Plot Character Setting Theme Point of View Elements of A Short Story
Plot The sequence of events in a literary work.
Bare Bones of A Plot Plot is built on five main parts: - Exposition (Introduction) • Rising Action • Climax • Falling Action • Resolution (Denouement)
Climax Complications (Rising Action) Falling Action Exposition Resolution Plot Line
Plot • Exposition – introduces the setting, the characters, the basic situation; introduction • Rising Action- central conflict introduced; all events leading up to the climax • Climax – conflict reaches a high point of interest or suspense
Plot • Falling Action - Conflict begins to resolve; story tapers off; events that lead up to the resolution • Resolution - Occurs at the very end of the story; conflicts are resolved. (Also called the denouement.)
Character A person, animal, natural force or object in a story or play.
Characterization The process of revealing the personality of a character is calledcharacterization.
Characterization • Direct Characterization - Writer tells the reader directly what kind of person the character is. • Indirect Characterization - Reader has to use his or her own judgement to identify personality traits of a character
CharacterIndirect Characterization • There are five methods for revealing character: • Appearance • Speech • Thoughts • Actions • Other Characters’ feelings
Characterization • Static – Character does not change throughout the story • Dynamic – Character develops and grows over the course of the story
Characterization • Flat – Shows only one personality trait • Round – Many different personality traits (good & bad) • Protagonist – Main character of a literary work • Antagonist – Character or force in conflict with the protagonist
Characterization • Motivation – Reason that explains or partially explains why a character thinks, feels, behaves or acts in a certain way.
Point of View The vantage point from which the author has chosen to tell the story.
First Person One of the characters is actually telling the story, using the pronoun “I.”
Third Person Limited Narrator sees the world through one character’s eyes and reveals only that character’s thoughts.
Third Person Omniscient “All Knowing” Voice outside the story that tells readers what any character thinks and feels.
Point of View The narrator is not always the author.
Setting The time and place of a story or play.
Setting • Time and place of action in a literary work • In some stories, setting provides the conflict. • Places where people live and make their homes can reveal a great deal about their characters.
Setting • One purpose of setting is to provide a background – a place for the characters to live and act • Setting can also provide atmosphere or mood - it affects the way a reader feels. • One of the oldest story plots in the world is the one in which a person fights against something in the physical world - a drought, a horde of ants, the heat of the desert, etc.
Describing the Setting • In what kind of place does the story take place? • What is the season? What is the climate? What is the time of day? • Are the characters in conflict with the setting?
Describing the Setting • Does the setting help to understand the characters’ personalities? • What kind of atmosphere does the setting create?
Theme Central idea of a work of literature
Theme • A theme makes some revelation about a subject. • The subject of the story is NOT THE SAME as the theme of the story. • The subject is simply the topic of the story. • Theme is not “love.” Ask yourself…what about “love”?
Theme A theme is usually not stated directly in the story.
Finding a Theme • Does the title signify something important about the story? • Does the main character change in the course of the story? Does he or she realize something he or she didn’t know before? • Are there any important statements about life or people made in the story - either by the narrator or the characters?
Irony A contrast between expectation and reality. Between what is said and what is really meant. Between what is expected to happen and what really happens. Between what appears to be true and what is really true.
Types of Irony • Verbal - a writer or speaker says one thing but means another • Situational - what we expect to happen is different than what actually happens. • Dramatic - Audience or reader knows what is happening but the characters do not.
Other Terms to Know • Mood – (Atmosphere) Feeling created in the reader by a literary work • Tone – The writer’s attitude toward his or her audience and subject
Other Terms to Know • Foreshadowing – Clues to suggest events that have not happened yet in the story; creates suspense. • Suspense - The uncertain feeling about what is going to happen next in a story.
Other Terms to Know • Allusion – References in a piece of writing that refer to the Bible, a time in history or another work of literature or art • Frame Story – Story within another story • Dialect – Way a character speaks (directly related to setting & time period)
Other Terms to Know • Symbolism - Anything that stands for or represents something else. Ex. Red rose American flag
Conflict A struggle between opposing forces • Internal – A character in conflict with himself or herself: Fear vs. Duty, Duty vs. Pride, Training vs. Instinct • External - A character struggles against an outside force : Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society,Man vs. Fate
Allegory • An allegory is a story or tale with two or more levels of meaning - a literal level and one or more symbolic levels. The events, setting, and characters in an allegory are symbols for ideas andqualities.