Presentation on theme: "Elements of Short Stories. A story that is short, right? Come on, you can do better than that. It is a piece of prose that can be read at one time."— Presentation transcript:
Elements of Short Stories
A story that is short, right? Come on, you can do better than that. It is a piece of prose that can be read at one time. What is prose, you may ask. Prose is ordinary writing, like in a paragraph. It is the opposite of poetry and doesn’t have rhyme and meter. Remember: writing is divided into two categories: poetry and prose.
Characterization: the act of creating and then developing those characters Two Types: Direct Indirect
Always a direct comment from the narrator From “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Poe TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am. From “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair.
Judgments by the reader based on a character’s speech and actions Judgments based on how the character looks and dresses I will get her and her little dog, too.
Letting the reader hear the character’s inner thoughts and feelings Revealing what other characters in the story think or say about a character From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: "I have no patience with him," observed Scrooge's niece. Scrooge's niece's sisters, and all the other ladies, expressed the same opinion. "Oh, I have," said Scrooge's nephew. "I am sorry for him; I couldn't be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always. Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won't come and dine with us. What's the consequence? He don't lose much of a dinner." Nerve, nerve, nerve…I must keep my wits.
The main character Story focuses on this character Usually a good guy, but not always
The character opposite the protagonist When you antagonize someone you annoy them, so the antagonist annoys the protagonist or causes conflict. Just like the protagonist is not always the good guy, the antagonist is not always a villain. BTW-- This is the old man from “The Tell-Tale Heart”.
ROUND CHARACTERS FLAT CHARACTERS These characters show many different traits. Usually a major character Characters we come to know, like real people These characters show only one or two traits. Commonly stereotypes The nagging wife The hyperactive child The troublemaker The mean librarian
DYNAMIC CHARACTERS STATIC CHARACTERS Characters who experience an emotional growth due to the story’s events These characters usually learn a lesson related to the story’s theme. These characters, on the other hand, do not experience emotional growth or change. They stay basically the same. The story’s events have not taught them a lesson. Dying does not count as a change.
These are the characters who are needed to add depth and complication to the plot, but they are not main characters.
the driving force behind a character’s actions
Time and place of story Season Time, date, or year Geographical location Time Period or Era Weather Economic Atmosphere Social or Cultural Atmosphere
A story’s atmosphere The feeling the story evokes in the reader Strongly influenced by setting eerie joyous peaceful
The relationship of the narrator to the story and what the reader sees from that vantage point Types First person Third person limited Third person omniscient Third person objective
The narrator is a character in the story. The readers sees only what this character observes and feels. He or she is commonly the protagonist. Refers to himself or herself with the first-person pronouns, such as I, me, my, mine, our(s), we, and us
Untrustworthy As the reader, you are not sure that you can believe everything the narrator tells you. Especially true with first- person because the reader gets one side of the story First person narration includes bias and opinion. HOWEVER, some first-person narrators are reliable; as the reader, you must decide based on the evidence in the story.
Narrator is outside of the story. Narrator is limited to focusing on the internal thoughts and emotions of one character at a time. Technically, this means the narration can shift from one character to another. Uses the third-person pronouns he, she, him, or her Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea “Then he looked behind him and saw that no land was visible. That makes no difference, he thought. I can always come in on the glow from Havana.”
Omniscient is Latin for all-knowing. Narrator is outside of the story. Narrator can focus on the thoughts of many characters and their situations. Sort of like an eye that can see into any aspect of the story that he or she chooses
The narrator is totally outside of the story and relates only what he sees or hears. He doesn’t know any of the characters’ thoughts and feelings. Like a reporter, telling the story without judgment, just giving the facts Like a fly on the wall Some literary examples: “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
The author’s attitude toward his or her work Tone is conveyed through the author’s word choice. Somber Sentimental Optimistic Nostalgic Regretful Gloomy Critical Contemplative Objective Vengeful Reminiscent Thoughtful Restrained Ridiculing Wrathful Sarcastic Neutral Sympathetic Unsympathetic
Plot: A series of events through which the writer reveals what is happening, to whom it happens, and why Broken down into five major sections: Exposition Rising action Climax Falling action Resolution (or to those more refined, the denouement)
Exposition—beginning of the story; background info; sets scene for characters and conflict; exposition “exposes” Rising Action—events leading to climax Climax—moment of greatest emotional intensity; the point during which the conflict will be decided; very close to the end of the story Falling Action—Results of climax; events leading to resolution Resolution or Denouement—the outcome of the conflict, i.e. they lived happily ever after
Conflict: A struggle between opposing forces, be it man, woman, child, beast, crazy townspeople, or a two-ton iceberg
Man vs. Man-external struggle between two or more individuals Man vs. Himself—internal struggle concerning emotion and decision Jack or Cal….Cal or Jack? What will I do with that nice old man who happens to be blind in one eye? I do believe I’ll go for the cute, fun one who can sketch like nobody’s business! To be or not to be… that is the question.
Man vs. Environment An external struggle between man and an element of his surroundings (not necessarily nature)
Man vs. society—an external struggle between man an element of his culture’s traditions, beliefs, government, values, customs, etc.
Subjects are the words that immediately come to your mind as topics broached in a story. Subjects are brief, usually one word—for example, love, hate, jealousy, revenge, war, etc. Subjects are the words that writers use to elaborate upon to create the deeper, more abstract themes of stories. Theme—the central message the writer is trying to reveal in his or her work; Always ask yourself as the reader: “What message is this author trying to convey to me?” Theme shows a generalized truth about human nature. Theme is not the subject; therefore, theme is written as a complete sentence.
Subjects Love Jealousy Forgiveness War Themes Love will cause people to do things they usually wouldn’t. Jealousy causes more harm than good. Giving forgiveness allows a person who has been betrayed to move on with his/her life without growing bitter and cynical. Wars often occur due to the greed of a small number of people though many more innocent people usually die.
Irony is the contrast between an expectation and reality.
A contrast between what you would expect to happen and what really happens
A writer speaks or says one thing but means something completely different. Sometimes verbal irony is very obvious sarcasm, but not always. Other characters may or may not understand the irony of what another character is saying. Yet Brutus says [Caesar] was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man. Antony says this after Brutus has killed Caesar—his best friend. He really believes Brutus to be a murderer. Well, it is so great to see you! …Even though these two are arch nemeses.
The audience or reader knows something that at least one character does not. The word “drama” helps to remember this because it is often found in plays and movies.
…and now you see what happens when a teacher is stuck at home for a week due to snow days!