Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Passages for deeper analysis from Chapters 5-6 of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Iannis Metaxas - Prime Minister April -August 1936 and dictator of Greece from August 1936 until his death in January 1941.
As a student of English Literature moving A2 you need to sharpen your analytical reading skills by practising on brief passages; this will enable you to analyse broader passages and chapters more skilfully on your own.
Where appropriate you could analyse the passages for any of the following:

Narrative viewpoint and voice: the attitude(s) of the narrator/speaker and direct and reported speech.

Tone – and whether the narrator is emotive, objective, reflective, judgemental, etc.

Intrusive narrating – whether de Bernieres is giving his opinions and ideas about a character, event, etc.

imagery: explore its deeper meanings.

Dialogue and description – how used and the balance between the two.

Language and its purpose, i.e. irony, for humour, to impress, to reflect mood, etc.

• Themes or ideas and how these are explored.

How characters are developed or remain flat.

The use of style – whether the passage is active or passive and the meanings you can deduce from that.

Other stylistic devices such as syntax (sentence construction) repetition, rhetorical questions, motifs, foregrounding, references to other texts, etc.

Structural devices such as parallel narratives, charactisation, etc.

Form and historical fiction and how passages/chapters relate the attitudes, behaviour, culture and history of the past – but from a modern vantage point of 1993!

Passages for practicing your skills ( in pairs or on your own )

1. Chapter 5, page 33: “ He remembered . . . to the top of page 34, “ . . . an absurd little man”.
2. Chapter 5, page 34: “But I have done my best” to “ . . .evil times have passed”.
3. Chapter 5, bottom of page 34: “Was it not a form of irony” to page 35 “ . . .every subversive fart in Greece”.
4. Chapter 6, page 37: “ I, Carlo Guercio” to “ . . . my mother’s womb”.
5. Chapter 6, page 39: “We were all young together” to “ . . . against people who fought like gods.
6. Chapter 6, bottom of page 39: “ I am not a cynic” to “ Page 40 “ . . . make me sad”.

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I teach Film, Media and English Lit.