NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED040167
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1965-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Shape of Literature.
Lansu, Helvi
English Journal, v54 n6 p520-24 Sep 1965
The structural analysis of three short stories, arranged to proceed from an elementary to a complex level of form, can illuminate the secondary school student's understanding of literary structure. Representing plot as structure, the basic elements of Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" can be quickly reviewed to debate and establish the denouement and the theme that "life is for the strong." Illustrating theme as structure, Conrad Richter's "Early Marriage" has several rather easily distinguished structural motifs (e.g., the journey and the conquest of fear) whose specific details throw considerable light on the story's thematic structure. Exemplifying tone as structure, John Steinbeck's "Flight" can illustrate how the denouement is identified by the change in tone and how the structure is unified by such recurring images as the surf, the knife, the accumulation and concomitant loss of things, the color black, and Mama Torres' resignation. Steinbeck skillfully uses these and other images to evoke a larger reality in his work which even less gifted students can readily perceive. (JB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.