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Book details
  • SubGenre:Literacy
  • Language:English
  • Pages:639
  • eBook ISBN:9781624887970

Handbook for Literary Analysis

How to Evaluate Prose Fiction, Drama, & Poetry

by James P. Stobaugh

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Dr. Stobaugh has created a treasure chest of information helpful to students or teachers teaching concerning how to analyze literature. It is a perfect companion to any literature curriculum choice. Full of literary examples, the handbook leads readers through the terminology of literary analysis. Essays of Dr. Stobaugh's students model the task of analyzing classical works and makes it much easier for students to write their own literary analysis essays. Includes summary study guides on over 100 classics.
Literary analysis is literary criticism. They are the same. What is literary criticism? Literary criticism is talking and writing about literature. Any literature, at any age. In that sense, literary analysis is a critical discussion of literature. To be “critical” is not necessarily to be “negative.” It is to be intentional in one’s evaluation of literature. Indeed, “evaluation” is the highest form of thoughtful analysis. When children read Margaret’s Wise Brown’s Runaway Bunny and ask, “Do I like this book?” and “Why?” they are, in effect, analyzing the literary piece. They are doing literary criticism. As they get more adept, students ask, “Who are the central characters? What conflict do they face? Where is the climax? Is there a theme?” But further sophistication and advanced metacognition in no way diminishes the intentional, informed opinions of the most unsophisticated, readers. Literary critics, no matter what their age, use a special “language” to talk about literature. This book is a reference book about that language. For example, in The Runaway Bunny the protagonist (the main character), a little runaway bunny, is pursued by his loving mother, a mother bunny, an important foil (a character who develops the main character). The protagonist experiences several layers of internal conflict as he tries to escape his mother. Along the way, the author, Margaret Wise Brown, uses several setting changes to develop her characters. And so forth. Now readers have a way to discuss this literary work. Fundamentally, literary criticism, then, will help readers reclaim the metaphor in their psyche, language, and writing. This will presage laudable outcomes in the kingdom of God. My goodness, it will presage laudable outcomes in the kingdom of man! Therefore, amid so many competing media options, readers must learn to analyze, to evaluate, to appreciate great literature. The propagation of the gospel will not be enhanced by how quickly we can appreciate and text messages to one another; however, it will be enhanced by how well we grasp the critical nuances of Bible stories. We cannot suppose that our unsaved world will grasp concepts like “love” and “faith” unless we have words, rhetoric, to tell them what these things are. If we learn how to do literary analysis well, we will be better able to create and to share vital truths to future generations. The Handbook for Literary Analysis: How to Evaluate Prose Fiction, Drama, and Poetry reclaims the metaphor, reclaims rhetoric, reclaims literary analysis. It has a high view of the reader, the critic, and the student. All three are invited to think critically, to discuss thoroughly, the great literary works of all civilizations. Systematically, this Handbook defines, explains, and illustrates a wide range of significant literary terms in fiction, drama, and poetry. Along the way, readers explore copious, inspired examples, including biblical examples. Finally, readers read real literary analytical essays by American high school students. Caution: these are real, slightly edited versions of my students’ essays. They are not perfectly written essays. But they perfect vehicles for learn how to write literary analysis, which, after all, is the laudable purpose of this book. Enjoy!
About the author
James P. Stobaugh and his wife, Karen, have four homeschooled adult children. They have a growing ministry, For Such a Time As This Ministries, committed to challenging this generation to change its world for Christ. His academic credentials include the following: BA, cum laude, Vanderbilt University; Teacher Certification, Peabody College for Teachers; MA, Rutgers University; MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary; Merrill Fellow, Harvard University; DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Stobaugh’s books include the following: The SAT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student The ACT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student Encouraging Thoughtful Christians to be World Changers (series) Handbook for Literary Analysis Skills for Rhetoric American Literature British Literature World Literature High School History Courses (series) American History British History World History Epoch I–IV Middle School History Companion to 50 Classics Devotions for Thoughtful Christians (series) Fire That Burns But Does Not Consume A Gathered Inheritance
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