with Angela Harris
Analysis Chapters 1-3
We started class with our usual "'round-the-virtual classroom" open notebook quiz on the background reading on author and novel from the Glencoe Study Guide. Don't forget to read these short entries each week as it gives great insight into the different things we are discussing during our class time together. The pages you need to read are always indicated on the syllabus.
We attempted to do our customary analysis, but were unceremoniously interrupted by my internet connection. Thanks to everyone for their patience while I got back on the call--well done!
Reminders: Don't forget to keep your Vocabulary Glossaries current. Please add anthropomorphism and industrialization to your glossaries. You should also be maintaining a map log for this book. The handout was posted to the Community Page and the Google Map link is HERE. You should have filled in Seattle to Tahkeena for chapters 1-3. You need to indicate on your log the chapter where the location is mentioned and one fact about that location. You can pull all the points directly off the map, and there are even location facts listed right there to help you out. Writing them down cements them in your memory for use at a later time. We'll hopefully have time to go over these next week.
Last week we focused on "Culture and History" as it relates to literary analysis. Today, we talked about:
Narrative and Point of View:
The narrator tells the story with a specific perspective informed by his or her beliefs and experiences. Narrators can be major or minor characters, or exist outside the story altogether. The narrator weaves her or his point of view, including ignorance and bias, into telling the tale. A first-person narrator participates in the events of the novel, using “I.” A distanced narrator, often not a character, is removed from the action of the story and uses the third person (he, she, and they). The distanced narrator may be omniscient, able to read the minds of all the characters, or limited, describing only certain characters’ thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, the type of narrator determines the point of view from which the story is told. The Call of the Wild is told from the third-person point of view by a limited omniscient narrator. This narrator tells the story entirely from the perspective of the main character, Buck, a St. Bernard/Scotch Shepherd dog. In order to understand The Call of the Wild, we must understand Buck’s personality and motivations.
The central character in a work of literature is called the protagonist. The protagonist usually initiates the main action of the story and often overcomes a flaw, such as weakness or ignorance, to achieve a new understanding by the work’s end. A protagonist who acts with great honor or courage may be called a hero. An antihero is a protagonist lacking these qualities. Instead of being dignified, brave, idealistic, or purposeful, the antihero may be cowardly, self-interested, or weak. The protagonist’s journey is enriched by encounters with characters who hold differing beliefs. One such character type, a foil, has traits that contrast with the protagonist’s and highlight important features of the main character’s personality. The most important foil, the antagonist, opposes the protagonist, barring or complicating his or her success. Buck is the protagonist of the novel. Several antagonists oppose him—dogs, humans, even the harsh climate and landscape (abstract antagonist).
Pack Mentality & Anthropomorphism
Please refer to and read your handout by this name. We didn't have time to discuss today!
We ended class by beginning a fun 5-10 minute writing exercise. In order to understand anthropomorphism better, we tried to imitate London's storytelling devices by narrating a story from our OWN life as told from the point of view of a pet or imaginary animal.
We'll share these at the start of class next week. Until then!