Presentation on theme: " Early narratives told by the cave-dwellers Stories by Jonah and Ruth from the Old Testament Fables, epics, and medieval romances. The Canterbury."— Presentation transcript:
Early narratives told by the cave-dwellers Stories by Jonah and Ruth from the Old Testament Fables, epics, and medieval romances. The Canterbury Tales Le Morte d’Arthur The short story, as a genre, came into being with the introduction of the work of such writers as: Sir Walter Scott, Edgar Alan Poe, Washington Irving, Balzac, Maupassant, and Chekhov, etc.
Many short stories use the following structure or plan: Introduction establishes setting, and should attract the readers’ attention and interest. Complications problems, or a series of difficulties for the main character which cause suspense and lead to a crisis. Crisis the main conflict the main character must overcome. Climax where the main character makes a decision which will affect the outcome of the story; often the point of greatest excitement in the story. Denouement the tying up of any loose ends.
Gender of the writer Style Point of view Setting Plot Title of the story Time
Gender of the writer What voice is the story being told in? What impact does this have on the reader? What attitude does the reader bring to the literary work?
Style What style does the writer use? What does it demand of the reader? What effect does the punctuation and sentence structure have on the reader’s interpretation of events and response to the writer? Point of View How much info is available to the reader? Can the narrator be trusted? What is the potential for irony or being mislead— whether deliberately of inadvertently?
Setting What is the impact, both conscious and unconscious, of the chosen setting? What conclusions can the reader be lead to as a consequence of setting? Plot Usually centers around a protagonist—who or what is the antagonist? How sympathetic are they? What is our “gut response” to the predicament of the protagonist? With whom do we identify and why?
Title of Story How does it influence us before we even begin reading? What feelings does it evoke? Why? Time As a function of setting. Use of devices such as flashback. What is the purpose and impact?
Plot is the weaving together of events in a story. Because of length, all events in a short story should be considered significant in some way. There are 2 aspects of plot that are extremely important: believability of the events—these actions must be so convincing the reader accepts the possibility of their occurring. Inevitability of the sequence of events—where each action is closely connected and one leads logically from one to the other.
Suspense is created by uncertainty as to what will happen to the characters. A number of devices may be used to create suspense, including: Foreshadowing dropping hints as to what is to happen later. Mystery the withholding of information; keeping things secret or uncertain.
Placing the hero/heroine in a perilous or dangerous situation where their life, sanity, or happiness is threatened. The creation of a sense of impending doom, either through local superstitions or natural disasters. NOTE: It is possible to get into ‘pathetic fallacy’ when using the weather, where you have the artificial use of nature to reflect human emotions.
The essence of any plot is conflict, because any plot may be defined as a struggle between the protagonist and any opposing force. The opposing force may be human or non-human, internal or external, or any combination of the preceding possibilities.
Psychological conflict the struggle is in the mind of the leading character. Within their own mind, the forces of good and evil, or strength and weakness, fight for control (internal). Social conflict the protagonist struggles against the ideas, practices, or customs of others. (internal : external) in this case the odds may not favor the protagonist, or the protagonist may be cast in the role of renegade. Romantic conflict The protagonist struggles against the antagonist (external). In this case the odds are usually fairly even between the two.
Classical conflict the protagonist struggles against fate (external). In this case the odds are usually against the protagonist achieving success. Physical conflict The protagonist struggles against the forces of animals, nature, or other men with their physical strength (external).
There is an interrelationship between the characters’ actions, dialogues, thoughts, and even physical details (such as dress and possessions) from which the reader draws conclusions, both consciously or unconsciously. Each stage in a character’s development must be plausible in the sense that it may be unexpected, but it may also be explained. It should be remembered that in the short story, character change is usually just a simple shift in attitude of the character, or a shift in our perception of them. It is only in longer stories or novels that we have basic personality change.
Setting may be used: as a catalyst or a means of developing thematic concerns and characterization. to help set mood.
the actual, geographical location, scenery, and physical arrangements. (A story set in a castle in the mountains of Switzerland would have an entirely different prospective to it an one set in a village in Africa.) the occupation and daily manner of living of the characters (working farm, city, slum). the time or the period in which the story is set—the epoch in history or season of the year will have a direct impact on the reader’s response to the character and events. When using the seasons as a pivotal part of the narrative, spring is usually associated with love, summer with passion, autumn with decline and decay, and winter with death and poverty.
the general environment of the characters— the religious, mental, moral, social, and emotional climate through which they move has a great impact on how we respond to their situation, how sympathetic we find them to be, and how willing we are to suspend disbelief in the plot.
