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					Plot and Setting
  The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Our Definitions
  Plot is the sequence of events that make up a story. Without
 a plot, there wouldn’t be a story, just a boring lecture. Plots
 are made up of four parts: an exposition, complications,
 climax, and resolution. In an exposition, we first meet the
 characters and usually what the conflict is. Complications,
 also known as rising action, are what happen when the
 characters start to try to resolve the conflict. The climax is the
 peak of the action, the moment where the conflict could
 resolve either way. And the resolution, also known as the
 denouement, wraps up the loose ends and hopefully brings
 us a happy ending.
 Setting is the time and place where the plot takes place. It’s
 usually described early on in the story, in the exposition. It
 often helps with a work’s emotional effect on the readers,
 since someone being kidnapped and held hostage in a dark,
 dank lair is much more moving than being held hostage in a
 clean, well-kept candy factory. It may also play an important
 role otherwise, especially with stories where the character has
 a conflict with nature, such as My Side of the Mountain
An In-Depth look at Plot

  A series of related events that make up a
  story
     An introduction tells us who the characters are
     and usually what their conflict is.
     Complications arise when the characters take
     steps to resolve the conflict
     Eventually the plot reaches a climax, the most
     exciting moment in the story, when the outcome
     is decided one way or another
     The final part of the story is the resolution, in
     which the conflict is resolved and the story is
     brought to a close
An In-Depth Look at Setting

  The time and place of a story, play, or
  narrative poem
     Most often the setting is described early
     in the story
     Setting often contributes to a work’s
     emotional effect
     It may also play an important role in the
     plot, especially in stories involving a
     conflict between a character and nature
Definitions From Our Lit. Book

