We are going to talk about three points of view today; there are, of course, others. The Omniscient narrator knows all, including the thoughts, feelings, and actions of every character in the story. This is much different from the 3rd person limited narrator, who only knows the thoughts and feelings of a single character. He or she sees other characters and reports on their behavior but not their motivations or feelings. The first person narrator tells his or her story, but he or she often has limited knowledge about events other than those which directly affect him or her.
TERMS 18-2518. Denouement19. Epiphany20. Point of View21. Narrator22. Third-person (limited) narrator +23. Omniscient narrator24. Objective (omniscient) narrator25. First-person narrator
18.Denouement (French for "untying of the knot"): resolution; conclusion or outcome of story.19.Epiphany: a moment of insight, discovery, or revelation by which a characters life or view of life is greatly altered.20.Point of View: Point of view refers to who tells the story and how it is told. What we know and how we feel about the events in a story are shaped by the authors choice of a point of view.21.Narrator: the teller of a story (not the author, but the invented speaker of the story).
22.Third-person (limited) narrator uses "he," "she," or "they," to tell the story and does not participate in the action. This narrator usually tells the story from a single person’s perspective.23.Omniscient narrator uses "he," "she," or "they," to tell the story and does not participate in the action. This narrator can take one of two stances: the narrator knows everything about everyone and can jump from character to character, telling inner thoughts and feelings.24.Objective (omniscient) narrator: recounts only actions and dialogue, allowing the characters to speak for themselves25.First-person narrator uses "I" and is a major or minor participant in the action. This narrator knows only his or her perspective.
+ The Review Consider “Chrysanthemums” 1. PLOT In medias res 2. POINT OF VIEW (POV) Flashback Exposition 3. CHARACTER /CHARA Conflict Suspense CTERIZATION Foreshadowing Rising action 4. SETTING Climax Falling action 5. TONE 6. MOOD
+ “Chrysanthemums” Climax: The turning point. The most intense moment (either mentally or in action). The conflict is generally addressed here. Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to Falling Action: all of the the climax. action that follows the Climax. Conflict: Struggle between opposing forces Resolution: The conclusion; the tying together of all of theExposition: The start of the story. threads.The way things are before theaction starts.
Climax 2?: Elisa sees the + “Chrysanthemums” Chrysanthemums in the road Rising Action?: Elisa prepares for the evening, primping and preening. Climax: Elisa reaches out to touch the man’s leg! Rising Action: Elisa talks about her garden. The conversation Falling Action: Elisa cries and creates a strange connection asks her husband a few between her and the gardener. questions. Conflict: a stranger arrives and asks for work. He is from a Resolution: Elisa returns to different world, and they have odd status as wife. conversation.Exposition: In Salinas Valley, we meetthe lonely protagonist, Elisa, working inher garden. They make plans to go totown later.
Review:+Four Common Points of View Omniscient : The narrator knows everything, including what each character is thinking, feeling, and doing throughout the story. Omniscient Objective: The omniscient narrator reports only on behavior and conversation, forcing readers to draw their own conclusions. 3rd Person Limited: The narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while other characters are presented only externally. 1st Person: The narrator participates in action but sometimes has limited knowledge about both events outside of those in which he or she is directly involved and motivations that are not his or her own.
+ POV “The Chrysanthemums” begins with a traditional, omniscient objective narrator, but the story is told almost entirely from Elisa’s point of view. After the first few paragraphs that set the scene, Steinbeck refuses to stray from Elisa’s head. This allows him to show us the world through her eyes. We experience her frustrations and feelings. Because she doesn’t know what Henry is discussing with the men in suits who come to the ranch, we don’t know either, until she asks Henry. Because she sees the tinker as a handsome man, we do too. Because she watches his lips while he fixes her pots, we watch them with her. As a result, we understand more about her longings and character by the end of the story than her husband does.
Character and Characterization:+Elisa, the husband, the strangerof Round Character: convincing, true to life; fully Characters: developed and described. Not all good or all bad. Dynamic Character: undergoes some type of change in story, generally after a conflict. Flat Character: stereotyped, shallow, often symbolic. Static Character: does not change in the course of the story.
