2 (1) PLOTPlot is the action or sequence of events in a literary work. It is a series of related events that build upon one another.Plots may be simple or complex, loosely constructed or close-knit.Plot includes the following:whatever the characters dowhatever the characters saywhatever the characters thinkwhatever happens to the characterswhatever the characters cause to happen to others
3 Climax Complication(s) & Conflict(s) Resolution (Denouement) There are five basic elements to the plot:expositionrising actionclimaxfalling actionresolutionClimaxComplication(s) &Conflict(s)Rising ActionFalling ActionResolution(Denouement)Exposition
4 (1-a) EXPOSITIONOften before the plot begins, a section of exposition is provided, which is the introduction that presents the background information to help readers understand the situation of the story.
5 (1-b) RISING ACTIONThis is the series of struggles (conflicts and complications) that builds a story toward its climax. The conflicts and complications within a story are what creates the rising action. (See conflict).
6 (1-c) CONFLICT(S)A conflict is the struggle between two opposing forces or characters in a story that triggers action. Conflict can be internal or external.Internal Conflict = Man vs. SelfThis is the conflict that takes place within an individual (an inner battle of conscience)
7 External Conflict:. This is an individual’s struggle against External Conflict: This is an individual’s struggle against something outside of themselves. There are five basic types of external conflict…1) man vs. man (or group of people)2) man vs. society3) man vs. nature/animal4) man vs. supernatural5) man vs. fate or destinyConflicts are also known as complications When you read, keep in mind that there may be a single conflict that is uncomplicated or easy to recognize in the story or there may be several, more subtle conflicts involved.
8 (1-d) CLIMAXThis is the point of greatest intensity, interest, or suspense in a narrative which will somehow determine the outcome of the story. In drama, the climax is also identified with the terms crisis and/or turning point.It’s the point of the story that “changes everything.”
9 (1-e) FALLING ACTIONThis is the part of the story that shows the “working out” of the action that occurred during the story’s climax. (Certain issues/ happenings must be resolved (worked out) to reach a resolution).
10 (1-f) RESOLUTIONThe resolution is also called the denouement. This is the portion of the story where the problem is somehow resolved. It follows after the climax and falling action and is intended to bring the story to a satisfactory end/close.
11 (2) SETTING This is the time and place of the action of a story. Setting can be of great importance in establishing not only the physical background, but also in creating the atmosphere/mood of the story (tension, suspense, peacefulness, etc.)Setting can include time (minute/hour, year, month, decade, etc.), weather (season, literal weather, etc.), places (planets, countries, cities, buildings, homes, stores, etc.) or any other thing that helps set the background.
12 (3) CHARACTERIZATIONThis is the personality a character displays as well as the means by which an author reveals that personality.A storyteller generally develops a character through indirect methods of characterization (the author allows reader to draw his or her own conclusions). Storyteller/Author does this…by showing a character acting or speakingby giving a physical description of the characterby revealing the character’s thoughtsby revealing what others think of or say about the character
13 Less often, a storyteller will develop a character through a direct method of characterization (where the author directly feeds the reader the information that (s)he wants reader to know). This is done by……. making direct comments about the physical attributes, personality, or behavior of the characterCharacters in a story can be one of two types. They can be…STATIC: they remain the same throughout the entire storyor…DYNAMIC: they change in some important way during thecourse of the storyAlso…ROUNDED = a developed character (we get to know them)FLAT = an undeveloped character (we never get to know them)
14 Stories often include a protagonist and an antagonist. PROTAGONIST: This is the chief character in a work on whom our interest centers. This term is preferable over the terms hero or heroine because a protagonist can sometimes include characters who might be, for example, villainous or weak (but characters whom we are still interested in or concerned about regardless of their flaws in character).ANTAGONIST: This is the character or force which opposes (literally “wrestles”) the main character; therefore, if the protagonist is pitted against an important opponent, that opponent is called the antagonist.
