The title of a book is a tool used by the author to communicate several messages to the reader. Tone or subject might be quickly established as the mind begins to piece together images and phrases from the context of its “reality.” Often, authors use titles to foreshadows elements of plot, character analysis, or themes in the work.
Erich Maria Remarque has selected: All Quiet on the Western Front
What does it all mean? Make predictions about plot, characters, tone, and themes.
Prologue/ foreword/ Acknowledgements
Some books may provide the reader with an introductory statement. The purpose of this statement is to introduce, caution, or supplement the work. It is important to read and consider the statements of the author or the literary critic.
What is Remarque’s message to the reader?
Remarque’s foreword is easily the most insightful cautionary statement this humble teacher has ever read. Go to it before, during, and after the process of reading this book.
The publishing information in a book is usually glossed over by readers. However, the data provided can give us insights about historical setting or context, political perspective, and the success of the piece.
In our edition, we are given the following clues:
The artistic design of each book is a result of a laborious process. Several designs are submitted and edited according to the publishers’ (in this case, Ballantine Books) interpretation of the work (novel).
Studying the cover art of a book can be as critical to the analysis process as reading the plot summary. Reader can make predictions about plot, characters, tone, and themes.
What do we see? Include commentary for the front, as well as the spine.
Back Cover Commentary
The back cover of a book is also edited and selected by the publishing company. The information provided may be different, and at times contradictory, in different editions. The criticisms and adjectives utilized in the description of the novel is promotional in nature. Usually, the back cover commentary includes a small summary of the book, as well as literary criticisms.
We begin with a quote from the book. What is the tone of this quote?
What facts (summary) are revealed? Use the six journalistic questions to guide you:
What words or adjectives are used to describe this novel? What predictions can you make about the piece from the analysis provided? Include the first page of the book titled, “International Best Seller.”