To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons.  Your comments should point out the author’s choices and attempt to explain their significance.

In order to do so, you´ll need to develop your argument based on any single term (or combination of terms) listed below.

Setting – the place or location of the action.  The setting provides the historical and cultural context for characters. It often can symbolize the emotional state of characters. Example – In Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, the crumbling old mansion reflects the decaying state of both the family and the narrator’s mind.

Characterrepresentation of a person, place, or thing performing traditionally human activities or functions in a work of fiction

  • Protagonist – The character the story revolves around.
  • Antagonist – A character or force that opposes the protagonist.
  • Minor character – Often provides support and illuminates the protagonist.
  • Static character – A character that remains the same.
  • Dynamic character – A character that changes in some important way.
  • Characterization – The choices an author makes to reveal a character’s personality, such as appearance, actions, dialogue, and motivations.

Look for: Connections, links, and clues between and about characters. Ask yourself what the function and significance of each character is. Make this determination based upon the character’s history, what the reader is told (and not told), and what other characters say about themselves and others.

Plot – the arrangement of ideas and/or incidents that make up a story

  • Foreshadowing – When the writer clues the reader in to something that will eventually occur in the story; it may be explicit (obvious) or implied (disguised).
  • Suspense – The tension that the author uses to create a feeling of discomfort about the unknown
  • Conflict – Struggle between opposing forces.
  • Exposition – Background information regarding the setting, characters, plot.
  • Rising Action – The process the story follows as it builds to its main conflict
  • Crisis – A significant turning point in the story that determines how it must end
  • Resolution/Denouement – The way the story turns out.

Point of View – who tells the story and how it is told. The point of view of a story can sometimes indirectly establish the author’s intentions.

  • Narrator – The person telling the story who may or may not be a character in the story.
  • First-person – Narrator participates in action but sometimes has limited knowledge/vision.
  • Second person – Narrator addresses the reader directly as though she is part of the story. (i.e. “You walk into your bedroom.  You see clutter everywhere and…”)
  • Third Person (Objective) – Narrator is unnamed/unidentified (a detached observer). Does not assume character’s perspective and is not a character in the story. The narrator reports on events and lets the reader supply the meaning.
  • Omniscient – All-knowing narrator (multiple perspectives). The narrator knows what each character is thinking and feeling, not just what they are doing throughout the story.  This type of narrator usually jumps around within the text, following one character for a few pages or chapters, and then switching to another character for a few pages, chapters, etc. Omniscient narrators also sometimes step out of a particular character’s mind to evaluate him or her in some meaningful way.

Structure  – The way that the writer arranges the plot of a story.

Look for: Repeated elements in action, gesture, dialogue, description, as well as shifts in direction, focus, time, place, etc.

The Detective – Le personnage, ses figures et ses avatars

Characters And Their Representations / Characters And Their Transformation / Characters: From Evolution to Metamorphosis

This article will give you a good illustration of the notion through the character of the detective and his multiple facets.

A Brief History of the Detective Film

Philippa Gates, Wilfrid Laurier University

The detective genre in film is difficult to define because the content and conventions of the detective film can be seen as crossing over into other genres, and it can be regarded as a subcategory of the overarching genre of the crime film (along with the gangster film, the thriller, and the social-problem film). For a film to belong to the detective genre, it requires two features: a narrative that follows an investigation, and a protagonist that functions as a detective-figure. If the detective film is defined by having a protagonist who functions as a detective-figure, then the detective genre itself can be more readily separated into subgenres defined by the type of detective-figure who fulfils the role of the investigating protagonist. The following is a brief outline of some of the major subgenres of the detective film as defined by their investigating heroes.

The detective film has proven popular and pervasive, offering movie-going audiences a specific kind of image of American masculinity: one defined by manliness, perseverance, and heroism. Despite the proliferation of female detectives, especially in the last decade, the detective hero is most often male. The narrative of the detective film follows the hero’s investigation of a crime; however, it also offers an investigation of the detective as his masculinity is tested and proven through his success in solving the case. The detective genre has remained popular because of its ability to adapt with social change thereby offering new images and debates of law and order and new images of American masculinity. The genre has seen a distinct evolution from the classical detective to the hard-boiled, to the cop who follows procedure to the one that throws the book away, and, lastly, to a new kind of sleuth – the criminalist.