15 (4) POINT OF VIEWThis is the angle or position from which the story is told. There are two basic points of view for storytelling: the first-person point of view and the third-person point of view.FIRST-PERSON: Through this view, the story is told by one of the characters in his or her own words by using “I.”First-person point of view is always considered to be a limited point of view since the reader is told only what one specific character knows and observes.
16 THIRD-PERSON: Through this view, the story is told by someone outside of the story itself by using “he” or “she.” The third-person narrator may be working from an omniscient view or a limited omniscient view.OMNISCIENTThis narrator is an all-knowing observer who can describe all the characters’ actions, thoughts, and feelings.LIMITED OMNISCIENTThis is a storyteller who shares the thoughts and feelings of only one particular character or a select group of characters (clearly lacking or failing to share information about other characters).
17 Themes are UNIVERSAL truths about life. This is the main idea or the basic meaning of a literary work. It is a statement about life…specifically “the human condition”.Themes are UNIVERSAL truths about life.Because they are universal, they stand the test of time, and themes are repeated over-and-over in books, movies, songs, etc. (and then they become what’s called a motif).Theme is rarely a moral/lesson (it is usually justa statement about life that we know/accept to betrue).
18 Theme can be expressed directly, but more often, theme is implicit (this is…it is implied and must be dug out and thought about).A theme should not be expressed as a single word; rather, it should be expressed as a thematic phrase or sentence.In other words, never say the theme of a story is LOVE! Be sure your thematic phrase or sentence answers…WHAT ABOUT LOVE?Remember, themes are commentaries on life (the “human condition”) that we all know and accept as truth to some degree (“universal truths”) .Some example: all children will experience a loss of innocence…death will come to us all…greed often guides human desires…evil exists in the word without explanation…the bond of the family is a strong one…all people have prejudices…etc.
19 (6) MOODMood is the feeling a text arouses and creates in the reader/ audience (such as happiness, anger, sadness, depression, joy, etc.). It is the attitude of the audience/reader toward the subject matter he or she is reading.(7) TONETone is the overall feeling, or effect, created by a writer’s use of words. Tone reveals the author’s attitude toward his own subject matter and the audience.So…mood is the attitude of the audience/reader toward the particular subject matter he or she is reading AND tone is the author’s apparent attitude toward his own subject matter and/or the audience
20 (8) SUSPENSESuspense is the quality of a literary work that makes the audience/reader feel tense about the outcome of events.Suspense makes the audience/reader wonder, “What will happen next?”…and it impels them to read on.Suspense is greatest when it is focused on a sympathetic character that the reader cares about.
21 (9) FORESHADOWINGForeshadowing is the method of building suspense where the storyteller plants clues and hints at what is to come later in the story.Foreshadowing helps to establish interest early in a narrative and also prepares the reader for the outcome.
22 (10) FLASHBACKFlashback is a device by which a work presents material that occurred prior to the opening scene of the work.Flashback is a method of returning to an earlier time in the story for the purpose of making something in the present more clear.Various methods are used for this including…recollections of characters, direct narration by the characters, dream sequences, daydreams, etc.
23 (11) ALLUSIONAn allusion is an indirect reference to a familiar person, place, or event (particularly from literature, history, the Bible, or a famous movie, etc.) that the writer expects the reader to recognize.When used effectively, it helps the reader call up certain associations that clarify or enrich the writer’s meaning.Examples:Don’t be such a Scrooge!Looking at his schedule, he realized he had English with Hitler.The new boss was our savior.Our relationship is clearly like the Titanic.
24 (12) ALLEGORYAn allegory is a story in which people, things, and actions represent an idea or generalization about life.An allegory often has a strong moral lesson (OGT!!!)ExamplesThe story of the tortoise and the hare=slow and steady wins the raceThe story of David and Goliathsize/power does not always win
25 (13) DIALOGUEThis is simply the conversation carried on by the characters in a literary work. It is usually set off by quotations marks.
