University North Central Writing Center Handout
Questions generally useful in analyzing action:
What is the conflict in the story?
How is it resolved?
What is the turning point?
What is the first change of situation? the final change?
What is the motivation of a particular action?
Questions for analyzing character:
At what point in the story do we first become aware of the
character's individual quality?
What characterizing methods involving dress, manner, features,
appearance, or bearing are used?
Is there a speech in which the character "declares" himself
Is there any evidence that the character experiences an inner
What does the character learn?
How is he or she different at the end of the story from the
person presented to the reader at the beginning?
Questions for analyzing symbols:
What makes you think it is a symbol?
What feeling does it evoke?
How does it operate within the story?
What attitudes toward it are expressed in the story?
Questions for analyzing tone and point of view?
What omissions are dictated by the author's choice of the
particular point of view the author adopts?
Point out some words or expressions whose connotations
establish a tone or attitude.
How is the "author's" attitude different from the
out evidence for your answer.