Friday, June 18, 2010

Genre, Themes, History

From what I understand (which isn't much), the written part of the exam, and maybe parts of the oral, will focus on genre, theme, and history. Now, while I am okay with identifying a novel's place in history and can explain the importance of when it was written as well as the importance of when the action actually takes place, I am a little fuzzy when it comes to genre and theme. So to begin, I will turn to my good friend Webster's online dictionary.

Genre: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.
Examples: Romantic, gothic, panoramic, comedy, etc.

Theme: a subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation or a specific and distinctive quality, characteristic, or concern .
Example: Slavery is one of many themes in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Something else to take into consideration is picking and choosing items from the M.A. list that you feel comfortable comparing. Although I will be honest, I was not so much concerned with picking works that I could compare, so much as I was attempting to pick works that I either a) already read and understood, b) weren't collections of poetry, or c) did not include multiple items under one listing. I wanted to keep my list as simple and possible...and avoid poetry as much as I could...and I am kinda lazy.

Next post, I will actually write about a book that is a required read. I decided to tackle Moby Dick now instead of later, mostly since I read it recently for the second time for the my 19th century American literature class. I also did both my presentation and term paper on the monster novel. I need to use this information while it is still fresh, but more importantly, while the book still sort of makes sense to me. And hopefully, my post about it will make some sort of sense to you.

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