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Short Stories Unit. English 9. Characteristics of Short Stories. Limited in length Limited to one main event and the development of one character Ex: Napoleon Dynomite vs. Breakfast Club. Plot. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Short Stories Unit

Short Stories UnitEnglish 9Characteristics of Short StoriesLimited in lengthLimited to one main event and the development of one character Ex: Napoleon Dynomite vs. Breakfast Club

PlotSequence of incidents or actions in a story. Whatever the characters do, or whatever happens to them, constitutes plot. Finding Nemo Plot

PlotThe most important element in plot is conflict. External or internal conflictA story often ends when conflict is resolved but this is not always the case

Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story.

Plot Structure5Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. A plot diagram is an organizational tool, which is used to map the significant events in a story. By placing the most significant events from a story on the plot diagram, you can visualize the key features of the story. Types of Linear PlotsPlots can be told in

Chronological Order


In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition

6In addition, you can note that some stories follow a circular or episodic plot, and hypertextual stories can be different every time theyre read, as the reader chooses the direction that the story takes. If a story that students are working on does not fit into the triangle structure, think about why the author would choose a different story structure and how the structure has changed. Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid-shaped.

This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.

Aristotles Unified PlotThe basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis.

8Aristotle defined plot as comprised of three parts: beginning, middle, and end. When all the parts of a story follow naturally from one to the next in a connected way, Aristotle called the narrative structure a unified plot. The parts of a unified plot are linear, leading from one to the next in a cause and effect chain. Freytags Plot StructureFreytag modified Aristotles system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a storys plot.

9Freytag modified Aristotles system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytags structure begins with the introduction of a conflict or problem (exposition). At this point, background information is established. Next, the plot moves to rising action, as the conflict or problem is established fully. The mid-point of Freytags structure is the climax, the point in the story when there is a crisis or turning point. After the climax, the plot turns to falling action, when the events caused by the decision or crisis of the climax unfold. Finally, the story ends as the events are tied together (resolution). This final stage is also called the dnouement.

Modified Plot StructureFreytags Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.

10Some readers find Freytags Pyramid is oversimplified. As a result, Freytags Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.

Plot ComponentsExposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action startsRising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climaxClimax: the turning point, the most intense momenteither mentally or in actionFalling Action: all of the action which follows the climaxResolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads11Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced. Sometimes called the Narrative HOOK this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story.Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict.Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes.Falling Action: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable.Resolution/Denouement: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point.Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

Types of Conflict

Human vs Nature

Human vs SocietyHuman vs Self

Internal Conflict

Human vs HumanInterpersonal ConflictLiterary ThemesCommonly found in creative writing What is a theme?Themes can be found everywhere: literature, stories, art, movies etcThe theme of a fable is its moral.The theme of a parable is its teaching. The theme of a piece of literature is its view about life and how people behave.Theme & MeaningTheme is the underlying meaning of the story, a universal truth, a significant statement the story is making about society, human nature, or the human condition.

Theme = ideaThe theme of a literary work is its underlying central idea or the generalization it communicates about life.

Theme...the meaning of life?The theme expresses the author's opinion or raises a question about human nature or the meaning of human experience.

At times the author's theme may not confirm or agree with your own beliefs. Even then, if skillfully written, the work will still have a theme that illuminates some aspects of true human experience.

The author's task is to communicate on a common ground with the reader. Although the particulars of your experience may be different from the details of the story, the general underlying truths behind the story may be just the connection that both you and the writer are seeking.

An understanding of theme is dependent upon one's previous experience of life and literature.

At the same time, theme in literature can enlarge one's understanding of life.

Be aware that the theme never completely explains the story.

It is simply one of the elements that make up the whole. Some short stories have secondary themes as well. Common Literary Themes(Themes repeated in many works)

1. The quest for immortalityStranger, stop and cast an eye.As you are now, so once was I.As I am now, so you shall be,Prepare for death and follow me. 2. The individuals relationship and obligation to society.

Sometimes called man vs. society 3. The individuals inward journey to understand himself or herself/identity.

Sometimes called man vs. self4. The individuals relationship and obligation to the natural world. Sometimes called

man vs. nature

5. How justice and injustice are decided6. The individual as hero; what it means to be a hero or anti-hero.

7. What it means to be a survivor.

8. The individuals experience of alienation and despair

9. The artists relationship and obligation to society. 10. What tomorrows world holds for us aka: The Future

11. Love: Topics/EffectsMarriage Romance Platonic or companionate loveAltruistic loveLove of Country Admiration Possessiveness Intense dependency

Logical-sensible loveSelf-centered loveGame-PlayingUnrequited loveGodly loveFamilial loveInfatuation Erotic love Jealousy12. Role of Institutions Sometimes called man vs. the institution Literary ThemesEnd of Presentation. The LotteryIf a thousand foolish people do a foolish thing, its still a foolish thing. What does this mean?How does it relate to the lottery?Do you agree/disagree? Why?What is an example of this in real life?

Consider this when examining mood in The Lottery?After execution of the woman, the people go back to work or eat lunch as if nothing has happened. Villagers do not excuse children from the lottery. Children take part in the stoning. When Mr. Hutchinson pulls from his wifes hand the slip of paper she has drawn, he holds it up for all to see and contributes to her execution.

The Lady or the TigerWhat is the theme or message of the work? Do you agree or disagree with the message? Why?



ContentWhat is tone?Purpose of toneElements to make the toneHow to identify tone?

Has anyone ever said to you, "Don't use that tone of voice with me?" Your tone can change the meaning of what you say. 42What is Tone?Tone: the implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work.

AUTHORCHARACTERSATTITUDEThe "tone" of a story or novel is the author's attitude toward a characterSince there are as many tones in literature as there are tones of voice in real relationships, the tone of a literary work may be one of anger or approval, pride or piety (showing a de