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THE SHORT STORY Readings & Elements. DEFINITION  Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," wrote that a short story should be read.

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Presentation on theme: "THE SHORT STORY Readings & Elements. DEFINITION  Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," wrote that a short story should be read."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE SHORT STORY Readings & Elements

2 DEFINITION  Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," wrote that a short story should be read in one sitting, anywhere from a half hour to two hours.  Experimentation with literary devices  Unity: One plot One main character (with a few additional minor characters) One central theme One setting/time

3 ELEMENTS  Character: dominant traits (flat, not round characters)  Plot: dialogue, opening sets tone, twist ending (complete reversal of all that’s been) or soft ending (implication that story continues close)  Setting: nature takes on significance  Point of View  Literary Devices: Symbolism Figurative language

4 “THE KISS” Author: Kate Chopin Plot: Girl secures wealthy husband while attempting to string along another man. SS Element to consider: Character  Names have meanings!  Dominant Traits: Natty, Braintain, Harvy

5 “TOO SOON A WOMAN” Author: Dorothy Johnson Plot: A young woman meets a family and tags along until a crisis of food and lodging causes her to rise above her circumstances and find some happiness. SS Element to consider: Setting  Setting (Nature takes on significance) Atmosphere or Tone Influence over plot How does setting operate as a character itself?  Character (Dominant Traits, Motivation)  Plot Development (Opening, Closing)

6 “HORSE” Author: Ann Packer Plot: Brainy girl tries to transform herself into a pom-pom girl and fails. SS Element to consider: Point of View  Point of View – the power of perspective! What is known, perceived, realized?  Character (Dominant Traits, Motivation)  Plot Development (Opening, Close)

7 “A MEASURE OF FREEDOM” Author: Jade Snow Wong (autobiography written in 3 rd person) Plot: Immigrant daughter attends school and gains some wisdom and freedom. SS Element to consider: Conflict  Chinese Culture vs. American Culture;  Student vs. Educator;  Daughter/Child vs. Parents;  Desires vs. Duty;  Individual vs. Family

8 “THE SCHOLARSHIP JACKET” Author: Marta Salinas Plot: Tex-Mex girl must rise above discrimination. SS Element to consider: Plot Development  Exposition: setting/characters (Marta/Martha; farm; Tex-Mex conflict)  Rising Action: initial conflict (overhearing teachers  Grandpa’s refusal)  Climax: meeting with principal (facing prejudice)  Falling Action/Resolution: runs home to Grandpa with news

9 “TRIP IN A SUMMER DRESS” Author: Annette Sandford (major themes: “friendship, marriage, family”) Plot: Young woman leaves behind mother (& son) to embark on a new life, only to realize (a) that her mother was right! or (b) stability and familial ties matter most. SS Element to consider: Figurative Language  Sandford on language: “I am much concerned with rhythm in my prose, with character and with letting the story reveal itself to me…”  Metaphor; Simile; Allusion – influence over plot/characters?

10 SHORT STORY ELEMENT PAPER  For this essay, you are to identify a short story element at work within one of the short stories we have read so far: “The Kiss,” “Too Soon a Woman,” “Horse,” “A Measure of Freedom,” “The Scholarship Jacket” or “Trip in a Summer Dress.”  Next, you are to write a 1 ½ -- 2 pgd. paper, using the following format: 1-2 sentence topic (identify title of work and author; identify element under discussion and its effect on the story) 6-8 sentence body (identify 2-4 main ideas that use direct quotes from the story as proof for each idea; be sure to explain each quote!) 1-2 sentence conclusion (recap main ideas and topic of paper)  DUE: September 12, 2014

11 “WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Author: Joyce Carol Oates Plot: Young girl thinks she’s too cool for her family only to realize that the world is a much scarier place full of lies and pretense. Literary Theme: Coming-of-Age (bildungsroman: character grows psychologically and/or morally)  Character: Dominant Traits, Motivation  Setting: American Pop Culture in the 60s (compare to different times/places)  Plot Development: Exposition vs. Resolution (Connie at opening and close); Climax  Point of View: Connie’s? Arnold Friend’s? Parents?  Conflict: Parents vs. Connie; Arnold vs. Connie; Innocence vs. Ignorance  Figurative Language: Metaphors, Similes, Allusions?

12 “MRS. SEN’S” Author: Jhumpa Lahiri Plot: Young woman misses native Indian home and fails to assimilate. SS Element to consider: Character, Setting, Point of View, Conflict Thematic Elements: loneliness, broken communication, identity, coming-of-age  Character: Mrs. Sen (ethnic identity), Eliot (latchkey kid)  Setting: New England; college town; inside Mrs. Sen’s home  Point of View: What does Eliot see/understand that his mother or Mr. Sen doesn’t?  Conflict: America vs. India; Mrs. Sen vs. Eliot’s mother; Mrs. Sen vs. Mr. Sen

13 COMING-OF-AGE THEME IN LITERATURE  For this essay, you are to choose either two characters from the different short stories we have discussed in class and compare or contrast their coming-of-age or delineate the coming-of-age of one character from “Mrs. Sen’s” or “WAYGWHYB?”  Next, you are to write a 1 ½ -- 2 pgd. paper, using the following format: 1-2 sentence topic (identify titles and authors; identify characters and how they connect to one another) 6-8 sentence body (identify 3 similarities or differences between the characters you have chosen to compare or identify 3 key moments of growth; use direct quotes from each story as proof for each idea; be sure to explain each quote!) 1-2 sentence conclusion (recap main ideas and topic of paper)  DUE: September 18, 2014


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