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The Short Story

The Short Story

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The Short Story

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  1. The Short Story Elements for Analysis

  2. What is a Short Story • A brief fictional prose narrative often involving one connected episode. • Creates “Unity of Effect” • True to our emotions • Accurately reflects life lived by all of us • Remember it’s still fiction

  3. What do we mean by elements? • Means of analyzing fiction • Breaking it down to its parts • Helps us to evaluate its “Unity of Effect” • Helps us make meaning from the story

  4. Plot • Series of events related to a central conflict Climax/turning point Denouement/Resolution Conflict Rise in action Exposition

  5. Character • Action of Plot is performed by character • Character not always aware • Why they act as they do • Awareness not always accurate • Reader may know before character

  6. How should we try to understand character? • Judge them by our value system? • System set up for REAL people • They are FICTIONAL • Look at writer’s characterization instead • Mental processes • Dialogue • Description

  7. Successful Character • Comes alive • Accumulation of detail • Appearances • Actions • Responses

  8. Types of Characters • Round • Readers feel the pull of actions • Seen as capable of alternatives • Flat • No pull • Not capable of alternatives

  9. Types of Character • Dynamic • Capable of or experiencing change in the action of the story • Static • Stays the same

  10. Theme • Generalization about the meaning of a story • Often difficult to summarize and still be true to details of narrative • Sometimes moral judgment • Sometimes personal expression of life

  11. Setting • Place and time of the story • Creates a “solid” world • Sometimes only a backdrop to action • Can be central to action

  12. Style • Language the author uses in narration • Made up of: • Tone – unstated attitudes • Ironic/humorous/serious/excited/compassionate • Created by speech (remember DIDLS) • Lofty/everyday • Symbols • Something that stands for something else (idea, thought)

  13. Style Continued • Made up of: • Figurative/Literal Language • Diction (word choice) • Syntax (sentence structure) • Point of view (narrator)

  14. Point of View • POV – the way the story is told • 1st person narrator • Participant in the story • Major/minor character • 3rd Person narrator • Not a participant in the story

  15. 1st Person Narrator • Cannot understand others except through what they see or what others tell them. • Authority/trustworthiness is limited • Biased report • May perceive things differently from reader

  16. 3rd Person Narrator • Omniscient • Sees into all characters, controlling authority • Limited • Sees into one or two characters • Subjective view

  17. 3rd Person Narrator • Objective • Impartial, doesn’t evaluate or comment on the actions of characters • Lets actions speak for themselves • Limited Omniscient • One central intelligence – one character’s psyche is the stage for the drama • All is measured against this character’s thoughts and feelings

  18. Point of view • There are other forms of narration • These forms are more flexible than implied by these categories