+ How to characterize story characters Bydetailing physical appearance, particularly features that symbolize stereotypes. By directly describing Through the characters words and actions By sharing the characters own thoughts. Through the reactions of other characters
+ detailing physical appearance, particularlyByfeatures that symbolize character. She was thirty-five. Her face was lean and strongand her eyes were as clear as water. Her figurelooked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume,a mans black hat pulled low down over her eyes,clod-hopper shoes, a figured print dress almostcompletely covered by a big corduroy apron with fourbig pockets to hold the snips, the trowel andscratcher, the seeds and the knife she worked with.She wore heavy leather gloves to protect her handswhile she worked.
+ By directly describing: Her face was eager and mature and handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful. The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy.
+ Through the character’s own words and actions: "That sounds like a nice kind of a way to live," she said. Kneeling there, her hand went out toward his legs in the greasy black trousers. Her hesitant fingers almost touched the cloth. Then her hand dropped to the ground. She crouched low like a fawning dog. When she had dried herself she stood in front of a mirror in her bedroom and looked at her body. She tightened her stomach and threw out her chest. She turned and looked over her shoulder at her back.
+ By sharing the characters own thoughts. She whispered to herself sadly, "He might have thrown them off the road. That wouldnt have been much trouble, not very much. But he kept the pot," she explained. "He had to keep the pot. Thats why he couldnt get them off the road."
+ Through the reaction of other characters. He looked bewildered. "Youre playing some kind of a game," he said helplessly. "Its a kind of a play. You look strong enough to break a calf over your knee, happy enough to eat it like a watermelon."
+ Setting The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot. On the broad, level land floor the gang plows bit deep and left the black earth shining like metal where the shares had cut. On the foothill ranches across the Salinas 1~iver, the yellow stubble fields seemed to be bathed in pale cold sunshine, but there was no sunshine in the valley now in December. The thick willow scrub along the river flamed with sharp and positive yellow leaves. How does the setting contribute to the story?
+ Setting ―The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from the rest of the world‖ Isolation, separation from others Flannel--practical fabric, masculine = male dominance? Closed off from the sky = dreams/aspirations limited? Grey = dull, colorless
+ Setting The winter fog sits ―like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot‖ pots would be familiar to Elisa – is this her thinking? Closed pot = unavailable? Simmering? Forgotten? A lid = covers and protects, no exposure, no additions
+ Setting "It was a time of quiet and of waiting." TheValley is shut off from the rest of the world by fog, and the weather anticipates change (foreshadowing) Elisa’s life is a ―time of quiet and waiting‖— but for what is she waiting? How long will she wait? Will the awaited item ever arrive?
+ Setting Thegarden is fenced off to protect it from the domesticated animals: the ―cattle and dogs and chickens.‖ Fence: separates, isolates, sets aside, protects, limits, restrains...Elisa’s heart? Elisa’s life? Elisa’s true desires? Fenceprotects against domesticated animals—domestication? Elisa needs protection from domestication? From being kept like a domesticated animal?
+ Setting Elisa’s world is closed off on many levels Male dominated society Valley Ranch House Fenced garden Her heart
+ TONE The attitude of the author toward his subject or toward the reader
Tone: the attitude of the author toward his subject or+toward the reader The narrator keeps his/her distance, allowing the reader to come to individual conclusions about the characters and their motivations. Yet, the narrator demonstrates a clear sympathy for Elisa’s position by illustrating moments of sexism, her dissatisfaction, and her isolation. The tone of "The Chrysanthemums" is one of oppression and confinement. The homestead is surrounded by a “high gray-flannel fog” Her beloved garden is enclosed by “a wire fence.” “ It must be nice," she said. "It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things." "It aint the right kind of a life for a woman. “ "Do any women ever go to the fights?" she asked. "Oh, sure, some. Whats the matter, Elisa? Do you want to go? I dont think youd like it, but Ill take you if you really want to go."
+ Mood The feeling or state of mind that predominates in a story creating a certain atmosphere.
