2IntroductionIt is very important to have a good understanding of the different Elements of Literature in order to get the full effect of a story. In this presentation I will provide you with a good sense of these different elements. I will describe the Plot Diagram, Plot Elements, Characterization, Setting, Point of View, and Theme. To help display the idea of these different elements I will be using examples from the story “The Gift of the Magi.” To start off I will describe the Plot Elements and show you a Plot Diagram.
3Plot Elements Exposition- Inciting Incident- Rising Action- Climax- Introduction of settings & charactersSets the tone & moodProvides background informationInciting Incident-Event that introduces the central conflictRising Action-Develops conflict and complicationsLeads to climaxClimax-High point of interest or suspenseFalling Action-Events that follow the climaxResolution-Central conflict is endedDénouement-What follows the resolutionTies up loose ends
5Exposition Introduced to Mrs. James Dillingham Young (Della) Introduced to Mr. James Dillingham Young (Jim)Income was shrunkExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
6Inciting Incident Need present for each other Climax Rising Action ExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
7Rising Action She’s been saving for months and only has $1.87 Della’s long hair is a prized possessionJim’s gold watch is a prized possessionExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
8Climax Della Cuts Her Hair Climax Rising Action Falling Action ExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
9Falling Action Gets money for present Searches store for present ExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
10Resolution Buys Jim a nice gold chain for watch Climax Rising Action ExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting IncidentBuys Jim a nice gold chain for watch
11Dénouement They gave each other their love Della sold her hair to buy chain for Jim’s watchJim sold watch to buy combs for Della’s hairExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionResolutionDénouementInciting Incident
12DénouementThe Dénouement is what follows the resolution and ties up loose ends. In the dénouement for “The Gift of the Magi” Jim sold his watch to buy combs for Della’s hair and Della sold her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s watch. This shows how two people love each other so much they sold their prized possession to buy a gift for the other. They are “wise” like the magi because they know that their love for each other will never die if they think of the other person first and don’t place material objects in front of the other.
13CharacterizationCharacterization are all the things that make up a character including looks, feelings, thoughts, etc. We can find these things out through direct and indirect characterization. In “The Gift of the Magi” the major characters are Jim and Della, and Madame Sofronie as a minor character. The author uses indirect characterization. This is when the reader uses clues that are given to figure out information about the character. The different parts of a story the reader could look at are speech, thoughts, effects on others, actions, and appearance.
14One example of indirect characterization in “The Gift of the Magi” is when Della is looking at her hair and the narrator states “her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds.” The reader could infer from this that she is very fond of her hair and wants to keep it, but realizes she needs to cut it for money. Another would be when the reader forms an idea of what Della looks like when the narrator says “So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters.” When Della cuts her hair this shows how she is a loving person and thinks of others before herself. The last example I will talk about is the effect Della has on Jim. This is when he talks about how he still loves Della even though she cut her hair. As a reader you could infer that Della has a lovable personality and not just good looks.Thoughts under indirect Looks under indirect Actions under indirect
15SettingThe setting of a story is the location as well as the time in which it occurs. The setting of a story tells the reader many things. The physical details of setting can become linked with values, ideas, and attitudes. It also gives us clues about the theme of a story.
16To help understand the story “The Gift of the Magi” it is important to know when and where it takes place. The story resides in New York City around Christmas. This is important because it gives us a reason as to why Jim and Della need gifts for each other. The narrator states, “In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring.” The reader could use this to infer information about the characters background and that the Dillingham Young’s had money difficulties in the past.
17Point of ViewPoint of view is the way the author allows you to see and hear what's going on. A story can be written in first person, second person, third person omniscient, or third person limited. First person is when the reader sees the story through the narrator’s eyes. Second person is when the reader is drawn into the story. Third person omniscient is when every characters thoughts are open to the reader. Third person limited is when the reader is open to one character’s thoughts and actions.
18Throughout “The Gift of the Magi” the narrator uses words like they, he, and her, which are key words in deciding that a story is written in third person. We can further narrow down the point of view to being third person limited. This is because the narrator follows Della throughout the story and not Jim. A rare thing that happens in this story is that it occasionally comes out of third person narration and into second person narration. This shows up in a couple of paragraphs when there are words such as you, and I. In the beginning of ”The Gift of the Magi” the tone would be sad and serious, because Della cannot purchase a present for Jim. But as the reader nears the end, the tone changes to happy and loving because Della and Jim both realize the other loves them very much.
19ThemeThe theme of a story is the idea or view about life that the story expresses. There are many different ways to uncover theme. Such as asking questions or finding different allusions made through out the story. To find theme you can look in places such as the title, repeating patterns, details, and what a character learns.
20The theme of “The Gift of the Magi” is, that the wisest people know our love means more than material things. Looking at the title for clues can be helpful because it tells us about the Magi. The character Della also learns that this is true when her and Jim sold their prized possessions and bought useless gifts but still love each other. One example would be when Jim states, “I don’t think there’s anything in the way a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less.” This shows that he loves her no matter what she does or doesn’t have. Another example about being wise and thinking of others is when the narrator states, “O all who give and receive gifts, such they are the wisest.”
21ConclusionAs I have stated before, understanding the Elements of Literature is very important to get the full effect of a story. I have provided you with a good sense of these different elements and how they apply to “The Gift of the Magi. You know have a good idea of what a plot diagram, plot elements, characterization, setting, point of view, and theme are. I hope you can use these to help you comprehend any story when you need it.