SAT Skills Insight

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Understanding Literary Elements

Skills needed to score in this band

SKILL 1: Identify nuances and attitudes of characters

SKILL 2: Determine characterization from dialogue, thoughts and actions, interactions among characters, and narrative perspective

 

  1. 1

    Identify nuances and attitudes of characters

    Example

    This passage is taken from a novel set in early twentieth-century England. Mrs. Deverell is the widow of a shopkeeper who lived and worked in Volunteer Street; their daughter Angel has become a best-selling novelist. Here, Mrs. Deverell finds herself in a new home that she and Angel share in the prosperous village of Alderhurst.

    View Passage

    The use of “arts” in line 51 most directly emphasizes the

    Answer Choices
  2. 2

    Determine characterization from dialogue, thoughts and actions, interactions among characters, and narrative perspective

    Example

    This passage is taken from a novel set in early twentieth-century England. Mrs. Deverell is the widow of a shopkeeper who lived and worked in Volunteer Street; their daughter Angel has become a best-selling novelist. Here, Mrs. Deverell finds herself in a new home that she and Angel share in the prosperous village of Alderhurst.

    View Passage

    Angel’s comments in lines 60–61 (“ ‘Please . . . offense’ ”) imply that

    Answer Choices

Skills needed to score in the next band

As you read a novel, short story, or play, choose a character and think about what purpose he or she serves. Is the character a protagonist, an antagonist, or an important minor character? Is the character a foil, or a tragic hero? Does the character provide comic relief? How does the character relate to the story’s theme? How does the character affect the plot?

As you read a novel, short story, or play, pick out a line of one character’s dialogue. Think about how other characters would react to what that character says. Keep in mind what you know about each character.

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