  Plot – The series of related events that make up a
  story. Plot is what happens in a short story, novel, play,
  or narrative poem. Most plots are built from these basic
  elements: An introduction (exposition) tells us who the
  characters are and usually what their conflict
  is. Complications arise when the characters take steps
  to resolve the conflict. Eventually the plot reaches a
  climax, the most exciting moment in the story, when the
  outcome is decided one way or another. The final part
  of the story is the resolution, in which the conflict is
  resolved and the story is brought to a close.
  Setting – The time and place of a story, play, or
  narrative poem. Most often the setting is described
  early in the story. Setting often contributes to a work’s
  emotional effect. It may also play an important role in
  the plot, especially in stories involving a conflict
  between a character and nature.
Passage #1-This passage sets the stage for
the story. It also introduces the plot and
explains how Charlotte Doyle came to be a
               on the Seahawk
passengerthirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and
    “Not every
        found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if
   •Third, was to make my voyagewarned, however, my sixth and thirteenth
 •ThoughI American-born,ago. Bethe yearsship owned and operated of amy Boy,
        it did happen years I spent upon a between this is no Story by Bad
   father’s in England. My strong ideas and action offend you, read no
 birthdaysfirm. Katy Did. If father, who engaged in the manufacture of cotton
        no What
   •Fourth, the captain an agent for an acquired abusiness there. my father I
        more. Find another companion American reputation—so But in the
 goods, functioned as of this ship had to share your idle hours. For my part early
        intend to tell the truth as I lived it.
   informed me—for quick and profitable Atlantic crossings.
 spring of 1832, he received an advancement and was summoned home.
        But before I begin relating what happened, you must know something about
   •Then there was in thetwo families known to my parents had also At be time
 •My father, an ardent believer in regularity these events transpired.bookedbetter
        me as I was this: year 1832—when and order, decided it would the
    I finished outwas school term ratherAnd though I off midyear. my
        my name my Charlotte Doyle. promised it function as name, I am
 ifpassage on the ship. The adults hadthan breaktohave kept theMy mother—
        not—for knew been will only him—accepted my Charlotte Doyle.
   guardians. Having to disagree withdiscover—the same father’s decision. I
 whom I neverreasons you told soon that these families included children (three
   lovely girls my a charming well I looked forward to meeting of thirteen was
        How shall I parents, the person I once was? At the age them to our true
 would followand describe as boy) as my younger brother and sister, moreI than
   anything much a in Providence, yet begun to take the shape, much less the
        very else.
 home, which was girl, having not Rhode Island.
        heart, of a woman. Still, my family dressed me as a young woman, bonnet
   •So whenthink consider that I had skirts, rash in allowing me to travelmay be
          you you my parents’ judgment dim memories shoes, and, you without
 •Lestcovering my beautiful hair, fullbutwas high button of making the crossing to
   England when was how certainly wanted to that their decision was. my
        sure, show you six, reasonable, even logical saw It was not just
 them, I willwhite Igloves. I you will understand be a Ilady. the forthcoming voyage
 •First, they feltA large, beautiful boat! aJolly sailors! No gladly, with not an
        ambition; that by my remaining boarder wholly, school to think
   as all a lark. it was my destiny. I embraced it at the Barrington School for
   about! Companions of eminent and In proper headmistress) I at the lose
        untoward thought of anything else.
 Better Girls (Miss Weed,my own age! mostother words, I think that would time of
        these events, I was not anything more or less than what I appeared to be;
   •One more point. I ordinary girl of parents in good standing. typical of my
        an acceptable, was given a volume of blank pages—how
 no school time.
 •Second, I would be crossing theaAtlantic—a trip that could last anywhere from
   father!—and instructed to keep daily journal of my voyage across the ocean
   so to two writing of it should summer, when no formal to me. Indeed, my
 one that themonths—during theprove of educational valueeducation took place.
   father warned me that not only would he read the journal and comment upon it,
   but he would also pay particular attention to spelling—not my strongest suit.
   •Keeping that journal then is what enables me to relate now in perfect detail
   everything that transpired during that fateful voyage across the Atlantic Ocean
   in the summer of 1832.” (p. 1-3)
Passage #2- This passage introduces Zachariah, the
ship’s cook, as wanting to be a friend. It also
foreshadows what is going to happen later in the
plot. It is a narrative hook and makes you want to read
more.
 •‘No, miss. It is this.’ He held out a knife. With a scream I jumped back.
    “As I drank Zachariah looked at me. ‘It may well be,’ he said softly, ‘that
 •‘No, no! Miss Doyle. Don’t misunderstand! I only wish to give you the knife as protection—in
    Miss Doyle it.’ He placed a for a friend.’
 case you need will have use wooden sheath on the blade and held it out.
 •The knife was, as I came to understand, what’s called a dirk, a small dagger like blade hardly
    Finding the suggestion—from him—unpleasant, I chose to ignore it.
 more than six inches in length from its white scrimshaw handle, where a star design was cut, to its
    ‘I can assure you,’ I returned, ‘that the captain will have
 needle-sharp point. Horrified, I was capable only of shaking my head. made
    arrangements know what might happen,’
 •‘Miss Doyle doesn’tfor my social needs.’ he urged, as though suggesting it might rain on
    ‘Ah, and he was offering head covering.
 a picnicbut you and I have much in common.’
      know nothing so.’
 •‘I‘I don’t thinkabout knives,’ I whispered.
 •‘A ship sails with any wind she finds,’ he whispered. ‘Take it, miss. Place it where it may be
    ‘But we do. Miss Doyle is so young! I am so old! Surely there is something
 reached.’
    similar in that. And you, the sole girl, and I, the one black, are special on
 •So saying, he took my hand and closed my fingers over the dirk. Cringing, I kept it. ‘Yes,’ he
    this ship. In short, we begin with two things in common, enough to begin
 said with a smile, patting my fingers.
    a friendship.’
 •‘Now Miss Doyle may return to her cabin. Do you know the way?’
    I looked elsewhere. ‘I don’t need a friend,’ I said.
 •‘I’m not certain…’
 •‘I‘One always needs a final friend.’
      will guide you.’
    ‘Final friend?’
 •He left me at my door. Once inside I hurriedly stowed the dirk under the thin mattress (resolving
 never to look at it again) and somehow struggled into my bed. There, fully dress, I sought rest,
    ‘Someone to sew the hammock,’ he returned.
 fitfully dozing only to be awakened by a banging sound: my cabin door swinging back and
    ‘I do not understand you,’
 forth—rusty hinges rasping—with the gentle swaying of the ship.
    ‘When a sailor dies on a voyage, miss, sir, the Doyle girl. And with them looking
 •Then I heard, ‘The only one I could get to come, heisgoes to his resting place in the on,
    sea with his bit of show about wanting to keep her friend.’
 I had to put on ahammock sewn about him by aoff.’
    I swallowed my tea hastily, has to be the cup back, trump. With her move to
 •‘Quite all right, Mr. Keetch, if there handedonly one, she’s the and made a as witness,
    go.
 they’ll not dare move. I’m well satisfied.’
 •‘Thank you, sir.’
    ‘Miss Doyle, please,’ he said softly, taking the cup but holding me with his
 •The voices trailed away.
    eyes, ‘I have something else to offer.’
 • For a while I tried to grasp what I’d heard but I gave it up as incomprehensible. Then, for
    ‘No more tea, thank you.’
 what seemed forever, I lay listening as the Seahawk tossed by the ceaseless swell, heaved and
 groaned like a sleeper beset by evil dreams,
Passage #3—this passage shows what it was like to live on a ship for many weeks. It also shows how Charlotte Doyle likes to have
attention directed at her and shows how Captain Jaggery is trying to act like a gentleman. This also shows the setting of the ship and
the relationship between Charlotte Doyle and Captain Jaggery.


