English GACE Review - American Literature Outline

By Joel Ferguson,2014-08-21 00:19
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English GACE Review - American Literature Outline

GACE English Review

    Grammar There wasn’t really that much grammar in this test, but you might still want to be familiar with these bits of grammar.

Comma Splice

    Run-On Sentence

    Subject-Verb Agreement

    Sentence Fragments

    Parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb, conjunction, preposition, article, interjection)

Literary Terms

    Colloquial language


    Dramatic Irony

    Figurative Language




    When asked to analyze sample student work to point out its strengths and/or weaknesses, talking about it in any of the terms below will work almost every time.

    Sentence Structure Are there a lot of run-on sentences and/or comma splices? Are there sentence fragments? Do the sentence structures vary or are they all simple sentences or compound sentences?

    Organization Does the student use paragraphs? Does the student have a logical progression of ideas or do they jump from one idea to another? Do they follow any sort of structure? Do they support statements that they make with evidence from a text, source, etc.

    Imagery Does the writer use a lot of figurative language (metaphors, similes, hyperbole?) or use really descriptive words (strong adjectives) that appeal to thee senses (sensory words).

    Voice What does the student do to allow his or her personality to come through in the writing? Does the writer use rhetorical questions? Does the writer employ humor? What point of view does the writer use (first, second, third person, third person omniscient)?

American Literature Mostly Post-Civil War Movements Perhaps a good way to brush up

    on this, especially pre-civil war stuff, would be to flip through a literature anthology from school. This especially helps to become familiar with more authors.


    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    - Henry David Thoreau Walden

Romanticism (1820 1865)

    - Emphasis on individual, ―I‖, the subjective experience

    - Harmony in nature

    - Use of looser poetic forms

    - Primitivism; ―noble savage‖

    - Sensual; embraces the sensory

    - Value placed on intuition/emotion

    - Rejected order in favor of wildness/boundlessness


     Walt Whitman

     Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter), Herman Melville (Moby Dick) (considered the

     Dark Romantics)

     Walt Whitman’s famous work Leaves of Grass (1955) is the bridge between

     Romanticism and Realism. ―Drum Taps‖ is a famous section from Leaves of Grass about

     Whitman’s experience in the Civil War.

Realism (1865 1914)

    - Response to Civil War; other influencing factors were the Industrial Revolution in the thlate 19 century and the development of new machinery and importance of science and

    empirical data over human subjectivity

    - Concerned with present life, not afterlife

    - Fading spirituality (Origin of Species, 1859)

    - Mimeticism / verisimilitude writing that mirrors ―real‖ life

    - Absence of symbolic characters

    - Slice of Life

    - Resolution of conflict

    - Disillusionment

    - Emphasis on common man and common experience

    - Local color and psychological realism

    - William Dean Howells clearly defines for readers and writers what Realism is ;

    ―nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material.‖

    Defining texts:

    Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass (1855)

    William Dean Howells ―Editha‖

     Criticism & Fiction

    Upton Sinclair

     Schools of Realism:

    - local color associated with regionalism

    ; faithful rendering of people / dialect / culture of a specific time and place

    ; Writers: Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn) and Kate Chopin (The Awakening) - psychological realism dealt with the subtleties of the mind

    ; Writer: Henry James

- Most of Whitman’s work can be characterized as being Romantic

    - Civil War changed him

    - William Dean Howells clearly defines for readers and writers what Realism is ;

    ―nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material.‖


    - kind of branches off of Realism

     Defining texts/writers:

     Stephen Crane Red Badge of Courage (1895)

     Jack London

    A helpful chart for remembering the characteristics of these separate, but related movements

    might be:

Questions that arose with the transition from Romanticism to Realism were how much

    control and free will humanity had the ability to exercise in determining one’s destiny.

