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Elements of the Short Story

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Presentation on theme: "Elements of the Short Story"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elements of the Short Story

2 Six Major Elements Setting Plot Conflict Point of View Character Theme

3 A Closer look at…the Setting
The time and place in which a story takes place Its purpose is to create a specific mood or atmosphere What factors contribute to the setting? - place time weather conditions - social conditions - mood or atmosphere

4 The town was cheerless and cold, and the river a muddy creek that wound its way among salt flats before entering that distant line of gray that was the sea. The tide was out; the scene was desolate, with only one human being to be seen. --The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman What is the mood?

5 A Closer look at…the Plot
How the author arranges events to develop his/her basic idea - the sequence of events in a story or play - a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and an end - short stories usually have one plot The plot: - Adds suspense, tension, or excitement - May foreshadow or hint at what is to come - May incorporate flashbacks to tell about an event or experience from the past

6 Plot Line Climax Rising Action Falling Action Exposition/Intro
Exposition: background/gives rise to conflict Rising action: events that complicate the central conflict Climax: the highest point of interest or emotional involvement Falling Action: result of the climax Resolution: final outcome of the story Rising Action Falling Action Exposition/Intro Resolution

7 A Closer look at…Conflict
Essential component of the plot It is the opposition of forces -ties one incident to another - makes the plot move Not limited to open arguments it is any opposition that faces the main character Within a story there may be only one central struggle - there may be one dominant struggle with minor ones

8 Conflict… External: outside force may be a person, group, nature, or nonhuman obstacle 1) Man v Man (physical) 2) Man v Nature/Circumstance (classical) 3) Man v Society (social) Internal: exists within the character or mind 1) Man v Self

9 A Closer look at…Point of View
First person: story told by the protagonist – uses first person pronouns like I, we, us, Third person: narrator reports on the characters’ actions but cannot reveal emotions or feelings – uses pronouns like he or she Omniscient: narrator is all knowing and can reveal the thoughts and feelings of emotions of characters -omniscient limited: only in one person's head

10 A Closer look at…Character
Characters can be people or animals Dynamic/Round: three-dimensional, good and bad qualities, changes or undergoes a change throughout story Static/Flat: two-dimensional, does not change or undergo a serious change, usually all good or all bad Protagonist: main character Antagonist: character in conflict with major character

11 Characterization Direct: the author tells the audience the character’s personality Julie owned a multitude of outfits and accessories, and it always took her forever to decide which combination might impress Trent. As usual, she called her sister several times for advice. After doing so, Julie decided to give the navy blue skirt with the white sweater a try. Indirect: the author shows the audience the character’s personality Julie held up six different outfits in front of the mirror and pondered which would go best with her navy blue shoes, pastel eye shadow and the diamond earrings she’d already procured from her overflowing vanity. After ninety minutes of mixing and matching, and cell-phoning her sister three times for advice, Julie finally made up her mind. She’d give the navy blue skirt and white sweater a try, hoping Trent would love it.

12 A Closer look at…Theme The central message, concern, or insight into life expressed in a literary story - implied: theme is inferred by reader; reader interprets the theme - stated: explicitly or directly stated by the author It may be a comment about human beings or life “Every man needs to feel allegiance to his native country whether he appreciates that country or not.” –from A Man without a Country by E. Hale It can be expressed in 1-2 sentences – it’s never “one word” - “love” cannot be a theme. What about love is the author attempting to show? For example, a theme could be “love can overcome any obstacle”

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