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Elements of Literature

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1 Elements of Literature
Student Notes

2 Plot (definition) Plot is the organized pattern or sequence of events that make up a story. Every plot is made up of a series of incidents that are related to one another.

3 Plot Diagram 3 4 2 1 5

4 1. Exposition This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).

5 Exposition When Cinderella was very young, she had a happy life. Then, one day, her mother died. Soon after, Cinderella’s father married a woman who had two daughters of her own. Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters were not very kind. The Stepmother gave her daughters fancy dresses and wonderful toys. She gave Cinderella nothing. Cinderella’s father dies and leaves her at the mercy of her stepmother and stepsisters. They are cruel to her and treat her as if she were their servant. Despite all of this, Cinderella remains hopeful and is always pleasant.

6 2. Rising Action This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.

7 Rising Action One day a letter arrives, inviting all young maidens in the land to attend a ball at the prince’s castle. Cinderella wants to attend the ball, but her cruel stepmother and stepsisters try to prevent her from going and meeting the prince. With the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella attends the ball and meets the prince. They fall madly in love. Cinderella flees the castle at midnight, because the spell the fairy godmother placed on her is over. She returns to her rags, but one of her glass slippers fell off as she ran from the castle. The prince finds the slipper and vows to marry the girl whom the slipper fits.

8 3. Climax This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.

9 Climax The prince arrives at Cinderella’s house. The stepsisters try on the slipper and it does not fit. As the prince prepares to leave, Cinderella asks the prince if she would be able to try on the slipper. The prince slips the slipper onto Cinderella’s foot…and…. it fits!

10 4. Falling Action All loose ends of the plot are tied up. The conflict(s) and climax are taken care of.

11 Falling Action Cinderella and the prince are married and they move to the castle. Despite being treated like a servant and enduring many hardships, Cinderella forgives her stepmother and stepsisters and invites them to live at the castle.

12 5. Resolution The story comes to a reasonable ending.

13 Resolution THE END

14 Putting It All Together
1. Exposition 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action 5. Resolution Beginning of Story Middle of Story End of Story

15 Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot. Conflict… Engages reader Builds suspense Arouses expectations for events to follow

16 Internal Conflict character vs. self

17 character vs. character
Types of Conflict character vs. character (external)

18 Types of Conflict character vs. nature (external)

19 character vs. supernatural
Types of Conflict character vs. supernatural (external)

20 Other External Conflicts
Character vs. fate Character vs. society Character vs. technology/machine

Suspense is a feeling of uncertainty about the outcome of events. Writers create suspense by raising questions in the minds of the readers.

Foreshadowing occurs when the writer uses clues that lead the reader to predict what will happen later

Flashback is a strategy where the author takes the reader back to events that occurred before the present time of the story.

Irony is the contrast between what is expected or what appears to be and what actually is. There are three types of irony.

25 Dramatic Irony Dramatic Irony occurs when the reader or viewer knows something a character does not.

26 Situation Irony Irony of situation or situation irony occurs when an event happens that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, readers, or audience.

27 Verbal Irony Verbal irony occurs when words are used that suggest the opposite of what is meant. Sarcasm is a common form of verbal irony. Example: The simple comment, "Oh Great" after something rotten happens is verbal irony. Sarcasm 101

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