Mood: the feeling or state of mind that predominates in a story + creating a certain atmosphere: Sad, Hopeless The mood changes during the story: Elisa goes through a number of small changes throughout the course of this rather short story: shifts in tone, changes in mood, transformations in appearance. We see a few moments of hopefulness before she is returned to her role as farm wife. "Ive never lived as you do, but I know what you mean. When the night is dark--why, the stars are sharp-pointed, and theres quiet. Why, you rise up and up! Every pointed star gets driven into your body. Its like that. Hot and sharp and--lovely." The irritation and resistance melted from Elisas face. "Oh, those are chrysanthemums, giant whites and yellows. I raise them every year, bigger than anybody around here.” Henry blundered on. "I dont know. I mean you look different, strong and happy." "I am strong? Yes, strong. What do you mean strong?" "Now youre changed again," Henry complained. He took one hand from the wheel and patted her knee. "I ought to take you in to dinner oftener.” She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly--like an old woman.
Dialogue gives necessary Dialogue moves the plot along. +information."I aint in any hurry, ma’am. I go from "Whats them plants, maam?” The irritation and resistance melted fromSeattle to San Diego and back every Elisas face. "Oh, those are chrysanthemums,year. Takes all my time. About six giant whites and yellows. I raise them everymonths each way. I aim to follow nice year, bigger than anybody around here.”weather.” "Kind of a long-stemmed flower? Looks like She touched the under edge of her a quick puff of colored smoke?" he asked.mans hat, searching for fugitive hairs. "Thats it. What a nice way to describe"That sounds like a nice kind of a way them."to live," she said. Dialogue can show how someone feels. Dialogue can show what one characterDialogue can reveal conflict "Why yes you can," Elisa thinks of another cried. "I can put some inand build tension. character. damp sand, and you can carry them right along with "Nice? You think I look you. "They smell kindnice? What do you mean by of nasty till you get Dialogue reveals characternice?” used to them," he "Henry," she asked, "could we Henry blundered on. "I dont said. have wine at dinner?”know. I mean you look . "Its a good bitter "Sure we could. Say! That willdifferent, strong and happy." smell," she retorted, be fine.” "not nasty at all." Functions of Dialogue
+How to write good dialogueAdapted from http://www.ellenjackson.net/dialogue_61473.htm
Good dialogue reflects a character’s age, background, and+ personality. A ten-year-old boy doesn’t have the same speech patterns as a forty-year-old woman. A person who speaks English as a second language has different patterns from a native. Be aware of these differences. "Well," said Elisa, "I think youll save time if you go back to the Salinas road and pick up the highway there." He drew a big finger down the chicken wire and made it sing. "I aint in any hurry, ma am. I go from Seattle to San Diego and back every year. Takes all my time. About six months each way. I aim to follow nice weather." Be aware of how your character would react in a given situation. Does your character have a sense of humor? Does he fly off the handle easily? Is she shy and withdrawn? Sarcastic? Show these qualities through dialogue. "Why--why, Elisa. You look so nice!" "Nice? You think I look nice? What do you mean by nice?"
Most people use contractions when they speak. When people+ speak they’ll almost always say "you aren’t" instead of "you are not" and "it’s" instead of "it is." Using contractions makes your characters’ speech sound more natural. Of course, there are the moments of formal oral interaction that you can emphasize by not using contractions. "Elisa, where are you?” "In my room, dressing. Im not ready. Theres hot water for your bath. Hurry up. Its getting late." Intersperse your dialogue with body language and action. Dialogue interspersed with action and gestures helps the reader visualize your characters. But don’t overdo it. Too much action is as distracting and as too little. She relaxed limply in the seat. "Oh, no. No. I dont want to go. Im sure I dont." Her face was turned away from him. "It will be enough if we can have wine. It will be plenty." Henry looked down toward the tractor shed, and when he brought his eyes back to her, they were his own again. "Ill get out the car. You can put on your coat while Im starting."
Don’t allow dialogue to repeat narration. Avoid this:+ Madison came in the door. He threw his books on the table and went into the kitchen to get a cookie. "I see you’re home from school," said Mom. "How about a cookie?" Stick with simple tags. Use ordinary tags such as "he said" or "she asked" almost all of the time. Elaborate tags (queried, questioned, bellowed, stated, replied, responded, pointed out) are distracting and unnecessary. "You sleep right in the wagon?" Elisa asked. "Right in the wagon, maam. Rain or shine Im dry as a cow in there." It must be nice," she said. "It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things." "It aint the right kind of a life for a woman. Her upper lip raised a little, showing her teeth. "How do you know? How can you tell?" she said.