    “Never mind that my dress—having been worn for four days—was creased
    and misshapen, my white gloves a sodden gray. Never mind that my fine
    hair must have been hanging like a horse’s tail, in almost complete
    disarray. With all eyes upon us as we crossed the ship’s waist to the
    bowsprit and figurehead, I felt like a princess being led to her throne.
             Not even the same lowering mist I’d observed when I first came from
    my cabin could dampen my soaring spirits. Captain Jaggery was a brilliant
    sun and I, a Juno moon, basked in reflective glory.
             ‘Captain Jaggery, sir,’ I said, ‘this ship seems to be moving very
    slowly,’
             ‘You observe correctly,’ he relied, ever the perfect gentleman. ‘But if
    you look up there,’ he pointed beyond the mainmast, ‘you’ll notice some
    movement. The cloud cover should be breaking soon and then we’ll
    gain. There, you see,’ he exclaimed, ‘the sun is struggling to shine through.’
             As if by command, a thin yellow disk began to appear where he
    pointed, though it soon faded again behind clotted clouds.
             From the forecastle deck we crossed to the quarter deck and then to
    the helm. Foley, a lean, bearded man, was at the wheel. Mr. Keetch, as
    unsmiling as ever, stood by his side. The wheel itself was massive, with
    hand spikes for easier gripping.” (p. 52-53)
Discussion Questions
 1. How does Charlotte feel about the dirk, and
 why? Do you think it is right for her to feel this
 way? Explain your answer.
 2. Why doesn’t Charlotte trust Zachariah? Would
 you trust him?
 3. Zachariah gave her the dirk as protection, he
 said. Protection from what?
 4. Charlotte talks about feeling like a princess
 even though she was wearing the same clothes
 she had worn the last four days and was very
 dirty. What made her feel like a princess, if it
 wasn’t her appearance?
 5. Why, do you think that the Seahawk was
 known for its speedy crossings?
Plot Diagram
Exposition
  In the summer of 1832, Charlotte Doyle, age 13, is
  looking forward to going to America to be with the
  rest of her family. She was left in England
  because he parents wanted her to finish schooling
  before going back to the States like the rest of her
  family. Charlotte is to sail on the Seahawk, a ship
  owned by her father’s firm, along with some other
  families. However, those families never show up,
  and she is to go on the long voyage by
  herself. There she meets Captain Jaggery, the
  gentleman captain, and Zachariah, an old black,
  who is the ships cook warns her of the perils of the
  sea.
Narrative Hook

  Charlotte overhears a conversation
  between second mate Keetch and the
  captain that doesn’t make any sense
  to her, but foreshadows her fate.
Complications
 As the only passenger among the crew, Charlotte finds
 herself in a tricky predicament. The sailors, Zachariah
 among them, tell of the captain’s cruelty, while the captain
 warns Charlotte of an impending mutiny. Believing the
 captain’s words, Charlotte becomes his eyes and ears
 among the crew. Warning the captain just before the mutiny,
 Charlotte watches in shock as the captain beats Zachariah to
 death. As the crew mourns the death of their kind cook,
 Charlotte comes to a decision. After facing a terrifying climb
 to the top of the mast, she becomes part of the crew, much
 to the fury of Captain Jaggery. Following a fierce hurricane,
 the second mate is found dead, and Charlotte is
 blamed. After being put through an unfair trial, she is found
 guilty and sentenced to hang at sunrise. However, with the
 help of someone long thought gone, she may pull through
 and show Jaggery for the cruel despot that he is.
Climax
 There are two exciting parts:
 Charlotte’s trial, where she is found
 guilty, and Charlotte and Captain
 Jaggery’s face off on the bowsprit of
 the Seahawk, just after her plan to
 escape is revealed to him.
Denouement

  Charlotte, now the captain of the
  Seahawk, returns to
  America. However, her father doesn’t
  believe her story of what happened
  on the ship and confines her to her
  room. She begins to act ladylike and
  proper again, and her parents are
  pleased, but then she recovers her
  sailors’ clothes and returns to the
  Seahawk, her true home.
Credits
 Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte
 Doyle. New York: Avon Flare, 1990
 Kathleen Daniel. Elements of Literature,
 Second Course. Austin: Hold, Rinehart and
 Winston, 2000
 “Concentration II” Mrs. Schnidman’s Home
 Page. Teacher web. 17 May 2003
 <http://teacherweb.ftl.pinecrest.edu/schnidj/
 excerses/concentration.html>

				
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