It provides a backdrop for the action. It establishes atmosphere. It shapes characters and action. It reflects character and psychology. Authors create setting through the use of details and sensory images—by building their descriptions with a blending of the real, (such as place names) and the fictitious (such as events). Through the use of sensory images, the author is able to create a vivid atmosphere that readers can associate with their own life experiences.
Point of view is the perspective from which the story is told and has a major impact of the reader’s response to the characters and events. When reading a story, the following questions should be considered: Who is telling the story? How reliable are they? how complete is their information? What relationship, if any, is assumed by the narrator toward the characters and the reader?
Author omniscient the author can be inside or outside any or all the characters. The “all seeing eye” has complete control of the actions and how much information is made available to the reader. In the author omniscient story, we are privy to all knowledge, all reality, and we know more of the world in which the story is set than any character in it.
Third person main character in this form, the author tells the story, but mostly, or entirely from the viewpoint of a main character. This character may not be aware of the significance of certain events, or even aware of all events taking place. Third person minor character In this form, the author tells the story from the viewpoint of a minor character that is not directly involved in the major events of the story. There is no direct access to the thoughts or plans of the major characters so events are observed and reported on, with or without any understanding of the context in which they take place.
First person minor character in this form an acquaintance, friend, or other observer tells the story (from their own point of view) about events and the protagonist’s role in them. This character may be reliable, seeing things correctly, or they may be unreliable, lacking in perspective and self-knowledge. First person main character in this form, the protagonist tells the story about him/herself, either honestly or tendentiously untruths—either deliberate in order to mislead, or accidental, through lack of self- knowledge and understanding.
Irony is one aspect, or type, of tone. The tone of a story is like the author’s “tone of voice” – it reflects not only their attitude to the subject matter, but also to the audience. The author’s tone has a direct impact on how the reader responds to the story. Different tones can cause readers to experience varying emotional responses to the characters and subject matter. If the author’s tone is distant, the reader is less likely to feel as close to the characters as if the tone were more sympathetic.
When using irony, the author wishes to highlight a basic incongruity, or difference. In situational irony, there is a difference between how a set of circumstances look on the outside and what the reality actually is. In dramatic irony, there is a difference between what characters say or believe about the events surrounding them and what the reader knows about these events. In dramatic irony, characters speak without fully realizing what they are saying, or without having the reader’s grasp of the full significance of what their words mean.
In verbal irony there is a contrast between what the characters say and what they mean by their statements. Most plots use verbal irony to create verisimilitude, or the appearance of truth, frequently by using either hyperbole (extreme overstatement for dramatic effect) or understatement (making things seem less important than they actually are.
A theme is universal idea suggested by the specifics of the story. The true themes of a story hold true for the whole story—not just a part of it. They are the central ideas that state the essential meaning of the story. It is easy to state the theme of stories that have been written deliberately to communicate a specific lesson or moral, but most stories do not tend to have more than one theme embedded in the story and the reader is required to draw their own conclusions, based on what they know about general themes found in literature.
Clash and conflict struggle is like the instinct to survive and becomes stronger with each clash. There are 2 main types of conflict—the internal struggles of the mind within and against itself, and the external struggle of oneself against another person or nature. Often it is not so much the conflict, but rather the outcome, that is important in a story. How the struggle is resolved tells us whether the crisis was good or bad for the person. The unexplained and the unexplored since our lives are changing so rapidly, it is of interest to us to have explanations of some of the mysteries of life. Sometimes these types of stories are predictions of things to come. Othertimes, the stories are pure fantasies which give our mind a rest.
Humor these stories are to entertain and to make people feel happy. The author usually puts the characters in a funny situation and makes them respond to it. Emotions the area of human feelings is the most sensitive the writer can explore. People in the story don’t always respond to a fear in the way we would. They may fear something, when we do not. The writer shows how people handle problems, and because human success is frequently measured by how well people handle the difficulties in their lives, these stories speak to what it means to be human.
The struggle between good and evil. The difference between nature and civilized society. The conflict between the individual and the community. The difference between country and city life. The conflict between the will and fate.
When looking for themes, consider the following clues: The title of the story. Important images or symbols in the story. General observations made by the author, narrator, or characters in the story. Any “moral” suggested by the outcome of the story.
Style is the combination of elements which make a writer’s work unique. It is revealed through the language the writer uses, the phrasing, the imagery and symbolism, and not only the details included and events focused on, but also the details and events excluded from the narrative.
When considering the language used by the author, there are questions the reader must ask him/herself: What kind of language is used—the language of emotion or reason—the language of the educated or the language of the barely literate? What are the connotations of the language? How much language is connotative and is it positive or negative? What areas of feeling, experience, and meaning are evoked? How forceful is the language? What aspects of feeling are supported by the actual sound of the language?