ERIC Number: ED236681
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Conceptualization through Narrative Analysis: A Formula for Theme.
Strobel, Shirley H.
A five-step method of conflict analysis can help students generate accurate and complex theme statements about literature without teacher intervention. The conflict analysis involves (1) identifying the characters who are in conflict as a series of pairs and determining if the protagonist has an inner conflict; (2) determining the major conflict, which is found at the center of the narrative's climax or turning point; (3) identifying each conflict between characters in terms of the ideas they represent, creating paired opposites of abstractions such as selfish and unselfish; (4) analyzing the conflict's resolution to determine which of the opposing forces is stronger; and (5) deciding why the dominant force wins out or why there is no resolution. The answer to this last question is the theme statement. Conflict analyses of John Steinbeck's short story, "Flight," and Arthur Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman," show how this procedure can be used effectively with different literary genres. (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conflict Analysis; Heuristics; Miller (Arthur); Steinbeck (John); Thematic Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (72nd, Washington, DC, November 19-24, 1982).