Dostoyevsky, “The Grand Inquisitor” Structure: Does the narrative have a simple structure or flashback structure? Narrator(s): Identify the narrator(s) who tell(s) the story in the narrative. 1. Is the narrator first-person or third-person? 2. Is the narrator all-knowing (omniscient)? Does the narrator tell you what is going on in the minds of the characters? 3. How involved is the narrator in the storyline? Is the narrator an active character in the storyline, or does the narrator simply tell the story? 4. Is the narrator reliable or unreliable? Why can you or why can you not trust the narrator’s telling of the tale? Is the narrator unreliable because s/he is simply uninformed or naive, or does the narrator intentionally try to mislead you? Characters: List the most important characters in the narrative and rank them in order of importance. Setting: List any times and places which are important to an adequate understanding of the narrative. Important Storyline or Plot Elements: List important or pivotal actions/events which occur in the narrative. Meaning or Significance of the Narrative: Interpret the narrative on the following levels: Authorial or Textual Intent: Message or Moral / Purpose Other Levels of Interpretation or Response: Inferential Meanings (reading between the lines) Personal-Psychological Meanings: What does the text reveal about humanity through the emotional/psychological condition of the characters? Historical-Sociological Meanings: What does the text reveal about the historical period and sociological values of the people of the time? Symbolic-Mythic-Religious Meanings: How might one interpret elements of the text symbolically, mythically, or religiously? Evaluative/Applied/Reactive Meanings (reading beyond the lines): Evaluate the relevance of the text for the 21st Century and apply its message to today.
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