Ladder Drill exercises are intended to develop your talents for interacting with and getting the most out of the literature you read. We will discuss fables, short stories, nonfiction articles, and poetry, beginning with the text "as it is," then looking at it from different perspectives using a variety of literary tools.
As a parallel, astronomers use a variety of imaging tools to better understand data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope. They use it to understand the sequence of star formation and to predict likely events in our Sun's future. Astronomers study several galaxies to understand larger patterns and classify formations. They collect data about temperature, density, energy, and chemical composition to make generalizations about elements common to all stars and others that are unique to certain types of stars and the stages of their life cycles.
A close-up magnification of the visible light given off by the inner ring of NGC 1512.
Using different lenses and filters, astronomers pick up details that they may have previously missed.
The study of stars using different lenses, sensors, and filters helps astronomers understand the universe better and create a more accurate model of what is happening around us.
Each time you use the tools of literary analysis to better understand a new story, it gives you added experience in the craft of writing and communication to add to your personal knowledge. Each analysis of quality literature has the potential to make your own writing and storytelling skill more powerful.
Literary scholars recognize a collection of over 350 interesting and original Greek myths as being likely to have been part of Aesop's work. As a genre of fables they are close to the artistic atmosphere of fairy tales about animals. They are not the typical Greek myths that we know from the Greek mythology about gods and heroes.
According to literary traditions, Aesop was a very smart, resourceful and inventive man. And thanks to these qualities he was able to acquire his freedom.
Brett Campbell, Broome Shore, mosaic, 2013
To Drink the Sea, a Legend of Aesop
During a feast, the lord of Aesop too boldly stated that he would drink the sea. If he couldn’t he would lose all his wealth. The next morning, realizing his claim was impossible to complete, he called Aesop.
The slave quickly realized the trouble his master was in and promised that he would help save his dignity and honor.
Both men went to the seashore to face a noisy crowd, gathered to see how the wealthy lord would “drink the sea.”
Aesop explained to the people that his master could drink the sea, but for the rules to be met all the water from the rivers and lakes, flowing into the sea, should be removed first.
Needless to say, nobody was able to separate the sea from the waters of the rivers and lakes, and the master saved his wealth and honor. As a reward Aesop received his freedom.
"Aesop and Aesop’s Fables." Greek Myths and Greek Mythology.
ArtKreta: Heraklion, Crete, 2016. Web. 2 Aug. 2016.
The Ladder Drill
Implications: Sequencing, Cause and Effect, and Prediction
How do the actions of the wealthy lord cause a reaction by Aesop?
How does the reaction of Aesop in turn create the need for a new action by the wealthy lord?
Deduction: Concrete Details to Abstract Generalizations
Oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes all refer to bodies of water. How did Aesop change the problem using specific vocabulary and language?
How would the story change if the wealthy lord had promised to drink a pond, pool, or puddle?
How do you think geologists and cartographers decide where a river ends and the ocean begins?
Literary Elements: Character, Setting, Plot, Theme, and Genre
A fable is a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral. Does the story "To Drink the Sea" meet the definition of a fable?
In literature, an antagonist is a character or a group of characters standing in opposition to the protagonist or the main character. Who serves as antagonist and protagonist in "To Drink the Sea"?
Synthesis: Restate, Elaborate, and Create
What is "To Drink the Sea" really about?
Can you recall or create a similar story that communicates the same message?