2 DefinitionEdgar 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 devicesUnity:One plotOne main character (with a few additional minor characters)One central themeOne 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 significancePoint of ViewLiterary Devices:SymbolismFigurative language
4 “The Kiss” Author: Kate Chopin Plot: Girl secures wealthy husband while attempting to string along another man.SS Element to consider: CharacterNames 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: SettingSetting (Nature takes on significance)Atmosphere or ToneInfluence over plotHow 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 ViewPoint 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 3rd person)Plot: Immigrant daughter attends school and gains some wisdom and freedom.SS Element to consider: ConflictChinese Culture vs. American Culture;Student vs. Educator;Daughter/Child vs. Parents;Desires vs. Duty;Individual vs. Family
8 “The Scholarship Jacket” Author: Marta SalinasPlot: Tex-Mex girl must rise above discrimination.SS Element to consider: Plot DevelopmentExposition: 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 LanguageSandford 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 OatesPlot: 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, MotivationSetting: American Pop Culture in the 60s (compare to different times/places)Plot Development: Exposition vs. Resolution (Connie at opening and close); ClimaxPoint of View: Connie’s? Arnold Friend’s? Parents?Conflict: Parents vs. Connie; Arnold vs. Connie; Innocence vs. IgnoranceFigurative 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, ConflictThematic Elements: loneliness, broken communication, identity, coming-of-ageCharacter: Mrs. Sen (ethnic identity), Eliot (latchkey kid)Setting: New England; college town; inside Mrs. Sen’s homePoint 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