Literary Elements


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Literary Elements

  1. 1. Elements of a Short Story Terms
  2. 2. Plot <ul><li>A series of related events that present and resolve a conflict </li></ul>
  3. 3. Plot Diagram
  4. 4. Exposition and Rising Action <ul><li>Exposition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The part of the story, usually near </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the beginning, in which the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>characters are introduced, the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>background is explained, and the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>setting is described. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rising Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The central part of a story during which various problems arise after a conflict is introduced. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Climax, Falling Action and Resolution <ul><li>Climax </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most exciting point in the story, when the conflict is decided </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Falling Action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The action and dialogue following the climax that lead the reader into the story’s end. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The conflict is resolved (positively or negatively) and the story is brought to a close </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Also know as “Denouement” </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Main characters <ul><li>Protagonist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MAIN CHARACTER of the story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often, hero or character the audience is supposed to feel most sympathetic for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not always…for example, the main character could be a serial killer. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Antagonist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>primary adversary of the protagonist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes the villain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Again, not always. In the previous example, the policeman who is trying to catch the serial killer (who is the main character, and therefore the protagonist) is the antagonist . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Conflict <ul><li>The Primary struggle between the main character or characters and an adverse character, group or force </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A struggle between a character and him/herself </li></ul></ul><ul><li>External Conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A struggle between a character and an outside force. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Man vs. Man </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Man vs. Nature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Man vs. Supernatural </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Man vs. Society </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Complications <ul><li>Small problems in addition to the conflict that add interest to the story </li></ul>
  9. 9. Suspense <ul><li>The uncertainty or anxiety that a reader feels about what will happen in a story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreshadowing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dilemma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mystery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reversal </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Foreshadowing <ul><li>Clues (real or false) that hint at a story’s outcome </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dilemma <ul><li>A character that we care about is in peril or must choose between two dangerous courses of action </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mystery <ul><li>The creation of suspense by withholding information or by presenting unusual circumstances </li></ul>
  13. 13. Reversal <ul><li>A sudden change in a character’s situation from good to bad or vice versa </li></ul>
  14. 14. Characterization <ul><li>The technique used by a writer to create and reveal the personalities of the characters in a written work. This may be done by: </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Characterization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The author directly states aspects of the character’s personality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. He was a grumpy and unfriendly old man, known for his hatred of young children and puppies . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Indirect Characterization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More common method for most characters, especially major characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We must infer personality traits from the story </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Indirect Characterization <ul><li>Indirect Characterization may be accomplished by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>describing the character’s physical appearance and situation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revealing a characters thoughts, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The character’s words or actions, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>showing the reaction of other characters. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Types of Characters <ul><li>Flat Character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>shows only one trait </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Round Character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shows many different traits, good and bad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Static Character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>character does not change through the course of the story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>character develops and grows during the course of the story </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Setting <ul><li>The time and place in which the action of a narrative occurs </li></ul>
  18. 18. Theme <ul><li>The underlying meaning of a literary work. </li></ul><ul><li>This differs from the subject in that it involves a statement of opinion about that subject. </li></ul><ul><li>The theme may be stated or implied. </li></ul><ul><li>Not every literary work has a theme, and some have more than one </li></ul>
  19. 19. Point of View <ul><li>The relationship between the narrator of a story and the characters in it </li></ul><ul><li>Narrator is NOT the same as author </li></ul><ul><li>Types of POV: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First Person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third Person, Omniscient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third Person, Limited Omniscient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third Person, Objective </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. P.O.V. continued <ul><li>First Person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The narrator offers a personal account of their own experiences or describes what happens to other characters as the narrator sees it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third Person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The narrator stands outside the action (non-participatory) and presents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Omniscient </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(all-knowing) point of view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can see the thoughts & emotions of all (or numerous) characters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limited Omniscient </li></ul><ul><ul><li>focuses on one character ’s thoughts and viewpoints </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describes only what can be seen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Reporter style” </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Irony <ul><li>Irony: differences in appearance and reality, or expectations and results, or meaning and intention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic Irony: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Situational Irony: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, readers, or audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbal Irony: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant (i.e. sarcasm, double-entendre, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>