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The art of fiction and its elements Valentina Tenedini with the help of classe IV^ a app students ISRMA - academic year 2013-4 adapted from, MacRae, Pantaleoni,

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Presentation on theme: "The art of fiction and its elements Valentina Tenedini with the help of classe IV^ a app students ISRMA - academic year 2013-4 adapted from, MacRae, Pantaleoni,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The art of fiction and its elements Valentina Tenedini with the help of classe IV^ a app students ISRMA - academic year adapted from, MacRae, Pantaleoni, Words on the page, Oxofrd la Nuova Italia; Delaney, Ward et alii, Fields of Vision, Longman.

2 Fiction refers to novels and short stories Common Feature: prose style More complex plot(less characters, shorter time span)

3 THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION PLOT: the series of events (incidents) presented by the author. they can be told both in a linear and non-linear way: i.e. with digressions, flashbacks or anticipations. As regards the plot the author is free to decide: When the story begins – which events should be dealt with at length Which aspects of the story can be quickly summarised- When the story should end. As a consequence: Time is subjective

4 OTHER TYPICAL ELEMENTS ENRICHING THE PLOT ARE: Conflict: the driving force within the plot, which can be external ( deriving from family, society or the hardships of nature) or internal (i.e. a character may have a difficult choice to make, to question his/her values and beliefs). Suspense : an important element in many plots, the author creates suspense by denying immediate access to information which is essential to the full understanding of the story. ( E.g. detective stories) and by ordering the events in the story carefully. Subplot (an element present in some novels) is a second story complete in its own right, and it is usually linked in some ways to the events in the main plot, it generally helps to deepen the readers understanding of it.

5 NARRATOR Is the person, the voice that tells the story and provides the perspective, the point of view from which the story is told. The narrator may be a character in the story or a voice from outside the story. The first-person narrator coincides with a character inside the story. He/she can either be the protagonist or a minor character in the story reporting the story of another. This type of narrator relates the events that he/she has experienced from his/her own point of view, so the perspective is generally limited. The use of this narrative technical device is particularly involving for the reader and contributes to give a sense or an illusion of realism to the events in the story.

6 Third- person narrator remains external to the story he/she is usually an observer of the events described. He/she is defined: omniscient when he/she knows everything about the characters minds and intentions non-omniscient when he /she can only form an impression of the feelings and personalities of the other characters. the narrator can also be defined intrusive (/obtrusive) if he steps in, addresses the reader directly and makes comments on the characters actions, otherwise he/she is called non-intrusive. /Non obtrusive)

7 THE CHARACTERS is the book character who makes the most actions (without whom there would be no story) is the character with whom the protagonist struggles, it can also be a natural element or a fact: the environment, an illness, or death Protagonist Antagonist major or minor characters depending on the role they play in the development of the plot.

8 Characters can be FLAT or ROUND. A character is round when he/she has a complex and multidimensional personality, shows emotional and intellectual depth and is capable of growing and changing; A flat character embodies e single characteristic. E. g. the miser, the bully, the jealous lover, the endless optimist. When such characters are distorted for humorous purposes they are defined caricatures or types.

9 The authors present characters that is to say by telling or by showing. The former technique implies the direct intervention of the narrator who comments on the characters personality, thoughts or actions. In showing the narrator lets the character reveal himself/herself through what they do and say. The reader is asked to infer the character for the evidence provided in the dialogue and action in the story (as it happens in drama). Directly or indirectly

10 THE SETTING It is where and when the story takes place. Sometimes the setting is like a character in that it can speak to the reader, though without language, in a variety of ways. It can give social, emotional, psychological and historical information, about the story in which it is set, about the protagonists and characters personality and emotional state. The historical period in which the story is set may give implicit information about social condition the characters world view and so on.

11 The setting may play different roles within a novel, it is defined: Setting as a mirror: when it reflects a prevailing mood or reinforces the emotions felt by a character Settings as an antagonist: when it shapes the characters identities and destinies making people what they are Setting as a means of reinforcing the theme : i.e. physical setting may symbolically represent the central idea of the work Alien setting : when the action takes place in an unfamiliar often hostile place Social setting when it refers to the social environment in which a story takes place.

12 THE THEME It is the abstract ideas the story tries to convey. (E.g. Robinson Crusoes self-reliance in the face of adversity). Usually novels have more than one theme and new ones may emerge in subsequent interpretations. The themes discovered in a novel, in fact, reflect both the mentality of critics and readers of the age they live in and any implicit message that the author wished to convey.

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