A few thoughts about comprehensions: reading and writing.
1) Who is speaking/narrating in the extract? How does the choice of narrator or speaker affect the passage? Ask yourself why the writer chose this point of view in order to explore the subject matter of the text? And if you are writing a story, then do the same. There has to be a good reason for telling a story using the chosen POV. ( Point of view) Find it!
2) What is the tone of the narrative? Is it confident/melancholy/unassuming/elegiac/cold/curious/all-knowing etc? Always consider the emotions created through the POV and language they use.
3) Can you identify any of the senses used by the narrator/writer? Why are these senses deployed? What impressions do they create of the environment? Think about the way the ‘world’ of the story is animated by these sensory impressions. Do they make the world full of vitality or dismal and sad? Are any sense absent or more privileged than others?
4) Look at the tense used in the passage. How does this tense affect the meaning? Is the use of the past tense necessary to underline the story as an act of remembrance? If so, does that mean that the narrator is editing the past, or are they deliberately omitting details to create intrigue and suspense? Does the use of the past tense render the narrator likeable? Or self-persecuting? Or if the passage uses the present tense, then is the story happening now, as we read it? What effects are created through this use of immediacy?
5) Look at the techniques used in the passage. How do these techniques reinforce the message/meaning of the narrative? Is repetition used? If the passage uses figurative language, then consider why the writer chose to communicate the story with metaphors and similes?
6) Always talk about the moment of strangeness or stand out moment(for you as a reader) as this is where you are paying most attention as a reader. Why are you paying attention to this moment of the text and how does this moment shape the meaning of the text? Leap on other words or phrases that are powerful and consider why they carry such impact.
The Woman in Black
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