The Classical Detective

HolmesEdgar Allan Poe is generally regarded as the creator of the fictional detective with the introduction of his sleuth C. Auguste Dupin in 1841; however, it was not until Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes that the classical detective, or sleuth, achieved widespread popularity. As the definitive sleuth, Holmes remains the greatest and most famous fictional detective and also one of the most recognised names, real or fictional, in the world. With his international appeal as a character, it is not surprising that Sherlock Holmes has proven to be one of the most popular detectives on the big screen with over 200 films and television shows being centred on his character: he has been portrayed by more actors than any other character in the history of cinema. Holmes made his debut in film in 1900 but is most closely associated with actor Basil Rathbone who starred opposite Nigel Bruce’s Dr. Watson on the big screen from 1939 to 1946. Like Poe’s Dupin, Holmes solved mysteries through observation and logical deduction in a reflection of Victorian ideals of manhood.

The Transitional Detective

Philo VanceIn the 1920s and 1930s, American detective fiction saw a shift from the gentleman sleuth to the hard-boiled private eye. Conceptions of masculinity in American society at this time came to have an increasing emphasis on physicality, independence, and sexuality and a corresponding shift can be seen in the fictional representations of masculinity. With Prohibition and the spread of organised crime in society, the classical detective was no longer seen as an effective solution to fictional crime. The sleuth with his superior skills of deduction was replaced by the tough but troubled hard-boiled detective with his tendency to use violence to get the job done. The hard-boiled detective is, in many ways, an adaptation of the British sleuth to an urban American environment. Brawn came to be seen as necessary to fight the heavies of the American city rather than ratiocination and observation, and the sleuth’s magnifying glass was replaced by the gun. The hard-boiled private eye was popularized by writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett in the 1930s.

Many hard-boiled novels were adapted to the screen in the 1930s; however, the heroes of Hollywood’s detective series were less violent and troubled than their literary counterparts. These screen detectives were transitional figures – the protagonists of the American hard-boiled stories but not presented as hard-boiled as they would be in the film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. Instead they were most often portrayed as suave, sophisticated, and erudite gentlemen: Americans made somewhat anglicised; sleuths made somewhat streetwise. Their appeal is that they can be imagined to exist in reality as a somewhat average person, allowing the filmgoer a greater sense of identification with the protagonist. These popular detectives included Philo Vance, Bulldog Drummond, The Saint, The Falcon, The Crime Doctor, Michael Shayne, Dick Tracy, Boston Blackie, and Perry Mason. Female amateur sleuths like Hildegarde Withers and Nancy Drew, and the Asian detectives like Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto, and Mr. Wong, also appeared in detective series in the 1930s.

The Noir Detective

BogartIn the 1940s and 1950s, the hard-boiled detective came to the screen as the hero of film noirFilm noir is generally regarded as genre or film style that began with The Maltese Falcon (1941) and ended with Touch of Evil (1958), a group of films that were visually, as well as morally, dark. The films were set in the seedy underbelly of American society and followed a general progression from protagonists with questionable morals like Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946) to detectives who were borderline criminals themselves like Mike Hammer in Kiss me Deadly (1955). Film noir seem to have resonance for the veterans returning from World War II who struggled with feelings of displacement. American society had changed in their absence and upon their return they faced unemployment, changing gender roles, alienation, and often disablement. These films, with their hard-boiled heroes and anti-heroes, presented audiences with traumatized but tough men that could express and work through America’s postwar disillusionment.

The Police and Procedure

DragnetUntil the 1940s the policeman tended to be portrayed as a bumbling or inefficient figure who stood at the sidelines while the amateur sleuth or private eye solved the case. The police detective emerged as a detective-hero in the mid 1940s in a reflection of the professionalisation of real-life law enforcement and of national security concerns incited by the Cold War. The police procedural, most notably the radio and television series Dragnet, presented audiences with detailed scenes of the methods employed by the law to combat crime including ballistics tests, tracking, surveillance, and forensic technologies. The police detective represented an idealised image of masculinity as organized, methodical, and driven by duty.