    Genre American Author Perceived the individual


    Romantics Ralph Waldo Emerson a god

    Realists Henry James simply a person

    William Dean Howells

    Mark Twain

    Naturalists Stephen Crane a helpless object

    Frank Norris

    Modernism (1914 1945)

    - Formal experimentation

    - Themes of isolation and alientation - Breakdown of language / failure to communicate

    - Loss of spirituality

    - Fragmentation (form and theme) - Presence of multiple narrators

Defining texts:

    T. S. Eliot The Wasteland (1922)

    Jean Toomer Cane

    Ezra Pound Cantos

    James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Dubliners

    Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls

    William Faulkner Sound and the Fury

    F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

    Harlem Renaissance (kind of a subset of Modernism, but not really included)

    Alain Locke The New Negro

    Jean Toomer Cane (1922)

    Langston Hughes

    Zora Neale Hurston

Post Modernism (1945 [65] present?) The Atomic Bomb

    - Black, cynical, twisted humor

    - Sometimes tends toward absurdity

    - Loss of identity

    - Uncontrollable fear of death

    - Explores commercialism/consumerism

    - Alienation / fragmentation

    - Complete breakdown of communication

    - Loss of faith

    Defining texts:

    Don Delillo White Noise (1985)

    Joseph Heller Catch 22 (1955)

    Thomas Pynchon Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

    Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five (1969)

    Edward Albee The Zoo Story (1958)

    Walker Percy - The Last Gentleman (1966)

Miscellaneous things to be familiar with

    Sources know the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary sources.

    Media Literacy basically what you will probably need to be able to do is read short scenerios (descriptions of commercials or ads and determine what it is the advertisers are wanting consumers to thinkfor example a commercial that has a very attractive woman drinking a Dr. Pepper might indicate that the advertisers are hoping to link the idea of being attractive with

    buying and drinking Dr. Pepper.)

     Important terms:

     Gate-keepers the individuals and corporations that control what information will

     be sent to the general public

    Inverted Pyramid structure used in newspaper articles where the most important is

    given in the headline and the first few sentences and the more insignificant the details, the

    farther along in the article it is going to appear

    Bias the point of view of the arguer, advertiser and/or any other source of information

    takes to a certain idea/belief/concept, etc.

    Slant the subtle arrangement of words and use of word choice that puts forth or reveals

    a particular bias

    Ex. The headline ―Braves Win 5-0 over Padres‖ vs. ―Atlanta Braves rejoice in

    Padre shut-out!‖ The first headline seems rather neutral while the second

    headline seems to possess the bias of being written by a Braves fan.

    Rhetorical Fallacies to go along with knowing about media literacy, they really test whether or not you can identify common rhetorical fallacies, or errors in reasoning. Here are some really common ones.

    Attack ad hominem attacking the credibility or the character of the person making the

    argument instead of attacking their arguments

    Ex. ―You know that she can’t have that great of an argument, she’s a woman after


    ―Who is he to tell us about what is ethically right or wrong? His family made

    their money exploiting other people!‖

    Bandwagon Effect the argument that you should do or think something because

    everyone else is

    Ex. ―The majority of people in America believe that abortion is murder. So many

    people cannot be wrong.‖

     False Causality the argument that A causes B just because A came before B

    Ex. ―You only started failing classes since you met HIM. That’s how I know that

    he is the cause of your bad report card.‖

     Red Herring a complete divergence from the issue/topic; a diversion

    Ex. ―There have been allegations that I stole money from the club’s treasury; but,

    look at how many events we have been able to participate in. Obviously, there

    was plenty of money.‖

     Slippery Slope saying that one action will lead to another which will lead to another in a snowball effect; usually talking about negative things

    Ex. ―If I let you go to the bathroom now, then you will miss VERY important

    information, if you miss this information then you’ll fail your test and if you fail

    this test you’ll fail this class. You won’t get into a good college, which means

    you won’t be able to get a good job.‖

    Strawman creating a weak outline of your opponent’s beliefs/stance/argument so you

    can easily tear it down

     Ex. ―Senator Kennedy is opposed to the military spending bill, saying that it’s too

     costly. Why does he always want to slash everything to the bone? He wants a

pint-sized military that couldn’t fight off a crazed band of terrorists, let along a

rogue nation.

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