TOPIC 9: INTERPRETING LITERARY WORKS
Reading is something most of us practice daily; we read newspapers, magazine, novels and textbooks. However, reading a newspaper differs from reading literature. For one thing, the purpose for reading each one is different, and, therefore, the method must vary.
Reading literature is usually required for your English learning. Although you may feel that reading is the simple task of picking up your book and going through it from cover to cover, there are certain hints that will make reading easier, more understandable, and, in the long run, less time-consuming and more enjoyable.
Literature is a creative work of art which uses creative language to reflect social realities. Or, literature is an art which uses language carefully to portray a message to society.
Analyzing Short Stories
In form One and now in form Two, you have read short stories such as Mabala the Farmer and Kalulu the Hare. You must make reading stories a habit especially if your school has a library. If you do so your vocabulary will improved and you will gain confidence in taking part in class discussions. Choose a book that you can finish reading in one week. A short story is interesting if it answers the following features:
|Interpreting literary works|
Literature Reflect Society:
Types of Literature
- Oral literature
- Written literature
Oral Literature is a type of literature which use the word of mouth to reflect social realities. E.g. myth
Written Literature is a type of literature represented by means of writing
Examples of Oral Literature
Myth – Story from ancient times told to explain natural events describe the early history of people related to supernatural power
Fable – Traditional short story that teaches a moral lesson especially one with animal’s character
Legend – Story from ancient times that may or may not be him Ballad – Is a long song/poem that tells a story mostly about love
Riddles – A question that is difficult to understand and has a surprising answer that you ask somebody as a game
Proverbs – As well known phrase or sentence that gives advice or says something that is generally true
Idiom – An expression whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words that you sing
Songs – Short piece of music with words that you sing
Poems – Short writings with chosen words from their sounds and image they are written in lines or stanza
Lullabies – Gentle song that make a child to sleep
Short story – Is a story which is usually about imaginary character and events that is short enough to be read from the beginning to the end without stopping
Tongue twisters – A word or phrase that is difficult to say quickly or correctly
Example of Tongue Twisters
1. Kantai is a Massai boy kantai can tie and untie a tie. If kantai can tie the tie and untie a tie why can’t I tie and untie a tie like kantai who can tie and untie a tie?
2. Four fools in form five fighting for food
3. She sells shiny sea shells at the sea shore but the shiny sea shells she sells are not sea shore shells
4. God made man made money made man mad
5. The pots that Peter the porter makes are portable pots which Paul the porters son carried to portal
6. Betty Better bought some butter, but she said this butter is bitter if I put it in my butter it will make it will make my butter bitter. So a bit of better butter will make my butter better than butter and she put it in her batter and the butter was it bitter. So Betty Better bought a bit of better butter.
Example of Fable:
MOTHER RAT AND THE LION
Once upon a time in the forest there live a lion mother rat and her children and other animals. One day as the lion was walking around the forest looking for something to rat cried and begged “please don’t eat me spare me for my children are waiting for me to bring them food at home help me and I may also help you one day!”
The lion thought about the rats words and tried to imagine if it was possible for the rat a very small animal to help a very big animal like him since the rat insisted the lion decided to let her go
The next day the lion was moving around the forest as usual unfortunately he stepped on a trap and was therefore trapped luckily mother rat was passing nearby when she saw the lion
As her promise she went and started cutting the trip because it was made of nets by using her teeth she succeeded in helping the lion out of the trap and the lion was so happy and thankful. The lion was happy and glad that the rat kept her promise
Types of Written Literature
Verse - writing that is arrange in lines often with a regular rhythm or part of thyme
Stanza – a group of lines in a repeated pattern that form a unit in some types of poem
Rhymes – a word that has the same sound are ends with the same sound as another word
Example of a Poem
Beautiful hands are those that weave
Bright threads of joy in lives that grave
Beautiful feet are those that run
On errands of merry from sun to sun
Beautiful lips are those that spread
To comfort the mourner
And hearten the weak,
Beautiful eyes are those that glow
With the light of a spirit pure as snow
Beautiful faces are those that seem,
With the very love of God to beam,
Beautiful forms are those that grace
With gentle service the lowliest place
Beautiful live are those that beat,
For other lives their burden of care,
Beautiful souls are those that show,
The spirit of God where they go
TYPES OF POEM
a) Traditional – strictly follows the rules of rhymes and meter
b) Modern – do not follow the rules of rhymes and meter
Characteristics of Poem
1. Uses short lines/verse
2. Use of stanza
3. Use mostly figurative language
4. Multiple meaning
Function of Literature
1. Educates the society
2. Transformation of knowledge
3. Criticize the society
4. National and cultural identity
5. Entertain the society
6. Develop and improve the language use
Examples of Proverbs
1. One man’s meat is another man’s poison
2. A stitch in time saves nine
3. Hurry has no blessings
4. Too many cooks spoil the broth
5. An apple never falls far the from the tree
6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Examples of Riddles
I have no wings but I can fly. An aeroplane.
READING SIMPLE LITERARY WORKS
The important things to consider when reading a story
1. Heading / Tittle: Mabala
2. Writer/ author: Richard S. Mabala
3. The most important characters as Mabala
The story is centred on him. The main character he appears in every chapter of our book.
4. The character you like most and why?
- He is kind
- Hard working
5. The character you dislike most and why?
- He is why
- Careless with his money
6. What is the story about?
- Laziness is unacceptable in the society because it cause poverty
7. Will you advice your friend to learn the story. Gives reason:
- because the story eg laziness in real sense laziness is unacceptable.
- because the book emphasize that hard working is a key to success
8. What lesson do you get from the story?
From the story I learn that if some one is laziness will never succeed in doing anything
Write a letter to your friend John who lives Nairobi tell him about the story book you have read. Sign name Bahati P.o. Box Dar es salaam. Use the guide lines
- What is the tittle of the book?
- Who is author writer of the book?
- Which character do you like most (give reason)
- Which character do you dislike most (give reason)
- What important lesson do you learn?
- What is book about?
- Would you advice your friend John to the book why