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Short Story Elements and Terms

Short Story Elements and Terms

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Short Story Elements and Terms

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  1. Short Story Elements andTerms

  2. A short story is … a brief fictional narrative in prose Very brief story—it’s only a few pages!

  3. The essence of the short story is “ the plot ” ……. A plot is the sequence of events in a narrative work. Parts of the plot are: • Exposition • Conflict • Rising Action • Climax • Falling Action • Resolution / Denouement

  4. PLOT CHART / DIAGRAM Climax Rising Action Falling Action Conflict Resolution / Denouement Exposition

  5. Definitions for parts of the plot: • Exposition: introduction of characters, setting, & situation • Conflict: a struggle between opposing forces • Rising action: complications that occur in trying to resolve the conflict • Climax: the emotional high point of the story • Falling action: the logical consequences of the climax • Resolution / Denouement: the final outcome

  6. Conflict can be internal or external. Internal – a character’s struggle within himself; torn between opposing feelings or different courses of action (psychological) External – a character’s struggle with an outside force

  7. Types of external conflict: • character vs. another character • character vs. society • character vs. nature • character vs. machine • character vs. supernatural being social physical metaphysical

  8. What Do We Mean by the Theme of a Story? The theme is the author’s message about his/her perception about life or human nature. The theme of a literary work can be stated or implied.

  9. Characters Characters are the actors in a story’s plot. Protagonist – the main character Antagonist – the character/force in conflict with the protagonist.

  10. Types of Characters • Dynamic – changes attitude in the course of the story; gains new understanding or insight • Static – remains the same throughout the story • Flat – has only one personality trait • Round – has varied & different personality traits • Stock or Stereotyped – flat character that is “typical” and often repeated.

  11. Characterization …. is the method the author uses to reveal a character’s personality Direct characterization – when the author tells the reader about the character’s traits directly Indirect characterization – when the author reveals a character’s personality through the character’s words, thoughts, actions, appearance, and reaction of other characters.

  12. Point of View is the voice the author uses to tell his story. • First-person (I, me, my) – narrator is a character in the story; reader sees everything through the character • Third-person limited (he/she) – narrator outside the story; reveals thoughts and feelings of just one character • Third-person omniscient (he/she) – narrator outside the story; reveals thoughts and feelings of all characters; “all-knowing” • Third-person objective (he/she) – narrator is outside the story; reveals only actions & speech; no thoughts or feelings

  13. Foreshadowing …is the use of clues that give hints so that the reader can predict what will happen.

  14. Irony is the difference between what appears to be real and what is actually real in a story. • Verbal Irony – difference between what a speaker says and what he means • Situational Irony – difference between what the reader expects to happen and what actually happens • Dramatic Irony – difference between what the reader knows and what the character knows. The reader has more or better information than the character.

  15. Other definitions …. • Symbolism – when an object, person, place or experience represents something else that is abstract • Diction – the author’s choice of words • Denotation – a word’s literal or dictionary definition • Connotation – a word’s implied / emotional meaning • Tone – the author’s attitude about the subject of the literary work.

  16. Other definitions … Idiom – an accepted expression having a meaning different from the literal. Examples: I was so angry I was beside myself. (“Beside myself” is idiomatic because it is physically impossible to be next to oneself). Other examples:- Keep an eye out. - Right on the money • Flat broke - Dodge a bullet

  17. Other Definitions … • Oxymoron – a form of paradox that combines a pair of opposite terms into a single unusual expression; a seeming contradiction. • Examples: a wise fool, definitely maybe, precise estimate, genuine imitation, honest politician • Alliteration – occurs when several neighboring words begin with the same consonant sound.Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers… • Allusion – a reference to a literary, mythological, or historical person place or thing.

  18. Other Definitions … Natural order of a sentence: the subject comes before the predicate. Inversion is a sentence where the predicate comes before the subject. Example: Long did the hours seem while I waited for her knock at the door.

  19. Other Definitions … Parallel Structure (parallelism) – a grammatical or structural similarity between sentences or parts of a sentence. Example: The burden must be carried, the want provided for, the suffering endured, the responsibility fulfilled. *********************************************** Archetype – a character, action, or situation that is a prototype or pattern of human life occurring over and over again in literature. Example: the damsel in distress, the rags-to-riches plot, the quest.

  20. Other Definitions … Epiphany – the sudden understanding in which a character proceeds from ignorance and innocence to knowledge and experience. Suspense – the quality that makes the reader uncertain or tense about the outcome of events. Motif – a pattern of imagery or symbolism in a work of literature.

  21. Keep these Short Story Elements and Terms Forever!!!