Don’t allow your characters to get too verbose. Characters who talk too much are boring. Every line of dialogue needs a specific reason for its existence. Keep your + story moving and your dialogue spare. "Kind of a long-stemmed flower? Looks like a quick puff of colored smoke?" he asked. "Thats it. What a nice way to describe them." "They smell kind of nasty till you get used to them," he said. "Its a good bitter smell," she retorted, "not nasty at all." He changed his tone quickly. "I like the smell myself." "I had ten-inch blooms this year," she said. Pay attention to the developing relationships among your characters. People’s feelings toward one another change over time. As your story evolves, the relationships between your characters evolve too and the changes need to be reflected in the dialogue. You can feel it. When youre like that you cant do anything wrong. Do you see that? Can you understand that?" She was kneeling on the ground looking up at him. Her breast swelled passionately. The mans eyes narrowed. He looked away self-consciously. "Maybe I know," he said. "Sometimes in the night in the wagon there--" Elisas voice grew husky. She broke in on him. "Ive never lived as you do, but I know what you mean.
Listen to real life conversations. Listen to your friends, neighbors, and family. Take notes and keep a list of the interesting expressions you + hear. Real speech can seldom be used verbatim, but it can often be reconstituted as dialogue. Remember, though, only use dialogue that moves the plot. A real-life conversation about what to order in a restaurant rarely makes good reading material! Good dialogue has rhythm. People who are stressed out speak in short, clipped sentences. People who are relaxed speak more expansively and in longer sentences. When you listen to people’s conversations, study the music beneath the words. It must be nice," she said. "It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things." "It aint the right kind of a life for a woman. Her upper lip raised a little, showing her teeth. "How do you know? How can you tell?" she said. "I dont know, maam," he protested. "Of course I dont know. Now heres your kettles, done. You dont have to buy no new ones. "How much?" "Oh, fifty centsll do. I keep my prices down and my work good. Thats why I have all them satisfied customers up and down the highway."
You travel down _________street, past__________ (landmark), to (A’s) house. You___________ to get his or her attention. He/shelooks out a window and you say,“___________.” (Blank) comes downstairs andyou hear him/her in garage. Then you hear a__________. When the door opens, you findout what caused the noise. Write a shortdialogue here. Reflect your characters’ages, background, and personalities.The two of you take off, to go to B’s house.
You and A travel down __________ street, past (landmark) on theway to meet B. On the way, (A) calls (B), and says “meet us at thecorner of (blank and blank) and bring (C) with you.”You all four meet at the corner. You travel together down _______Avenue/Drive/Boulevard and past (a landmark). You seesomebody you want to avoid, so you ___________. Write ashort dialogue here. Be aware of how your characters wouldreact in a given situation. Make the rhythm of the languagematch the situation: Short lines for tension—longer forrelaxed discussion. You arrive at _______ (store) on the corner of (blank and blank),and you go in and you buy _________ for your day. Write a shortdialogue here. Use contractions. Stick with simple tags. Finally, you get back on the road, traveling about five miles out oftown, to the edge of the forest.
You pull over and sit there for a minute, discussing the benefitsof entering the forest. Some people say the forest is____________, but you don’t worry because you’reinvincible.One friend is resistant.One is enthusiastic.And one is apathetic.Pick who is who and begin your characterization of each ofyour companions. (Give them qualities that make themindividual. Consider looks, behavior, attitude, and speechpatterns, for example)Write a longer dialogue here. Include all of thecharacters. Intersperse it with body language andaction.Finally, you decide you’re all going in.
-convince your companions to enter the____________. Write a thorough conversationhere. Don’t allow your characters to get tooverbose. Explain, cajole, convince, getfeedback, make conversation, but keep linesrelatively brief.-develop your characters-figure out what made the noise-determine your plot, conflict and climax-establish setting, mood, and tone-tell your story
+ Reread your story. Add dialogue to show rather than tell the story. Good dialogue should move your plot along.• Don’t allow dialogue to repeat narration.• Pay attention to the developing relationships among your characters.• Use common phrases, but don’t weight down your conversations with mundane dialogue.
+ Homework Post# 10: post one or two dialogues from your story that demonstrate the skills we learned today. Bring: One copy of your completed fiction for each member of your group. Study Terms
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