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TEACHING THE LANGUAGE OF SHORT STORIES DR. HUSNIAH SAHAMID Facullty of Educational Studies Universiti Putra Malaysia

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Presentation on theme: "TEACHING THE LANGUAGE OF SHORT STORIES DR. HUSNIAH SAHAMID Facullty of Educational Studies Universiti Putra Malaysia"— Presentation transcript:

1 TEACHING THE LANGUAGE OF SHORT STORIES DR. HUSNIAH SAHAMID Facullty of Educational Studies Universiti Putra Malaysia husniah@putra.upm,

2 What can you tell me about the ‘Short Story’?

3 Short story Short work of fiction Written in prose Usually 500- 15,000 words Five Elements Plot ? Setting ? Character ? Conflict ? Theme ?

4 What are other typical characteristics of the short story? Take a guess….

5 Typically – but NOT always Revolves : single incident, plot, setting Small number of characters Short period of time

6 Typical Plot- Structure..BUT ? 1. Exposition 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action/Denouement 5. /Resolution RISING ACTION Plot EXPOSITION Setting Character Introduction CLIMAX highest point of conflict turning point – shift in the story DENOUEMENT untying of the knot RESOLUTION conclusion

7 Brevity Unlike Novel : time to develop SS may not follow traditional plot structure: - No exposition - begins in the middle (media res) - abrupt ending

8 Setting Time: hour, period/era/time of day Place/ Location/ Site Descriptions of landscape, scenery, season weather, Sometimes indirect Infer sense of time/place

9 Character Direct ? examples Indirect ? Examples

10 Theme central idea of the story clearly stated through characters /events can be inferred – close reading Plot and theme - interwined

11 Conflict Struggle/fight between opposing forces: Individual vs individual(s) Individual vs society/circumstances Individual vs self (desires etc) Individual vs nature Individual vs technology (?) Examples?

12 Storytelling part of human nature, discourse telling of personal histories – emotions Fable, parable, tale Oral tradition All cultures

13 Fable, parable Simple in structure elements of short story Aesop's Fables The Frogs Desiring a King

14 The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody troubling with them. But some of them thought that this was not right, that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they determined to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted. "Mighty Jove," they cried, "send unto us a king that will rule over us and keep us in order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down into the swamp a huge Log, which came down - kerplash! - into the swamp.

15 The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster; but after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest of them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it; still it did not move.

16 Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it, thereupon all the Frogs came and did the same; and for some time the Frogs went about their business every day without taking the slightest notice of their new King Log lying in their midst.

17 But this did not suit them, so they sent another petition to Jove, and said to him, "We want a real king; one that will really rule over us." Now this made Jove angry, so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs repented when too late.

18 “Better no rule than cruel rule”

19 Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – poetic form Boccaccio's Decameron (1351-1353) French translation: The Thousand and One Nights (1704)

20 Emerged about mid 19 th century Why mid 19 th century? What was happening at this time?

21 Large literate middle class proliferation of literary magazines and journals latter 25 years of the 19 th century created a market demand for short fiction (sto between 3,000 - 15,000 words )


23 So who wrote and published the first true modern short story? (Boyd, story/)

24 Emergence of a large literate audience Middle class Life reflected in “faithful mirrors” Often story of initiation

25 The Beginning Anton Chekov (Russia), Honore de Balzac ( France), Guy de Maupassant (France), Nathaniel Hawthorne & Edgar Allan Poe (?) (US)


27 Scenario - Britain In Britain Did not flourished until later Britain – hardly existed in mid-19 th century Hardy's Wessex Tales (1888) Robert Louis Stevenson 1880’s

28 Beginnings true beginnings – America publication of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice- Told Tales in 1837 Edgar Allan Poe – Tales of Mystery and Imagination : suspense & horror

29 Edgar Allan Poe read Hawthorne: made the first real analysis a narrative that “can be read at one sitting.” http://www.theshortstor oyd.pdf

30 Short? Story no fixed length fiction, written in prose, narrative wide range of genres and styles long short story - Ernest Hemingway's (novella) The Old Man and the Sea: 1952 (Wikipedia)

31 Rich, concise – brevity Meaning even in seemingly casual conversation (Kennedy & Goaia, 1995 Cannot skip parts or miss importance

32 Epiphany – moment of insight/revelation Awakening Self discovery

33 MODERN SHORT STORY Charactersitics? -Plot: story with a beginning, middle and end? -Narrator as authority -Character: subjective reality -language: inner, stream of consciousness, multiple voices


35 Point of View Who is telling the story? First person Third person Omniscient

36 Third person POV: Narrator relates all action in third person -third person pronouns -"he" or "she.“ -Third person, omniscient -Third person POV may be: omniscient or limited.omniscientlimited

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