How to Analyze a Novel

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HOW TO ANALYSE A NOVEL

Setting
Setting is a description of where and when the story takes place. •What aspects make up the setting?◦Geography, weather, time of day, social conditions? •What role does setting play in the story? Is it an important part of the plot or theme? Or is it just a backdrop against which the action takes place? •Study the time period which is also part of the setting

•When was the story written?◦Does it take place in the present, the past, or the future? ◦How does the time period affect the language, atmosphere or social circumstances of the novel?

Characterization
Characterization deals with how the characters are described. •through dialogue?
•by the way they speak?
•physical appearance? thoughts and feelings?
•interaction - the way they act towards other characters?
•Are they static characters who do not change?
•Do they develop by the end of the story?
•What type of characters are they?
•What qualities stand out?
•Are they stereotypes?
•Are the characters believable?

Plot and structure
The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story. •What are the most important events?
•How is the plot structured? Is it linear, chronological or does it move back and forth? •Are there turning points, a climax and/or an anticlimax?
•Is the plot believable?

Narrator and Point of view
The narrator is the person telling the story.
Point of view: whose eyes the story is being told through.
•Who is the narrator or speaker in the story?
•Is the narrator the main character?
•Does the author speak through one of the characters?
•Is the story written in the first person “I” point of view? •Is the story written in a detached third person “he/she” point of view? •Is the story written in an “all-knowing” 3rd person who can reveal what all the characters are thinking and doing at all times and in all places?

Conflict
Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the novel and is related to the main character. •How...
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