The procedural ignored the disillusionment and paranoia of the Cold War period and instead offered a hero that was effective and committed to eradicating crime; however, he was also a rather sterile and conservative representation of masculinity. The procedural in its original form all but disappeared by the late 1950s (the exception being the long-running television show Columbo [1967 to present]); however, its legacy is introducing the cop as an American hero, a trend that continues today.

The Vigilante Cop

True CrimeThe conservative image of masculinity and law-enforcement embodied by the procedural detective was eradicated by the arrival of the vigilante cop film in the late 1960s. Changes in the American film industry allowed for developments in the detective genre. The Production Code, instituted in the 1930s, had been an internal, self-regulatory system of censorship; by the mid-1960s shifts in American cultural values had undermined the credibility of the Code, and by 1968 it was replaced with the ratings system. Under the ratings system, a film with excessive sexual or violent content could be released to an adult audience rather than being banned completely. The restriction of the high rating thus still prevented young people from being exposed to this ‘ adult’ material. The move from censorship to a ratings system allowed for more violent and controversial heroes, for example in films like Bullitt (1968),Coogan’s Bluff (1968), The French Connection (1971), and Dirty Harry (1971). These films introduced a tough and often angry hero who annihilated crime at any cost; he would go so far as to ignore or even break the law to get the job done. In a period when Nixon’s hard-line politics on crime and a widespread loss of confidence in law-enforcement were dominating the American psyche, the vigilante cop offered an image of masculinity that was tough, independent, violent, and successful in the war against crime.

The Cop as Action Hero

48 hrsThe aftermath of the Civil Rights movement and second-wave feminism saw the dominance of white, middle-class, middle-aged masculinity being called into question and, by the 1980s, hegemonic masculinity found its position in society challenged. The cop action film became a central genre of the 1980s and early 1990s as a backlash to this challenging of white male dominance. The films and their cop action-heroes offered a space for the expression, working through, and often resolution of the problems of race, class, gender, and crime that seemed to overwhelm American masculinity at the time.  The biracial cop film of the 1980s explored and negated the threat of African-American empowerment with the black ‘ buddy’ being placed in a subordinate role to the white hero. He offered his black energy to the fight against crime that threatened white America, for example 48 Hrs (1982) starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.

However, the cop action-hero offered not only a resistance to the perceived threat of the empowered black man but also to that posed by the emerging equality of women. The male body as hypermasculine – manly, muscular, and spectacular – became the hero’s most effective weapon in the fight against crime and injustice and, thus, compounded issues of sexual difference. Cop action films revelled in scenes of action and violence with the male body at the centre engaged in fistfights, kickboxing, car chases, and gunplay. The cop action-hero, like John McClane in Die Hard (1988) and Martin Riggs Lethal Weapon (1987), followed in the tradition of the vigilante cop but also the male rampage hero like Rambo, offering an idealized image of American masculinity as violent, independent, muscular, and victorious. The cop action-hero as an icon of American masculinity did not allow himself to betray his emotions – an emasculating and effeminate weakness. Instead he expressed himself through wisecracking quips and physical violence and it was his body that became the site upon which masculine crisis could be expressed and resolved.

The Criminalist

Silence of the LambsFrom the early 1990s to the present, the type of masculinity that society deems admirable has changed. There has been a shift from the appreciation of physical masculinity to that of masculinity defined as intellectual and vulnerable and has prompted a similar shift in the representation of masculinity in the media. In the early 1990s a new sensitive type of masculinity emerged on-screen to replace the retributive masculinity of the 1980s as an ideal. The working-class cop as action hero came to be replaced by a new kind of police detective that was a middle-class, educated professional and employed his/her skills of observation and deduction to solve the crime rather than firepower. This shift from violent to vulnerable masculinities is evident with the new roles that former action stars began to portray. Bruce Willis abandoned guns and wisecracks in favour of more sensitive men in film like Mercury Rising (1998) and The Sixth Sense (1999), and Clint Eastwood has given up his vigilante roles to play a more mature and intellectual kind of hero in films like In the Line of Fire (1993), True Crime (1999), and Bloodwork (2002).

