Charlotte's Web : Wilbur's fate. Will he live? Will Charlotte run out of words? Is Templeton too selfish to help? Will Wilbur win at the fair? Can Charlotte go? Lose to Uncle? New category?
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Dead pig! Templeton bites tail Foreshadowing is the planting of clues to indicate the outcome of the story. Not all readers will be alert to these. Some may notice them subconsciously and describe their inferences as guesses or feelings.
Charlotte's Web : When we first meet Charlotte we are told that she eats living things and the friendship looks questionable. But White adds that "she had a kind heart, and she was to prove loyal and true to the very end. A prophetic statement. Another clue is when Charlotte assures Wilbur, after he learns of the slaughter, with, "I am going to save you. Sensationalism: the thrilling and the startling.
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Achieved at the expense of the character and the idea. A writer must be careful with sensationalism, so as not to weaken the character or theme, to balance suspense over action, and then hint at the outcome, as not to overpower small children but provide relief as needed. Climax: The peak and turning point of the conflict, the point at which we know the outcome of the action. Children call it the most exciting part. In Charlotte's Web when the pig survives. The Borrowers when the boy ventilates the fumigation.
Resolution is the falling action after the climax. When the reader is assured that all is well and will continue to be, so the plot has a closed ending. If the reader is left to draw their own conclusions about the final plot then the ending is open. Many adults as well as children are disturbed by open endings. Inevitably is the property of it had to be.
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This is high praise for a writer. Coincidence: events that happen by mere chance. The Incredible Journey has some coincidental events that remove credibility from the plot. First, a handwritten note blows into the fire and leaves the housekeeper baffled. She therefore does not know that the two dogs and cat have struck out on their own, and does not search for them.
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Later a crumbling beavers' dam gives way at just the right moment to sweep the frightened cat downstream. Later a boy hunting for the first time with his own rifle saves the cat from a lynx with one remarkable shot. Sentimentality is a natural concern or emotion for another person. The way a soap opera or a tear-jerker plays on its viewers. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is told by the horse and stuffed with sentimentality.
The head hung out of the cart-tail, the lifeless tongue was slowly dropping with blood; and the sunken eyes. But I can't speak of them, the sight was too dreadful. It was a chestnut horse with a long, thin neck I believe it was Ginger; I hoped it was, for then her troubles would be over. If men were more merciful they should shoot us before we came to such misery. The rapid pace of folktales does not allow time for tears by false sentiment.
We do not anguish over the fate of Rumpelstiltskin, when he stamped his feet and split in two and that was the end of him. The most destructive element from the over use of sentimentality is not boredom, but the fact that the young reader, faced with continual sentimentality, will not develop the sensitivity essential to recognize what is truly moving and what is merely a play on feelings.
If, after all, we regard the death of a pet mouse with the same degree of emotional intensity as the death of a brother, we have no sense of emotional proportion. By contrast Katherine Paterson in Bridge to Terabithia uses a wide range of emotions that children wrestle with or the genuine sentiment that a small child, reading or being read to, experiences during the relationship with Charlotte and Wilbur. The child fed only on such surface sentimentality as soap operas, the average television program, and Walt Disney, with their sterile and stereotyped pictures of human beings and their distorted sensationalism with simplistic solutions, risks developing emotional shallowness.
Progressive plots have a central climax followed by denouement. Charlotte's Web and A Wrinkle in Time are examples. Episodical plots have one incident or short episode linked to another by a common character or unifying theme maybe through chapters. Used by authors to explore character personalities, the nature of their existence, and the flavor of a certain time period. Backdrop setting is when the setting is unimportant for the story and the story could take place in any setting. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.
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Milne is an example of a story in which could happen in any setting. Integral setting is when the action, character, or theme are influenced by the time and place, setting. Controlling setting controls characters. If you confine a character to a certain setting it defines the character. Characters, given these circumstances, in this time and place, behave in this way. The Tail of Peter Rabbit is an example of how the setting is an integral part of Peter's behavior.
Charlotte's Web is another example of an integral setting. Functions of setting: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare creates a setting of Puritanical austerity: hand-rubbed copper, indicating hard work, the heavy fortress-like door, the dim little mirror, the severe wooden bench, the unpainted Meeting House, the whipping post, the pillory, and the stocks. The tasks of a typical day performed by Kit: mixing soap with a stick, the lye fumes stinging her eyes, tiring muscles, with one of the easiest tasks: making corn pudding, which keeps her over a smoky fire with burning and watering eyes.
A frightening and uncompromising environment compared to her carefree Barbados upbringing. Setting that illuminates character: The confining setting of the attic in Anne Frank and Flowers in the Attic help the characters find themselves and grow as individuals. Setting as symbolism: a symbol is a person, place, object, situation, or action which operates on two levels of meaning, the literal and the figurative, or suggestive. Children will understand only obvious symbols.
Forest: unknown; garden: natural beauty; sunlight: hope, goodness; darkness: evil, despair. A grouping of symbols may create an image called an allegory. The Narnia books by C. Lewis are allegories.
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In The Witch of Blackbird Pond , Speare uses symbols in the usual way and to create conflict, as when she describes Hannah as a kind and harmless woman who lives in the sunny meadows. When you would expect a witch to live in the deep dark shadowy forest or swamp. Theme is the main idea that weaves the story together, the why, the underlying ideas of what happens in the piece of literature, often a statement about society or human nature. Explicit theme is when the writer states the theme openly and clearly.
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Charlotte's Web : friendship. Primary explicit themes are common in children's literature, as the author wants to be sure the reader finds it. Implicit themes are implied themes.
Charlotte's Web : If two such unlikely animals as a spider and pig can be friends, then so can we. Even a Tempelton can be a friend to a degree. Friendship is giving of ones self, as Wilbur did for the egg sac and devotion to the babies. Best friends can do no wrong. Friendship is reciprocal.
Multiple and secondary themes: Since a story speaks to us on our own individual level of varying experiences, many individual themes will be obtained from a good piece of literature. Charlotte's Web secondary themes could include: People don't give credit where credit is due, Youth and innocence have a unique value, Be what you are, There is beauty in all things, Nature is a miracle, Life is continuous. Children may not be able to express themes but they are beginning to build an understanding of them, which they need before they can express them.
Didacticism: If we give students stories that are too preachy, they will turn off and nothing is gained. Students need time to smell the fragrances of plants, compare their colors, feel their textures, and have aesthetic experiences, so they will develop an appreciation of plants before they will participate in a botany lesson. Likewise they must develop a caring relationship with characters in a book before they will accept understanding from the story, good literature does this.
The Tail of Peter Rabbit can be used to illustrate this. Although Peter didn't feel very well the evening that he returned.