Elements of the Short Story Notes

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					            LA9 Components of the Short Story

Characteristics of a short story:
 can read through at one time without interruption
 one main plot
 few characters; action happens in a short amount of time
 a dramatic moment in the lives of the characters
 fiction (not a true story)

Theme: the author’s central moral or message. It can be said directly (the
moral of the story is . . .) or implied (you have to figure it out).

Point of View (P.O.V.): who is telling the story. Most are told in:
      first person P.O.V.
          o the narrator is a character in the story
          o uses pronouns such as “I”, “me”, and “we”
      third person limited P.O.V.
          o the narrator is not a character in the story
          o only knows what a character says or can be seen doing
          o narrator never uses the pronouns “I”, “me”, or “we”
             unless in the dialogue
      third person omniscient P.O.V.
      the narrator is like god
      knows everything a character thinks, feels, or does.

Conflict: A struggle between opposing people or forces. There are two basic
types of conflict, internal and external, into which all types fit:

       External conflict:
        Person vs. Person (ex = a woman running from a mass murderer)
        Person vs. Society (ex = a man fighting to ban books in U.S.)
        Person vs. Nature (a person trapped by an avalanche)
       Internal conflict:
        Person vs. Idea (a person struggling with the idea of religion)
        Person vs. Self (a person contemplating a tough decision)




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Plot: events that occur in a story
      Exposition: introduction of time, place, and characters
      Conflict: a struggle between opposing people or forces
      Rising action: problems that keep the conflict from getting solved,
       create excitement or interest in the story
      Climax: turning point in the story; point at which the conflict comes to
       a head.
      Falling action: action leading to the solution
      Resolution: shows how the situation turns out; ties up loose ends—
       “…and they lived happily ever after.”

                                              Climax
                                                       Falling Action
                  Rising Action
                                                        Resolution

                              Hook/Conflict
     Exposition

Setting: explaining the time and place of the action. Time can be the
historical period—past, present, or future—but also a specific year, season, or
time of day. Place may be a place—a region, country, state, or town—but also
the social, economic or cultural environment.

Characters: The people in a story. Major characters are either the
protagonist, the main character (but not necessarily a good person), or the
antagonist, who is the person/thing in conflict with the protagonist.

Characterization: The author uses different methods to inform the reader
about the character:
   Provides a description of what the characters look like
   Describes character’s words or actions
   Show characters interacting with others
   Shares character’s thoughts and feelings

Symbol: is a person, place, or object that has a literal meaning and also stands
or represents something larger such as an idea or emotion.
For example, some common symbols:
    a heart is a shape, but also represents love
    white is a color, but also symbolizes purity
    a dove is a bird, but also stands for peace
    the American flag symbolizes this country but also freedom


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Irony: Differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or
meaning and intention.

      In verbal irony, words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant.
       “Aren’t your smart?” (meaning no)
      dramatic irony there is a contradiction between what a character thinks
       and what the reader or audience knows to be true (We know who the killer
       is, but the character doesn’t.)
      irony of situation an event occurs that directly contradicts the
       expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience. (A fire station
       burns down).

Flashback: An interruption in the story showing events happening before the
start of the story. Used by authors to bring in information from the past.

Foreshadowing: hints or clues about events happening later in the story to
build suspense, encouraging the reader to continue.




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