About This Chapter
Analyzing American Literature - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, our instructors provide you with various methodologies you can use to analyze different pieces of American literature. The brief lessons address the broad range of styles and formats found within American literature. You can view the full list of available lessons through the chapter menu, and you can navigate to the specific lessons you want to review. If you take the time to go through the entire chapter, you will be prepared to:
- Describe the main literary movements and periods
- Identify the steps used for analyzing passages of literature
- Define the terms used for analyzing poetry
- Point out the differences between poetic forms
- Explain how the narrator impacts American novels
- Compare common plot techniques in American fiction
- Differentiate between techniques used for American short stories versus dramas
- Summarize common rhetorical devices and explain their functions
- Detail important terms related to prose and poetry
1. Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course
When it comes to studying literature, there's about 1500 years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language! Fortunately, you can check out our crash course of key literary movements to see how the art form has developed over time.
2. How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this lesson, we will examine the steps involved in the basic analysis of literature. Then, using a well-known fable, we will go through each step of analysis: comprehension, interpreting and drawing conclusions.
3. Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples
It can sometimes be tough to figure out what a poem means. This lesson provides some tools to help you analyze poetry and develop your interpretations.
4. Identifying Forms in American Poetry
There is more to poetry than symbolism and imagery. This lesson will help you figure out meter and rhyme schemes in poetry, with some classic American poems as examples.
5. Role of the Narrator in American Novels: Types and Examples
Thinking about who is telling the story in a novel, and what he or she might be leaving out, is crucial to understanding that novel. Learn about the various types of points of view in American novels, as well as a few specific, noteworthy narrators, in this lesson.
6. Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples
A novel's plot involves more than just what happens in the story. Authors employ a number of techniques, including foreshadowing, red herrings, backstory, and B-plots to enrich their stories.
7. Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples
Identifying the tone, setting, and mood in a short story can help you analyze that story. In this lesson, we'll think about those literary features in the context of a few well-known American short stories.
8. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays
Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.
9. Rhetorical Device: Definition & Examples
Rhetorical devices are used in language to communicate effectively and persuade. Here you'll discover more about rhetorical devices and learn how to put some of them to use in some persuasion of your own.
10. Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose
The study of literature is a broad, diverse field. However, there's some general knowledge you should have before you dive in. Check out these terms to get a handle on the basics of prose study.
11. Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry
Before you start your study of poetry, you'll want to have these technical, literary and genre terms at your disposal. Read on to learn the basics of analyzing poetry!
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Other chapters within the English 102: American Literature course
- Introduction to American Literature
- Colonial and Early National Period in Literature
- Romantic Period in Literature
- Dark Romantics
- Transcendentalism in Literature
- Realism in Literature
- Modernist Prose and Plays
- Modernist Poetry
- The Harlem Renaissance and Literature
- Literature of the Contemporary Period
- Studying for English 102