words don’t have a special stylistic colouring and are devoid of emotional meaning)

There are many bookish, foreign literary words (mostly scientific terms and also words which are not understandable to uneducated people).Bookish or learned words – words of high flown stylistic colouring used usually in official or high flown style – tell who and why uses these words: the characters, the author. Give examples.

 Most words are neutral, colloquial or slangy. Colloquialisms are  words used in private, unofficial type of communication but not violating the received standard.

 

There are phrasal verbs and informal phrases.

                       *Colloquial                          Neutral                   Literary

      kid                               child                            infant

     daddy                            father                           parent

  get out                           go away                        retire

        go on                           continue                        proceed

Barbarisms are words of foreign origin which have not entirely been assimilated into the English language. They bear the appearance of a borrowing and are felt as something alien to the native tongue.

e.g. chic (stylish)

bon mot (a clever witty saying)

tête-a tête (face to face)

Terms – words or word combinations used to express special notions, objects, phenomena, etc. characteristic to some branch of science: e.g. habitat, species.)

8. The main sphere of words. As far as the text is devoted to … there are many words in the extract that help the author to enclose the theme. (analysis of the words bearing on the topic…)

9. Some words of special interest. In the extract there are several words worth analysis. / I believe that all the words in the extract are equally important but there are some that contribute more to the purport and are worth to be analyzed deeper. I’d like to proceed with the analysis of the word … (The part of speech it belongs to; its meanings and usages; derivatives; synonyms, antonyms; word combinations, proverbs and sayings.)

10. Character drawing. The character drawing is indirect / direct / of a mixture type. Direct character drawing is such a type when the author describes his characters, appearances directly through words. Indirect character drawing - through their actions, attitudes to other personages, their gestures and pantomime their speech and deeds, his attitude to them (examples...) (Traditionally, all characters are divided into principal (or main) and secondary ones. Those, who form the focus of the author’s (and, hence, the reader’s) attention, and take an active part in the central conflict of the story are the main characters (The main character can also be called protagonist. Protagonist is an obviously central character in a story or play, the one whom the readers or audience are supposed to sympathize with. As a rule the protagonist is admirable and distinguished but sometimes he can on the contrary seem very ordinarily or even foolish. The synonym for protagonist is hero/heroine – a character whose actions are inspiring and noble.); others serve as the background for the portrayal of the main characters and their conflict (secondary ones) (In the system of personages there is such a notion as antagonist (a person or force that opposes the protagonist in the conflict); sometimes the antagonist is understood as an enemy of the hero or heroine.). The analysis of the characters should include their physical description, social background, some distinctive traits of the character, their typical ideas, attitudes, manner of speech, actions, relations with other characters and their role in the central conflict, and, finally, the author’s attitude to them.)

11. Functional style of speech. Since the text under consideration presents a story it belongs to belles-lettres style, emotive prose substyle. Belles-lettres style includes poetry (the genres of short poem or verse or big poem), emotive prose (a piece of science fiction, a detective story, a love story, a psychological story) and drama (drama proper and poetical drama, comedy, tragedy). Besides belles-lettre style there are such functional styles as publicistic, newspaper, scientific and the style of the official documents. (Drama is a story written to be performed by actors. The events are represented in the speech and actions of characters in their interrelation. The main dramatic genres are defined by the nature of the represented conflict as well as the moral stand taken by the author and expressed in a peculiar emotive quality of writing (tragedy, comedy and drama).

In a novel alongside the main theme there are several other rival themes; several minor conflicts alongside the main one, rival characters alongside the main character; thus the plot is usually complex. A short story is as a rule centered on one main character, one conflict, one theme.

Character sketch, journal, letters, memoirs, biography, essay etc. are the main forms/genres of non-fiction. Non-fiction is a prose writing that presents and explains ideas or tells about real people, places, events.)

 

VOCABULARY FOR TEXT ANALYSIS

Author

The author

- wants to … influence/persuade/convince/impress/inform/entertain … the reader.

- is concerned with …

- deals with …

- speaks about …

- discusses …

- gives his opinion on the problem/question of …

- expresses his point of view concerning …

- holds the view that …

- comments on …

- gives an exact analysis of …

- gives a personal interpretation of …

- presents the thesis that …

- puts forward an argument/arguments against/for …

- provides/gives evidence in support of …

- assumes that …

- supposes that …

- refers to an example …

- draws/comes to the conclusion that...

The author’s

- train of thought/line of argumentation is (not) convincing.

- opinion is based on … /(not) acceptable/(not) questionable.

Theme

The text

- deals with/is about/concerns/presents/treats of/describes …

The general/essential/main idea expressed in/of the text/paragraph is/are …

Action

The story takes place in …

The plot of the story is laid in …

The scene/action is set in …

The course of the action …

The phases/stages of the action …

Structure

The text/story can be divided into/is divided into/falls into/is composed of/contains/consists of […] parts/paragraphs/chapters/sections.

The paragraph can be subdivided …

The subdivision indicates the sequence of ideas …

The constituent elements of the … are …

The first/[…]/last part/paragraph/chapter/sentence constitutes/gives us/comprises the introduction/central problem/principal part/solution.

In the first/[…]/last part/chapter the author varies the theme/changes the topic/goes into detail/passes from … to …

The tension arises from/emerges in …

The scene/dialogue/passage is the climax of the story/play.

The climax/turning point is reached when/comes …

The story/play has an open ending.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the text/passage/story/play is melancholy/gloomy/shown in/by …

Style:

The author uses/employs/makes use of literary/formal/informal/colloquial/familiar/slang words/expressions/language.

This word/expression/phrase refers to/underlines/emphasises/means/stands for …

Characterisation

The author describes the characteristics/outer appearance/intellectual qualities/mood/activities/social and psychological condition of …

The author points out the characteristics of/gives a characterisation of/characterises (a person as…)/gives a realistic/detailed description of/only gives a rough description of…

The character is described/presented/characterised as…

The basic traits of A’s character are …

One of A’s striking characteristics is …

A stands in clear contrast to B.

 
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