Roy Conli once said “When you're telling a story, the best stories, every character has an arc. Every one. And that arc is usually about finding yourself, or about at least finding something about yourself that you didn't know.” This is a prevalent theme in many examples of Young Adult Literature (YAL or YA). Three books that demonstrate the critical transformation between childhood and adulthood by exploring difficult social issues, finding personal identity, and letting go are a Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Literature is considered a mirror of the society. The pool of content in literary writing stems from the environment in which the writer is placed. A writer will use this environment to advance his/her views of the society and at the same time drive into the audience/readers important information that he/she wishes to pass. Hunter S. Thompson has used his creativity in the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas written in the 1960s to reflect on American society with Las Vegas as the point of reference.
It’s no secret that John Steinbeck was a formable figure in world of the written word. His created fictions have been cemented into educational curriculum in the middle/high school and university levels. While it can be debated of his literary genius, no one can deny the amount of influence he has had during the 20th century and beyond. Although Steinbeck is most commonly thought of a novel author first, the tendency of overlooking his involvement in journalism. His participation in this field has overarching effects on his fictional writing styles that produced some of the most prolific narratives works of the past century. His style boasted to be at its base the most honest form of writing. Pioneering a new frontier of journalism, Steinbeck entered an arena of that many authors have not considered. Taking the role as a “literary journalist,” Steinbeck adopted unique techniques in order to find the most authentic and frank stories, covering a variety of important issues, as well as using the same journalistic narrative structure to his fictional works.
Alice Munro is a Canadian short story writer and Nobel Prize Winner. In her article “What is Real”, Alice Munro discusses the difficulty many of her readers seem to have in telling fact from fiction as she writes about her own fictional works. Her readers, she recounts, often ask her if she writes about real people, or real events, apparently unable to comprehend “the difference between autobiography and fiction” (Munro). However, by the end of her article on the subject, “What Is Real?” Munro admits that the imagination is one she herself often blurs. “Yes,” she writes, “I use bits of what is real, in the sense of being really there and really happening, in the world, as most people see it, and I transform it into something […] in my story” (Munro). In other words, Munro sees her work as a kind of fiction because she uses both reality and fact. This makes her work honest but yet not real at the
Authors use various styles of writing to appeal to different types of audiences. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and “The Most Dangerous Job” by Eric Schlosser both utilize ethos, pathos, and logos writing styles to convince the audience of their ideals. An author uses ethos in writing to show his/her credentials and explain why he/she is credible. Pathos appeals to an audience’s emotions and makes the audience feel sympathy or pity. The author draws feelings out of the audience and compels the audience to feel what the author wishes them to feel. Logos uses facts, statistics, historical and literal analogies, and quotes from authorities on a subject to convince the audience with logic or reason. Upton Sinclair and Eric Schlosser have the goal of exposing the corruption in the meatpacking industry, but the authors develop their arguments through similar and contrasting approaches.
Immediately after we are born, we start picking up sounds; the sound of our mother’s voice, the music playing in the elevator on the way to the car, and the happy cheers from a small child seeing their new sibling for the first time. We are always listening–picking up on conversations not meant for our ears, eavesdropping on the gossip of the adult world, and finding the meaning in the portentous silence. From all these auditory stimuli, we piece together the world around us to better understand what is happening to us, around us, and the secret happenings that were not for us to know. Great writers are the ones who listen and say nothing–who take it all in and save their classified information for a day when all the right words flow and form one epic story of the wondrous world we live in.
The literary canon is those works considered by scholars, critics, and teachers to be the most important to read and study, which collectively constitute the “masterpieces” of literature. (Meyer 2175) In the past there has been much debate on whether non-fiction should be considered for inclusion in the canon, but non-fiction writers being considered part of the canon is not unheard of, and is already a reality – George Orwell, Henry David Thoreau, Ernest Hemingway- all had a significant body of non-fictional work and are well respected, well established members. Sonja Livingston’s work is part of a genre called creative non-fiction. As stated in his article for The Writer, Lee Gutkind states, “Creative nonfiction-also called "new
Literary works have become one of the most preferred ways for people to express themselves and voice their concerns and opinions on societal issues. Through such pieces of work, authors are able to educate and critique the society at large, often forcing people to reconsider their views on certain matters. This has an overall effect of pushing them to reconsider the effect of their actions and errors as regards the issues in question. For others, writing about real life situations is most effective in communicating with their readers. Victims of racial discrimination may opt to put their ordeals down in black and white, mush the same way those who find themselves at the receiving end of sexual harassment may choose to write about their experiences. Arguably, the effect achieved is greater, in opposition to that of works of fiction. Even where a book is fictitious, more insight and connection to real life is achieved if the story is built around real life events and situations. Nancy Mairs does excellent in expressing herself through her spiritual autobiography; Waist-High in the World.
Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, the chapter “Spin”, highlights how when a writer formulates their story, certain details will always be intentionally left out, and by stringing together disconnected ideas and memories, O’Brien reveals that distortion is ineluctable. Writing lies on the fundamental principal that writers have the ability to manipulate people into believing what they say by highlighting certain facts and ignoring others.
A story is only as good as the way it is told. The way a writer uses his or her words to say something is just as important as what they don’t say. Charles Baxter, author of plethora of books and university teacher, writes a craft book that goes deeper than the surface of writing and deeper than the words written down. In Charles Baxter’s The Art of Subtext, he discusses how authors can use the words they do write just as much to express what they don’t write.
Around the time of the novels publication in the late 1960s, a new literary genre had begun to surface: New Journalism. New Journalism sought to combine the elements of news writing and journalism with the elements of fiction writing. Described as being a form of literature that “engages and excites”, it sought to challenge its readers not only “emotionally” but also “intellectually”. Typically, New Journalism consists of four major characteristics such as
Throughout my creative nonfiction essay, I use rhetorical questions to have the reader truly ask themselves the questions that connect to my overall theme. During the start of my story, I ask “How is success created with constant conflict” (Ostler 1)? By asking this question, the reader is asked how people become successful
The musical film has always held a special place for me. From my time as a drama student in high school, my eyes have been opened to the amazing world of the musical and especially the musical film. The musical film is a film genre in which the characters sing songs that are integrated into the overall story. Since musicals first began in theaters, musical films usually contain similar elements. These elements often simulate that there is a live audience watching. In a sense, the film viewers become the audience members, at a theater production, as the actor performs directly to them. Due to the popularity of musicals in the theater, the style was quickly brought over into film. In 1927, the musical film genre began
In his essay “Toward a Definition of Creative Nonfiction”, Brett Lott attempts to describe the genre of creative nonfiction by explaining that there is essentially no definitive model. He begins by presenting an abstract definition of the genre which he later molds and amends with additions to become a much more comprehensive working definition. However before exploring the various aspects of creative nonfiction and what it entails, Lott prefaces his essay with the statement that “we aren’t going to arrive anywhere here”. I found this particularly interesting in that it allows the reader to take Lott’s advice with a grain of salt and amend his definition after one has practiced the art creative nonfiction. He reiterates this last point