THE SHORT STORY So what is a short story, anyway?
Short Story • No, it is not a book shrunk down to fit into the textbook. • A short story is a short piece of fiction containing certain literary elements. What are the literary elements? Well – I’m so glad you asked!
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD Let’s look at the story of Little Red Riding Hood as viewed through the lens of the short story terms.
CHARACTER • Characters are the “actors” in the story’s plot. • can be animals, people, or whatever the author chooses • Protagonist • Main character • Antagonist • In conflict with the main character. • Not all stories have an antagonist
Characters in Little Red Riding Hood • Little Red Riding Hood • The Grandmother • The Big Bad Wolf • The Huntsman • Protagonist: Little Red Riding Hood • Antagonist: The Big Bad Wolf
CONFLICT • A struggle between two opposing forces. • External conflict • between a character and an outside force, such as another character, nature,or society. • Internal conflict • takes place within the mind of a character who is torn between different courses of action.
Conflict in Little Red Riding Hood • External: • Conflict between Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. • Red questions the wolf • Will she outsmart the crafty wolf, or will he eat her, as he did her grandmother????
POINT OF VIEW • Relationship of narrator, or storyteller, to the story • First-person.The narrator is a character in the story and knows only his or her own thoughts and experiences. • Third-person limited. The narrator reveals the thoughts of only one character, referring to that character as either “he” or “she”. • Third-person omniscient.The narrator stands outside the story but knows and sees all and comments on the action.
POINT OF VIEWIN LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD • Third Person Omniscient • Narrator explains what Little Red Riding Hood is doing, what her grandmother does, what the wolf does and the huntsman’s actions as well. (narrator sees all, tells almost all!)
SETTING • the time and place in which the events occur. • Includes ideas, customs, values and beliefs.
SETTING INLITTLE RED RIDING HOOD The story takes place in the woods in an unnamed country, in a time long ago (but not specified).
THEME • The main idea or message of a work of literature. • The theme is an insight about life or human nature. • Some works have a stated theme, where the author directly expresses the point. • Some stories have an implied theme. Through various literary elements, such as plot, character, setting, point of view ,or symbolism, the author reveals the theme.
THEME IN LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD • IMPLIED • Theme isn’t stated (the author doesn’t come out and say this) • Be suspicious of anything that appears other than it should (ie Grandmother with great big TEETH!)
PLOT • The sequence of events in a story
PLOT SEQUENCE • exposition • introduces story’s setting, characters and conflict • Rising action • Occurs as the conflict develops complications. • climax • The emotional high point of the story. • falling action • The logical result of the climax • resolution • the final outcome is revealed
PLOT SEQUENCE IN LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD • exposition • LRRH has fixed a basket of goodies for her grandmother & is traveling through the woods to visit her. • Rising action • BBW sees LRRH, runs to G’s house, eats G, lays in wait for LRRH. LRRH sits by G’s (really BBW) bed, talking to her, asking questions. • climax • LRRH asks about the big teeth, and the BBG eats her. • falling action • The huntsman arrives, sees BBW dressed like Granny. • resolution • H. kills the BBW, and LRRH and G pop out, safe and sound!