Short Stories Unit English 9
Characteristics of Short Stories • Limited in length • Limited to one main event and the development of one character Ex: Napoleon Dynomite vs. Breakfast Club
Plot • Sequence of incidents or actions in a story. Whatever the characters do, or whatever happens to them, constitutes plot. • Finding Nemo Plot • http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/course/course1/unit/shortstory.shtml
Plot • The most important element in plot is conflict. • External or internal conflict • A story often ends when conflict is resolved but this is not always the case…
Plot Structure Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story.
Chronological Order Flashback In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in
Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid-shaped. This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.
Aristotle’s Unified Plot The basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis.
Freytag’s Plot Structure Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a story’s plot.
Modified Plot Structure Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.
Plot Components Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in action Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads
Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Interpersonal Conflict Human vs Human Human vs Nature Human vs Society Internal Conflict Human vs Self Types of Conflict
LiteraryThemes Commonly found in creative writing
What is a theme? • Themes can be found everywhere: literature, stories, art, movies etc… • The theme of a fable is its moral. • The theme of a parable is its teaching. • The theme of a piece of literature is its view about life and how people behave.
Theme & Meaning Theme is the… • underlying meaningof the story, • a universal truth, • a significant statement the story is making about society, human nature, or the human condition.
Theme = idea The theme of a literary work is its underlying central idea or the generalization it communicates about life.
Theme...the meaning of life? The theme expresses the author's opinion or raises a question about human nature or the meaning of human experience.
At times the author's theme may not confirm or agree with your own beliefs. Even then, if skillfully written, the work will still have a theme that illuminates some aspects of true human experience.
The author's task is to communicate on a common ground with the reader. Although the particulars of your experience may be different from the details of the story, the general underlying truths behind the story may be just the connection that both you and the writer are seeking.
An understanding of theme is dependent upon one's previous experience of life and literature. At the same time, theme in literature can enlarge one's understanding of life.
Be aware that the theme never completely explains the story. It is simply one of the elements that make up the whole. Some short stories have secondary themes as well.
Common Literary Themes (Themes repeated in many works)
1.The quest for immortality “Stranger, stop and cast an eye.As you are now, so once was I.As I am now, so you shall be,Prepare for death and follow me.”
2. The individual’s relationship and obligation to society. Sometimes called “man vs. society”
3. The individual’s inward journey to understand himself or herself/identity. Sometimes called “man vs. self”
4. The individual’s relationship and obligation to the natural world. Sometimes called “man vs. nature”
10.What tomorrow’s world holds for us … aka: “The Future”
Marriage Romance Platonic or companionate love Altruistic love Love of Country Admiration Possessiveness Intense dependency Logical-sensible love Self-centered love Game-Playing Unrequited love Godly love Familial love Infatuation Erotic love Jealousy 11. Love: Topics/Effects
12. Role of Institutions Sometimes called “man vs. the institution”
Literary Themes End of Presentation.
The Lottery • “If a thousand foolish people do a foolish thing, it’s still a foolish thing”. • What does this mean? • How does it relate to the lottery? • Do you agree/disagree? Why? • What is an example of this in real life?
Consider this when examining mood in “The Lottery”? • After execution of the woman, the people go back to work or eat lunch as if nothing has happened. • Villagers do not excuse children from the lottery. • Children take part in the stoning. • When Mr. Hutchinson pulls from his wife’s hand the slip of paper she has drawn, he holds it up for all to see and contributes to her execution.
The Lady or the Tiger • What is the theme or message of the work? • Do you agree or disagree with the message? Why?
Content • What is tone? • Purpose of tone • Elements to make the tone • How to identify tone?
What is Tone? Tone: the implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work. ATTITUDE CHARACTERS AUTHOR
Tone may be • happy, sad, formal, informal, ironic, playful, serious, angry, naive condescending, or many other possible attitudes
TONE EXAMPLE Finally, one of the girls pointed to the grass and giggled. "Meow!" A cat sat on the edge of the field and licked its paw. They did indeed have company. The girls ran over to the cat and pet his belly. They laughed and the cat sauntered back to the field.
TONE Example • The tone of this passage is happy/contentment as there was a successful, happy resolution to the problem.
Elements to make the tone • Elements contribute to make the tone
Tips to identify tone • Tone must be inferred through the use of descriptive words. • You can recognize the tone/attitude by the language/word choices the author uses. • His language will reveal his perspective/opinion
Note: • Be careful to separate mood from tone. The tone shows you an author's opinion, while mood is the feeling and atmosphere of the text
Essential Question • How do both the mood & tone of a story help the author achieve it’s purpose? • BrainPop: Mood & Tone • Class Blog • Adam Griffen Prezi