The Language of Literature

Unit 1 Part Openers

Part 1: Crisis and Conflict

It's the first day of school, and you're late for class, but you can't find your schedule. You think you're ready to stay out a little later with your friends, but your mom disagrees. Crisis and conflict are a part of life—the challenge is not to avoid them, but to deal with them. Part of what makes literature enjoyable and worthwhile is seeing how another person responds to a crisis and whether he or she can resolve conflict. As you read the selections in this part of Unit One, think about how the fictional characters and real people portrayed in them meet the challenges life throws at them. Ask yourself how you would behave in similar situations.

Part 2: Suspense and Surprise

One way we know we are deeply involved in a work of literature is that we begin to care about what happens. Yet part of what makes some stories entertaining is that the writer withholds information so that we don't know what has happened or what is going to happen. The writer may keep us in suspense or give us information that we didn't anticipate, surprising us with the unexpected.



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