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Understanding & Reading Fiction Literary Elements Regina List-Grace  2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding & Reading Fiction Literary Elements Regina List-Grace  2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding & Reading Fiction Literary Elements Regina List-Grace  2006

2 Objectives Identify elements of a short story Define elements of a short story Demonstrate mastery of short story elements

3 Overview Short stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you. These elements can be used as guides to help you think about the actions, themes, and contexts of the story.

4 Fiction A prose writing that tells about imaginary characters and events. The term is usually for novels and short stories, but it also applies to dramas and narrative poetry.

5 Short Story A brief work of fiction.

6 Novel A longer work of fiction. Often divided into parts or chapters. =800&sz=63&hl=en&start=7&tbnid=xBQThcEOyu7fcM:&tbnh=107&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3Daragon%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26 lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG

7 Literary Elements Characterization

8 &sz=96&hl=en&start=4&tbnid=Y6EU5SvonuLBTM:&tbnh=144&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3DCars%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox- a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG Character A person, animal or machine who takes part in the action of a literary work. Characters are sometimes classified as round or flat, dynamic or static.

9 A character can be revealed through their actions, speech, and appearance. They may also be revealed by the comments of other characters or the author.

10 Characterization The act of creating and developing a character.

11 Protagonist The main character in a literary work.

12 Antagonist A character or force in conflict with a main character, or protagonist.

13 Static Character This character does not change much in the story.

14 Dynamic Character This character develops and grows during the course of the story. iaries%20dvd.jpg

15 Direct Characterization The author directly states a character’s traits. p:// M:&tbnh=116&tbnw=78&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddavid%2Bspade%2Bemperor%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26cli ent%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG

16 Indirect Characterization An author tells what a character looks like, does, and says, as well as how other characters react to him or her. It is up to the reader to draw conclusions about the character based on this indirect information.

17 Has only one or two traits. Flat Character

18 3/malcolm4.shtml&h=255&w=340&sz=10&hl=en&start=16&tbnid=XhkiSujuGSyOkM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=119&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmalcom%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bmiddle %26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG ROUND CHARACTER This character shows many different traits— faults as well as virtues.

19 Character Foil A character whose traits are in direct contrast to those of the main character. The foil highlights the traits of the main character.

20 Stereotype A character who possesses traits of a large group rather than being an individual; usually considered an indication of poor qualities (minorities, disabilities, women).

21 Literary Elements Conflict

22 A struggle between opposing forces, usually it will form the basis of stories, novels, and plays. Conflict creates plot.

23 Internal Conflict Involves a character in conflict with himself or herself. Man vs. himself

24 External Conflict The main character struggles with an outside force. Usually the outside force consists of:  man vs. man  man vs. nature  man vs. society  man vs. supernatural

25 Man vs. Man Conflict that pits one person against another.

26 Man vs. Society The values and customs by which everyone else lives are challenged by an individual. The character may die as a result of this challenge OR may bring others to a sympathetic point of view OR perhaps society is right.

27 Man vs. Nature A run-in with the forces of nature. On one hand, it expresses the insignificance of human life in the cosmic scheme. On the other hand, it tests the limits of a person’s strength and will to live

28 Man vs. Supernatural A run-in with forces not of this earth. May be similar to the conflict of man vs. nature.

29 Literary Elements Elements of Plot

30 Setting The time and place of a literary work. Example: The Cask of Amontillado is set “Early evening in an Italian city during a carnival immediately preceding Lent.”

31 All fiction is based on conflict and this conflict is presented in a structure called plot.

32 Plot The sequence of events in a literary work. In most novels, dramas, short stories, and narrative poems, the plot involves both characters and a central conflict. It usually includes:  Exposition  Inciting incident  Rising action (development)  Climax  Falling action  Resolution

33 Exposition Writing or speech that explains a process or presents information. In the plot of a story or drama, the exposition is the part of the work that introduces the characters, the setting, and the basic situation. EXPOSITION

34 Inciting Incident An event that creates the central conflict, or struggle, that the work is about. It often involves a plan that creates conflict. INCITING INCIDENT

35 Foreshadowing The use of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur. Use of this technique helps to create suspense, keeping readers wondering and speculating about what will happen next.

36 Rising Action All the events building from the conflict(s) and leading up to the climax. RISING ACTION

37 Climax The result as the rising action reached a crisis. It is the high point of interest or suspense in the story. CLIMAX

38 Falling Action The events after the climax which close the story. FALLING ACTION

39 Resolution The point at which the conflict in the work is ended, or resolved. Rounds out and concludes the action. RESOLUTION Open ending Closed ending Cliffhanger

40 Denouement This includes any events that might occur after the resolution. Often writers include a denouement in order to tie up loose ends. RESOLUTION DENOUEMENT

41 Literary Elements Point of View

42 The point from which the story is told, usually the narrator, character or outside observer who tells the story.

43 The narrator is a character in the story. He can reveal the action as well as his own thoughts and feelings. First Person Point of View

44 THIRD Person Point of View LIMITED- The narrator is an outsider who focuses on the thoughts and feelings of just one character.

45 THIRD Person Point of View OMNISCIENT- The all knowing narrator can tell us about the past, present and future of all the characters (godlike).

46 THIRD Person Point of View OBJECTIVE- The narrator is an outsider who can report only what he sees and hears. The narrator can tell what is happening, but cannot tell us the thoughts and inner feelings of the characters.

47 Literary Elements Irony

48 Irony The general term for literary techniques that portray differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention.

49 Verbal Irony Words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant.

50 Dramatic Irony There is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true.

51 Situational Irony An event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience.

52 Literary Elements Devices of Style

53 Narrator The person that tells the story.

54 Metaphor A figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else. Example: “Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned with.”

55 Simile A figure of speech in which like or as is used to make a comparison between two basically unlike ideas. Example: Claire is as flighty as a sparrow.

56 Symbol Anything that stands for or represents something else. An object that serves as a symbol has its own meaning, but also represents abstract ideas.

57 Theme A central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work. It is a generalization about people or about life that is communicated through the literary work. Readers thinks about what the work seems to say about the nature of people or about life.

58 Connotation All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests.

59 Denotation The literal, dictionary definition.

60 Dialect Is the way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or of a particular group of people. This involves three important elements: vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.

61 Imagery The descriptive or figurative language used in literature to create word pictures for the reader. These pictures, or images, are created by details of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, or movement.

62 Suspense A state of tension, a sense of uncertainty, an emotional pull which keeps the reader reading.

63 Mood Also known as atmosphere, is the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage. Usually it is created by the suggestive descriptive details. It can sometimes be described by a single word, such as lighthearted, frightening or despairing.

64 Allusion A reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.

65 Tone The writer’s attitude toward his or her audience and subject. It can often be described as a single adjective, such as formal or informal, serious or playful, bitter or ironic.

66 Satire A technique that ridicules people and their institutions in an effort to expose their weaknesses and evils.

67 Flashback A literary or dramatic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative.

68 Personification Inanimate objects have human characteristics.

69 Hyperbole Is an extreme exaggeration. It can be closely connected or related to a metaphor just remember it is an exaggeration.


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