Ch 2: Literary Elements

About This Chapter

The lessons in this chapter will guide you through the maze of literary elements. Analyze plot, identify themes and evaluate motifs as you hone your literary skills.

Literary Elements - Chapter Summary

To really enjoy literature, it is important to understand and analyze the literary elements in a work. Our experienced instructors introduce you to the process of plot analysis and show you common plot techniques often employed in American works of fiction. These lessons help you explore settings and themes and understand their importance in a work.

Characters and dialogue are also key components to good literature. You'll find out how to analyze characters, motives and dialogue in fictional works as you progress through this chapter. Finally, you'll learn how to combine your new analytical skills to compare two written works. After completing the lessons in this chapter, you will have a firm understanding of:

  • Analyzing plot and identifying plot techniques
  • Evaluating setting
  • Character motivation
  • Analyzing characters and characterization
  • Understanding and finding themes in literature
  • Identifying literary motifs
  • Analyzing two texts related by theme or topic

Our brief, entertaining videos make mastering literary elements quick and easy. The embedded video tags make it simple to review an individual concept, and you can use the lesson transcripts for easy access to key words and concepts. If you have any questions as you study, just ask one of our subject experts. Want to make sure you have mastered the material? Take the lesson quizzes and chapter exam to ensure you understand the concepts.

11 Lessons in Chapter 2: Literary Elements
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Literary Elements: Definition, Types & Examples

1. Literary Elements: Definition, Types & Examples

In this lesson, you'll learn the basic elements, or parts, of literary texts. We'll look at examples of each kind of literary element, and you can check your understanding with a brief quiz.

How to Analyze Plot: Steps and Examples

2. How to Analyze Plot: Steps and Examples

In this lesson, we will discuss how to analyze a plot in three basic steps. We will take these three steps and break them down to understand how to analyze a plot by analyzing a fable.

Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples

3. 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.

Setting in Literature: Definition, Importance & Examples

4. Setting in Literature: Definition, Importance & Examples

In this lesson, you'll review the important elements of a story. In particular, you'll learn about the components of the setting and its importance within the plot.

How to Analyze Characters in Literature: Explanation and Examples

5. How to Analyze Characters in Literature: Explanation and Examples

In this lesson, we will learn to analyze characters in literature by comprehending, interpreting and drawing conclusions about each character. We will look at a story to practice analyzing characters.

Characterization: Character Roles & Dialogue in Fiction

6. Characterization: Character Roles & Dialogue in Fiction

In this lesson, we will talk about characters and characterization. We will explore the various types of characters, examine some methods of characterization, and pay special attention to the role of dialogue.

What is a Character Trait? - Definition & Examples

7. What is a Character Trait? - Definition & Examples

This lesson will assist you in identifying, developing and understanding character traits through analysis. It will allow you to explore how character traits can be found and applied to different forms of literature and real-life scenarios.

How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

8. How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the theme or central idea of a text, and you'll get some specific examples of themes from famous stories.

How Fiction Draws on Themes from Other Works

9. How Fiction Draws on Themes from Other Works

How do classic characters like Cinderella translate for our times? In this lesson, we'll discuss theme in literature, and you'll read about an example of how authors sometimes draw on themes from already existing works to appeal to contemporary audiences.

How to Analyze Two Texts Related by Theme or Topic

10. How to Analyze Two Texts Related by Theme or Topic

In this lesson, we will learn how to analyze two texts related by theme or topic. We will discuss how to analyze the texts individually and then how to synthesize their information.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

11. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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