What is Prose? Mark Harden's Archive Boccioni, Umberto Interior with Two Female Figures 1915
Analysis of Style When a writer conceives an idea s/he conceives it in a form of words. Paragraphs Sentences Speech Phrases Word Choice Tone Color Description
Types of Prose Short Story Factual Prose Novel The Personal Essay Journals Diaries Testimony Letters
Narration Who is telling this story? To whom? Exactly what is going on? What sort of people live in this story? Where is all this taking place? What are they saying to each other?
Point of View First Person Narrators Second Person Narrators Third Person Narrators
First Person Narration (Point of View) TAXI by Jesus Garcia In the back seat of the Volkswagen Beetle, the woman, her baggy eyes shut, chants the Lord's Prayer over and over.She's sitting in between The Monkey, who has a simian arm casually draped over her shoulder, as if he were her boyfriend, and Handsome, who is riffling through the contents of her purse. I can see through the rearview mirror that he's found her wallet. "Your name's Lourdes," he says, reading from her driver's license. "Lourdes Santos de Diaz. What do you know, you live in Las Lomas! At 2721 Sierra Gorda." The recitation of her name and address doesn't break her concentration, not even for a second. She continues to drone the Lord's Prayer. It's starting to get on my nerves. I bet she hasn't been in a church in years, except for weddings and communions. But once in my taxi, most of the "passengers" put on a big show of piety. I look at her in the rearview mirror. Her face, slack with middle age, is grimly set. I return my gaze to the road. "Lourdes?" I ask. "Are you a religious woman?" "Yes," she says. She smoothes down her beige skirt, as if any of us were interested in her legs. "Yes, I am." "Good," I counter. "Then not only will God protect you, he will pay you back threefold anything we take from you." Handsome goes through her husband's wallet. "And your name is Adolfo," he says. Adolfo is lying in a fetal position on the floor of the cab beside me where the passenger seat should be. He chokes, gasping, yet again. The Monkey places his big foot in the crack of Adolfo's ass, just to make sure he doesn't get carried away. "Please," says Adolfo in a strained voice. "Please, let us go, for the love of God." I can't stand it when they beg. I am by no means a violent person, but the whining makes me want to move my foot from the accelerator and stomp their faces.
First Person Narration The story is written from the viewpoint of the character who tells the story, ie I saw… I felt… I did…, and is also a character in the story. The "I" in the story is not the author but a character that the author has created to tell the story. This character is known as the narrator or storyteller. The narrator talks directly to us and tells us about his or her own experiences, thoughts and feelings. The tone of voice the narrator uses to reveal the characters and events in the story will show us what his/her attitude is to these characters or events. For example, the narrator could be compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, critical, impartial and so on. Concepts to Think about: Is it reliable and truthful? Is it ironic? Is the action limited?
Second Person Narration (Point of View) If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice - they won't hear you otherwise - "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything; just hope they'll leave you alone. Find the most comfortable position: seated, stretched out, curled up, or lying flat. Flat on your back, on your side, on your stomach. Second person narration is very seldom used as it means that the author/performer can only address one person.
Third Person Narration (P.O.V) Unlike first person narrators, third person narrators do not take part in the story. The narrator is outside the story and refers to the characters either by name or in the third person, i.e. he felt… she thought… they did…Third person narrators are very powerful and can order the action as they please. They can also choose what to tell us about the characters and what to leave out. Third person narration can have four points of view. The omniscient point of view The intrusive narrator The impersonal narrator The limited point of view
Third Person Narration Types The omniscient point of view Omni means 'all' and the second part of the word means knowledge as in 'science'; thus omniscient means knowing everything. The omniscient narrator is therefore like God - he or she knows everything about the characters and events. This narrator can move from character to character, selecting which speech and actions to write about. He or she can tell us about the thoughts, feelings and reactions of each character in great detail so that we will understand all of them. The omniscient narrator has to be totally trustworthy. This is the simplest style of narration.
Third Person Narration Types The Intrusive point of view The intrusive narrator is like the omniscient narrator, but he also judges the characters and comments on all their actions and motives. “Many years ago my two friends had a stepsister called Cinderella. She was a badly dressed, disobedient and sulky child, and to try and make her mend her lazy ways my friends made her help with the household chores. She had to help them scrub the floors, tidy the house, cook the meals and wash the pots. She also had to help them wash and iron clothes.” Cinderella as told by the ugly sisters' best friend (third person narrator)
Third Person Narration Types The Impersonal point of view The impersonal narrator is the opposite of the intrusive narrator. The impersonal narrator describes the action without introducing his/her own comments. The narrator remains detached from the characters and passes no judgments.
Third Person Narration Types The Limited point of view This point of view means that the story is told in the third person but only from the point of view of a single character. It is another way of combining third person narration with first person narration. The reader sees everything that is going on but only from the point of view of one character. “Buddy stole the money form his mother's purse just before he left for school. His mother was in the kitchen clearing up the breakfast things and his father was still in bed. He tiptoed into the front room and slipped the purse out of her handbag. He clicked it open and took out a £5 note. A wave of disgust swept through him. Only two weeks ago he'd vowed to himself that he was going to stop shoplifting and here he was stealing from his own mother. He hadn't done that since he was a little kid and had sometimes nicked the odd ten-pence. He was turning into a real thief.” Buddy by Nigel Hinton
Irony Irony occurs when we see that there is a difference between what a character thinks is true and what is really true. Words and truth Beliefs and reality Expectations and results Appearance and reality
Essentials to Prose Action & Plot Character Dialogue Setting Narration
Final Questions On Prose The nature of the narrator you saw and heard: his or her age and attitude toward events, characters, setting and the audience to whom the tale is told The relationships between the narrator and the characters, as demonstrated by the performer.
Cont. The internal and external lives of the narrator and the characters, as demonstrated by the performer. Performance behavior that gave life to personalities in the story. Immediacy of the story- NOW Management of dialogue
Too often we read stories just to find out what happens. The manner of telling the story is just as important as the tale. Show the character’s personality. Mark Harden's Archive Boccioni, Umberto Dynamism of a Man's Head 1914
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