This shift has also seen a return to a thinking detective – a criminalist – not dissimilar to the first sleuth detectives. Originating in the fiction of authors such as Thomas Harris and Patricia Cornwell, the criminalist, or forensic detective, has flourished on the big and small screens. Criminalists such as Detective Somerset of Seven (1995) and Agent Clarice Starling of Silence of the Lambs (1991) have thrived in film while Gil Grissom of America’s C.S.I.: Criminal Scene Investigation, Sam Ryan of the Britain’s Silent Witness, and Dominic DaVinci of Canada’s DaVinci’s Inquest are evidence to the criminalist’s success on television. Criminalists employ observation, forensic science, and profiling to solve cases and often find themselves tracking serial killers. With this emphasis on intelligence over muscularity and the reliance of weapons, new kinds of detective-heroes have emerged, including women, older, and ethnic detectives. Thus, the detective and shifts in the representation of the masculinity of the hero can be seen as occurring in conjunction with broader social change. The icon of the detective has begun, and will continue, to evolve beyond the traditional white male action hero and offers audiences assuring images of masculinity, and more recently femininity, that can bring crime to halt to crime.

Shakespeare and the English language


Even if you’ve never seen a Shakespeare play, you’ll have used one of his words or phrases.

Famous phrases

If you’ve ever been ‘in a pickle’, waited ‘with bated breath’, or gone on ‘a wild goose chase’, you’ve been quoting from The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet respectively.

Next time you refer to jealousy as « the green-eyed monster, » know that you’re quoting Othello’s arch villain, Iago. (Shakespeare was almost self-quoting here, having first touched on green as the colour of envy in The Merchant of Venice, where Portia alludes to “green-eyed jealousy.”)

Allow yourself to “gossip” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and you’re quoting him. « The be-all and end-all » is uttered by Macbeth as he murderously contemplates King Duncan, and « fair play » falls from Miranda’s lips in The Tempest.

Some phrases have become so well used that they’re now regarded as clichés – . « A heart of gold »? You’ll find it in Henry V, while “the world’s mine oyster” crops up in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

To be in a pickle

Sarah was in a pickle when she realized that she had missed the last bus home

To be in a difficult situation  – The Tempest

To go on a wild goose chase

I went on a wild goose chase around the supermarket trying to find my favourite cheese. No luck!

To search for something unsuccessfully  – Romeo and Juliet

To have someone in stitches

Sue always has me in stitches. She’s just so funny!

To make someone laugh uncontrollably  -Twelfth Night

To set someone’s teeth on edge

I hate the sound of someone sharpening a knife. It sets my teeth on edge.

To make someone feel annoyed or uncomfortable  – Henry IV Part 1

To eat someone out of house and home

When my brother comes to visit me, he eats me out of house and home but I still love him!

To consume so much food that there is very little left.  – Henry IV Part 2

To be as dead as a doornail

Although my hometown is as dead as a doornail, I still enjoy going back in the holidays.

dead, no life, quiet  – Henry IV Part 2

To vanish into thin air

I don’t know where my keys are. They’ve vanished into thin air.

To disappear  – Othello

To wear your heart on your sleeve

I always know if Jack is feeling sad because he wears his heart on his sleeve.

To show your emotions  – Othello

To have a heart of gold

Robert’s got a heart of gold because he always does his elderly neighbour’s shopping.

To be a very kind person  – Henry V

To do something all in one fell swoop

I like to do my homework all in one fell swoop and relax afterwards.

To do everything at the same time, or in one go – Macbeth

If the mark of a great writer is that they’re still read, then perhaps the mark of a genius is that they’re still spoken, too.

Visual Documents To Illustrate The Topic of Immigration


From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States and Lady Liberty would welcome these immigrants traveling to the US for the first time. The Statue of Liberty is more than a monument.It is a symbol of freedom for those who were leaving their homeland in search of a new life.


The United States is often referred to as a melting pot of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is an assimilation of cultures, ethnic origins, religions, ideas and traditions. This concept relies on the idea that everyone who lives in the United States becomes a part of a larger culture that is uniquely American.


Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.


Leaving one´s country: Running away, going into exile, travelling, discovering, studying, working….?

