The Short Story **Portions of this Powerpoint presentation come from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) website in their ReadWriteThink program. Grade 7 LA Blue Mrs. Munzner
History of the Short Story • 1. Myth- “gods,” natural events are explained to ancient people, usually there is a hero involved. • 2. Fables and Parables- Teach a moral or lesson. Helps readers think about right or wrong. They share an important human experience. Animals are the main characters • 3. Folktales/ fairytales- Fantasy is involved. Super powers are good vs. evil are used to teach a lesson.
Then along came the modern short story… • Purposes • Helps us think about right and wrong • Helps us understand thoughts and emotions • Main purpose= share an important human experience • Universal theme (applies to everyone’s life)
Characteristics of the Modern Short Story • 1. One single situation or experience • 2. One plot line (series of events) • 3. One or two main characters • 4. Records an incident that every reader can connect to. • 5. Carefully organized
Elements of The Short Story • Character • Setting • Plot • Conflict • Tone • Theme • Point of view
Round vs. Flat Round characters= Well-developed, has many traits Flat Characters= One sided, stereotyped Dynamic vs. Static Dynamic characters= change in the story Static characters= stay the same Characters
Characters • Protagonist • The main character in a literary work (for instance, Harry Potter or Snow White) • Antagonist • The character who opposes the protagonist (for instance, Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter Series, or The Queen in Snow White)
Methods of Characterization • Direct Characterization • The author develops the personality of a character by saying it directly. “Jack had been in basic training in Florida and Dottie was there on vacation with her parents. They’d met on a beach and struck up a conversation. Dottie was the talker, the outgoing one– the extrovert. Jack was too shy around girls to say much at all.” Furlough—1044 by Harry Mazer
Methods of Characterization • Indirect Characterization • Revealing a character’s personality through: 1. The characters thoughts and words 2. The character’s actions. 3. The comments of other characters or how other characters respond to specific characters 4. The character’s physical appearance.
Setting • The setting is the place where the story occurs. The setting can include the following: • The geographic location (ex. London, California, Holden) • The time period (ex. 2007, during WWII, today, tomorrow, fifty years from now) • The socio-economic characteristics of the location (ex. Wealthy section of town, the ghetto, the great depression) • The specific building, room and so forth
Setting • Can be used to tell readers about the characters: • “That evening T.J. smelled the air, his nostrils dilating with the odor of the earth under his feet. “It’s spring,” he said, and there was a gladness rising in his voice that filled us all with the same feeling…” from Antaeus by Borden Deal
Setting • Can be used to set the atmosphere for the story: “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country.” The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
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.
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
Plot Components Explained… Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced. Sometimes called the “Narrative HOOK” this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story. Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict. Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes. Falling Action: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable. Resolution/Denouement: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point.
Plot: Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Conflicts lead you through the story to the climax. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Interpersonal Conflict Human vs. Human Human vs. Nature Human vs. Society Internal Conflict Human vs. Self Plot: Types of Conflict
Theme Theme is the central underlying message about life or human nature in a story. -It tells the ‘big’ ideas around which the author was writing. -In order to identify a theme of a story, one must know the whole story. Ex. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” “In good vs. evil, good usually wins.”
Tone • Tone is the attitude a writer takes towards a subject or character. • It is revealed in the writer’s choice of words and details. • Examples include: serious, humorous, sarcastic, ironic, formal, playful
Other terms: • Mood • Foreshadowing • Point of View • Third Person (Omniscient) Point of View • Limited Omniscient Point of View • First Person • Symbolism