English 7 – Semester 1 Report

 

Throughout the past 18 weeks I have learned a lot, from the five points of plot, to the types of literature, and all the way to genres.  This first semester had some good books, and I really think that throughout the next semester I will learn a lot more.

In lesson 10 I learned about the five parts of a plot, which are the Exposition, rising action, Climax, Falling Action, and the Resolution.  Each of these parts have their own unique characteristics.  The exposition is always in the opening of the piece, and usually introduces the main character, one or more problems to solve, and sometimes a review of the previous piece if it applies.  The Rising Action is where most of the underlying problems start popping up and the main character is in a bad situation from which he attempts to escape.  From this point on in the book, new characters can be introduced at any time.  The climax can be when the main character meets a crucial character, or he figures out the solution to his big problem.  AKA the turning point in the story, the climax is the point where the bad guy starts losing and the good guy starts solving all the problems from the beginning of the book.  After this point the Falling Action takes place, with the good guy implementing his new plan, conceived at the climax, to defeat the bad guy.  Once the falling action is over and the bad guy is defeated, in jail, dead, whatever, the resolution wraps up the story, telling about what happens after the bad guy is defeated and informing the reader that afterwards everything was A-OK after the bad guy’s gone. 

After I finished the week on plot I started studying the Parts of Literature in Lessons 11-20, the next two weeks.  The parts of literature defined in the lessons were customs, visualization, setting, and mood while reading the satire book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  Customs is the way people in a certain region or nation acts, which can sometimes be strange to people who haven’t been there before.  Visualization is the part of literature thru which the writer can describe a background and the reader can “see” the image painted by the writer through words.  One of the things the author can have the reader visualize is the setting.  The setting of a book is where action takes place.  Changing anything said before this in a book will change the mood.  The mood is how the reader feels while reading the book.  When I finished that week, I was finally done with A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

The week after that, in lesson 25, I learned about Character development through the book A Knight of the White Cross, including the terms characterization, dialogue, protagonist, antagonist, and imagery.  Characterization is throughout the book developing and revealing more of the personality of the main character.  This can be shown by dialogue and imagery.  Dialog is the speech of the characters, and this can sometimes give a window into how the main character feels about something, and Imagery is a lot like visualization, described in the above paragraph, except that imagery is the visualization of the main character instead of the author.  The protagonist is the main character, most of the time a good guy, and in relation to the protagonist the antagonist is the bad guy.  At the end of the week, he told me to write an essay on

For a week he then just left me to read for a week without really learning anything, and for Lesson 35 I studied theme.  While reading the book Treasure Island, he talked about theme, which is the message the author attempts to convey to the reader through the book that is being read.  Theme can vary depending on the topic, interpretation, and style of the book, like in Treasure Island one of the themes Mr. Fish suggested was “Never trust a man with one leg and a parrot”, and one of mine was “The aspect of treasure makes men greedy”.

After finishing up on theme, Mr. Fish just dove right into the next week of material, styles of writing.  This week was mostly reading White Fang with the styles thrown in occasionally.  Style is mostly made up of how the author tells the story and whose perspective the reader sees from.  Mr. Fish had me compare Jack London’s style to G.A. Henty’s style.

For two weeks after Lesson 40, I didn’t really learn anything until Lessons 50 to 60, in which he crammed a lot of material about the forms of literature, including drama, novella, novel, Short stories, and poetry.  A drama is a form of literature usually based in acting and plays, so he just reviewed it as a topic but didn’t go into detail.  The three forms of literature he went into were novels, novellas, and short stories.  Novels are longer books, sometimes in series, like the Wheel of Time Chronicles.  They have the overarching story line and lots of subplots underneath. Novellas, on the other hand, are somewhat shorter and have one large main plot and that’s it.  Short stories are a lot like a novella, but even shorter.

In the most recent week before the Christmas break and the break for this essay, I leaned about the genres of literature, like fiction and nonfiction and some categories under them.  Some of the nonfiction genres of literature are Autograph, Biography, Autobiography, Autobiographical novel, Commentary, Creative nonfiction, and Diaries and journals.  Some of the fictional forms of literature are science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, myth, and mystery.  Nonfiction is real, meaning nothing is made up or unreal.  Fiction, on the other hand, can be completely made up, as in myths and fantasy.  Nonfiction is normally informative, while fiction is normally for passing time or entertainment.

I have learned a lot for just 18 weeks, from the five points of plot, to the types of literature, and all the way to genres so far.  This first semester had some good books, and I really think that throughout the next semester I will learn a lot more and read a few more good books.

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