26 (14-a) EMPATHY (14-b) SYMPATHY Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s place and imagining and/or understanding how that person must feel.It is the act of identifying ourselves with an object or person and participating in its physical and emotional sensations.(14-b) SYMPATHYSympathy is the act of feeling compassion for someone or something. It is “feeling sorry for” or “feeling bad about” someone or something.Unlike empathy, it does not involve the individual relating to or understanding the experience.
27 (15) EPIPHANYAn epiphany is a sudden perception (a moment of clear understanding) that causes a character to somehow change.It is the a sudden grasp of reality achieved in a quick flash of recognition in which something (usually simple and commonplace) is seen in a new light.At an early point in youryoung lives, you probablycame to really realize that…life is not always fair!One specific moment may have made you realize that fact…and that’s an epiphany!
28 (16) FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE This is any language (whether in poetry, literature, creative writing, etc.) that is used to create a special effect or feeling in writing. In writing, there are many types of figurative language…Figurative language is meant to be taken figuratively (figured out) not literally.Here are just some examples of figurative language…
29 A) SIMILE:a comparison of two unlike things using the comparison words of “like” or “as” to build a clearer understanding/ meaning(Ex. “My love is like a burning inferno.”)B) METAPHOR:a comparison of two unlike things without the use of a comparison words to build a clearer understanding/meaning(Ex. “Variety is the spice of life!”)C) PERSONIFICATION:when the author speaks of or describes an animal, object, or idea as if it were a person(Ex. “The moon smiled down at me.”)D) OXYMORON:the combination of contradictory terms put into a single term(Ex. the term “jumbo shrimp”)
30 (17) IMAGERYImagery is the use of words to create a certain picture in the reader’s mind (usually based on sensory detail). If imagery is effective, the reader can actually experience the sensation through his or her imagination.There is imagery of… sight tastesound touchsmellLook at the imagery in this student written line from a short story.The summer heat weighed heavily upon me as I tossed and turned in the sheets that clung to me,while I angrily pondered how I would never be able to fall asleepdue to the incessant trill of the crickets in the night.
31 (18) IRONYIrony is a contrast or discrepancy between what is stated and what is really meant (reality and appearance), or between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen. There are three kinds of irony:(1) verbal irony(2) dramatic irony(3) situational irony
32 Verbal Irony:A writer/speaker says one thing and means something entirely different. (Ex. After walking out into the rainstorm without her umbrella, the girl says, “Well isn’t this just a beautiful day!?”)Dramatic Irony:A reader or an audience perceives something that a character in the story or play does not know. The character is completely unaware of something that the reader is aware of. The audience is aware of the character’s mistakes. (Ex: As an audience, we all know that Snow White should not let any strangers in at all let alone accepting and eating an apple from one!)
33 19) POETIC JUSTICE Irony of Situation: A writer shows a discrepancy (great difference) between the expected result of a particular action and the actual result. (Ex: A man who worked as a butcher all his life retires only to have a heart attack. His life is saved because he has an open-heart surgery procedure where cow arteries are used in place of his own. He lived for many years after that. How ironic!)19) POETIC JUSTICEThis is a term usually linked to irony that describes a character ironically “getting what he or she deserved” in the end. (It is the odd occurrence that rewards virtue and punishes vice).How ironic that Dahmer, a murderer, was violently killed in jail by other murderers. Poetic justice? Most would say “yes!”
34 (20) SYMBOLISMA symbol is something (such as an object, person, situation, or action), in a literary work which maintains its own meaning while at the same time representing something broader than itself. When a symbol is used in writing, its “double nature” can make it very complex and sometimes difficult to recognize.There are many symbols that are used over and over again. the rose = loveseasons = human “seasons” of birth (such asyouth, maturity, and old age)spring = rebirthdove = peaceflag = patriotism
35 THE END!NOTE: These terms will either appear as a part of your first short story exam OR they will be tested on a separate mini-exam, so be prepared.
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