Key Questions (problématique)

  • Why do people migrate?
  • What are the impacts of emigration on the host country?(multicultural Britain/Melting pot in the USA/Spanglish in the USA/global cities and multiculturalism)
  • What are the impacts of emigration on the country of origin ? (brain drain migration/desertification of rural areas)
  • Emigration vs Immigration : impacts on host country and home country
  • Choose to migrate or forced to migrate – Why do people leave their home county?
  • How can a country benefit from immigration?


Migration is the movement of people from one place to another. The reasons for migration can be economic, social, political or environmental. There are usually push factors and pull factors at work.

Migration impacts on both the place left behind, and on the place where migrants settle.

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another.

  • Internal migration is when people migrate within the same country or region – for example, moving from London to Plymouth.
  • International migration is when people migrate from one country to another – for example, moving from Mexico to the USA.

 Two key migration terms

  • Emigration – when someone leaves a country.
  • Immigration – when someone enters a country.

Why do people migrate?

People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be classified as economic, social, political or environmental:

  • economic migration – moving to find work or follow a particular career path
  • social migration – moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends
  • political migration – moving to escape political persecution or war
  • environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding

Some people choose to migrate, eg someone who moves to another country to enhance their career opportunities. Some people are forced to migrate, eg someone who moves due to war or famine.

A refugee is someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to. Often refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.

Push and pull factors

Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area. They include:

  • lack of services
  • lack of safety
  • high crime
  • crop failure
  • drought
  • flooding
  • poverty
  • war

Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area. They include:

  • higher employment
  • more wealth
  • better services
  • good climate
  • safer, less crime
  • political stability
  • more fertile land
  • lower risk from natural hazards

Migration usually happens as a result of a combination of these push and pull factors.




In May, you will have studied tens of documents, press articles, interviews, visual documents, audio recordings, videos… Well, take my advice and start organizing them RIGHT NOW.

BAC ORAL : Notions, themes and documents

Your oral presentation (5 minutes) must be related to a notion which you have approached from the perspective offered by a theme and a question that – by exposing and confronting information from your documents – you propose to answer at the end of your presentation: This is the outline you should have on your flash cards :



Idea of progress→Immigration→How does immigration contribute to progress ?→Documents 1, 2, 3 →your answer in the conclusion – Can also be connected to Spaces and Exchanges –

This is the beginning of the school year and you need to be organized from the start in order to make  revisions easier. Go to the post ¨Tableau recapitulatif ¨ and write down the documents you are studying in class, along with the notions it may relate to (the same document can indeed relate to several notions). You may add a quick summary of the document, its theme, key concepts and questions it raises.

GOOD LUCK and remember ¨Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” – A. A. Milne


Modernity and Tradition in Britain


Describe this scene photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London.

What elements attract your attention? What contrasts are underlined?

In what ways does this correspond to your view of London today?

 Describe this scene photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London. 

This scene, photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London, shows a group of athletes of both sexes and of mixed origins running along the river… There are various buildings in the background including the London Eye, a well-known, but relatively recently installed, tourist attraction… On the right is a fairly old building (the London County Hall), while to the left of the London Eye, a modern tower block (adjacent to the Royal Festival Hall) can be seen… The runners all seem concentrated on the race and are running side by side, looking ahead in the same direction… Among the runners, looking straight at the camera is a guard in uniform, and a second guard can be seen on the right, half out of the photo…

What elements attract your attention? What contrasts are underlined?

What strikes the viewer immediately is the guard in his red and black uniform running alongside the athletes… The contrast between the runners and the guard is underlined by the fact that the athletes are all wearing light running gear, whereas he is in uniform with his bearskin on his head… He may be included in the photo as a symbol of traditional Britain (normally he would be seen parading in front of Buckingham Palace) and of modernity (the fact that he is black in an élite army corps, steeped in tradition, may indicate that society in Britain is becoming more open and tolerant)… There are other contrasts in the photo, for instance old and new architecture and the mixed origins of the runners… So, on the one hand this is a photo of modern-day London but, on the other hand, the overall impression given by the photographer is a combination of tradition and modernity…