Recreational Texts: Characteristics, Functions, Types, Examples

The recreational texts are those that are intended to entertain the reader. They can be popular texts (joke, riddle, proverb) and literary (novel, short story, poetry or appetizer), although some also include graphics (comic).

Although this type of text can provide useful information (such as historical novels or science fiction novels), its main purpose is not to inform but to abstract the person who reads them from their own reality.

This type of text can be part of any of the major literary genres: epic, lyrical, and drama. Novels, stories, legends, myths and fables belong to the epic. Comics and graphic novels are also included in this group. This genre has the recreational texts most read by people around the world.

In the lyric poems are included, both those that rhyme and those that are made in free verse . Finally, the drama is made up of written texts that are intended to be represented by actors (that is, scripts).

Characteristics of recreational texts

The characteristics of recreational texts can be internal and external.

Internal

They have to do with the type of text, which can be narrative, poetic or dramatic. In all cases they are fictitious texts.

External

They have to do with the literary format used, that is, if it is written in prose, verse or dialogue. Prose usually predominates over the rest, since it is the natural way to express ourselves.

Features

Draw attention

The recreational text must be attractive from beginning to end so that the reader is predisposed to receive that information with pleasure.

Entertain the reader

Recreational texts are not about scientific, objective, concrete writing without any type of passion. The author must be able to entertain the reader and generate feelings such as fun, sadness or tension. That is why they are beautiful and pleasant compositions for reading.

Let it be read from beginning to end

While a scientific text would have an index to search for the section that interests you, this type of composition is designed to be read in its entirety, since it would not make sense otherwise and information could be lost along the way. That is why recreational texts have an introduction , middle or end.

Types

Literary texts can be of two types: literary and popular, although some scholars of the language include graphic text as the third type.

Literary

Recreational literary texts are novels, stories, poems and plays, among others. It is characterized by the representation that the author reflects on a story, some characters and a context. 

They have a structure according to their genre and it evolves according to the literary movement of each era and the audience. For example, the Brothers Grimm did not elaborate their stories the way JK Rowling does now.

Popular

Popular texts are jokes, riddles, sayings, nursery rhymes, jokes, etc. They are distinguished because their original author is often unknown and is transmitted through oral tradition from generation to generation, varying its structure or letter in many cases.

For example, “La tarara” is a popular Spanish song whose origin is unknown, but it is still sung in the circles of any school to this day.

Examples of recreational texts

Here is a list of the ten most popular recreational texts. In addition to this, an extract of the text is included.

1- “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by JK Rowling

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, who lived at 4 Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were very normal, thankfully.

They were the last people you would expect to find related to something strange or mysterious, because they weren’t up for such nonsense.

2- “The Chronicles of Narnia: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe” by CS Lewis

Once upon a time there were four children named Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, and this story tells of something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war due to air raids.

They were taken to the home of an elderly professor who lived in the center of the country, more than ten miles from the nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office.

3- “Dark matter: Northern lights” by Phillip Pullman

Lyra and her daemon crossed the dining room, the light of which was fading by the minute, trying to stay to one side of it, out of the kitchen’s field of vision.

The three large tables that ran along its entire length were already set, the silver and glass sparkled despite the low light, and the long benches had been pulled back a little in order to receive guests. The darkness revealed the portraits of former rectors hanging on the walls.

Lyra approached the dais and, turning to look at the open kitchen door, seeing no one, climbed up onto it and approached the head table, the highest one.

The service in it was gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany armchairs with velvet cushions.

4- “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When I was six years old, I once saw a magnificent picture in a book about the Virgin Jungle, which was called Living Stories. It represented a boa snake swallowing a beast. Here is a copy of the drawing.

In the book he said: “Boa snakes swallow their prey whole without chewing it. Then they cannot move and they sleep for six months after their digestion ”.

So I thought a lot about the adventures of the jungle and, in turn, I managed to trace my first drawing with a colored pencil.

5- “The metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from a restless sleep, he found himself on his bed turned into a monstrous insect.

He was lying on his hard back, and in the shape of a shell and, when he raised his head a little, he saw a bulging, brownish belly, divided by hard parts in the form of an arc, on whose protuberance the cover could hardly be supported, already about to slip to the ground.

6- “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving

In that same town and in one of those same houses (which, to tell the truth, time and years had abused enough), he lived a long time ago, when the territory was still an English province, a good man, who his name was Rip Van Winkle.

He was descended from the Van Winkles who distinguished themselves so much in the chivalric days of Pedro Stuyvesant and who accompanied him to the site of Fort Cristina.

7- “Ode to a Greek Urn” by John Keats

You, silent form, your enigma our thinking exceeds

like eternity! Oh, cold Pastoral!

When our generation destroys time

you will remain, between different penalties

of ours, friend of men, saying:

“Beauty is true and true beauty” … Nothing else

it is known in this land and no more is needed.

8- “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

With a bang I opened the door,

and with soft beating of wings, he entered

a majestic raven

of the holy days gone.

Without hints of reverence,

not a moment is left;

and with the air of a great lord or a great lady

went to perch on the bust of Pallas,

on the lintel of my door.

Perched motionless, and nothing else.

So this ebony bird

changed my sad fantasies into a smile

with the grave and severe decorum

of the appearance of which he was wearing.

“Even with your severed and mocha crest,” I told him.

you won’t be a coward.

horrid old and menacing raven.

Escape from the night shore.

Tell me what is your name on the shore of the Plutonic Night! “

And the Raven said: “Never again.”

9- “Death” by Emily Brontë

The leaves over the space of hours

they grow bright and lush,

bathed in silver drops,

full of green blood;

under a late shelter the birds gathered,

scaring the bees out of their flower kingdoms.

10- “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare

Under Juliet’s balcony (Romeo enters the Capulet palace unseen. Juliet appears in a window).

Romeo: Hush! What glow breaks through that window? It is the East, and Juliet the sun ! Rise, splendid sun, and kill the envious moon, languid and pale with feeling because you, her maiden, have surpassed her in beauty!

References

  1. Leisure Reading. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from ncte.org
  2. The importance of leisure reading to health sciences students. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. The Importance of Leisure Reading for Students. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from ebsco.com
  4. Reader-Text Interactions. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  5. Mohr (2006). Children’s Choices for Recreational Reading. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from journals.sagepub.com
  6. Leasure Reading. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from literacyworldwide.org
  7. Popular Leasure Reading Books. Retrieved on September 19, 2017, from goodreads.com.

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