Short Story


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Basic Elements of the short story

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Short Story

  1. 1. SHORT STORY: A work of prose fiction shorter than short novel; more restricted in character s & situations. A short story is usually concerned with not more than a few effects, problems a nd themes. - It emphasizes human nature and human values. - Time and Characters are limited but the place is not.
  2. 2. Short Story <ul><li>Unlike the novel, the character s are not fully developed . </li></ul><ul><li>No character analysis . </li></ul><ul><li>G enerally a single aspect of character’s personality undergoes a change and/ or is revealed as a result of some incident, confrontation or conflict . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Common Features <ul><li>May be Didactic or just for pleasure. </li></ul><ul><li>Because of limited length there are generally no detailed description of background in a short story . </li></ul><ul><li>O nly a single unified incident is mentioned. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Conflict: There must be a problem to talk about; a subject matter (conflict is also essential for other genres like plays, novels) <ul><li>Types of Conflict: </li></ul><ul><li>a-) Between Characters </li></ul><ul><li>b-) Between the Character & External Forces </li></ul><ul><li>c -) Inner Conflict </li></ul>
  5. 5. Origin <ul><li>Some earlier types, such as myth, legend, fairy tale, fable, essay and character study may be said to be the FOREFATHERS of the short story. </li></ul><ul><li>Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio’s Decameron are the two early examples. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Basic Elements of Fiction <ul><li>Crisis: The moment of the conflict then the development begins and the tension of your expectations increases up to climax </li></ul><ul><li>Climax: The turning point in action; the point of highest interest or of highest tension , may occur at the very end. </li></ul><ul><li>Denouement (resolution): The explanation of the complications of the story. Climax may or may not involve a denouement. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 6 Components of the Short Story : A fictional work in prose which puts the emphasis on human values by dealing with a single unified incident. <ul><li>Plot </li></ul><ul><li>Characters </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolism </li></ul><ul><li>Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Point of View </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1.PLOT: Chain of events and incidents that takes place in a short story. <ul><ul><li>Overt plot : not secret, open ; one incident follows the other chronologically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covert plot: not open ; some incidents are implied or told indirectly by means of flashbacks & narrative projections in order to break through the monotony. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Plot: A series of interrelated incidents <ul><ul><li>Flashback: An action told by a character (narrator). The character may be facing a DILEMMA ( conflict ) so he recalls his past experiences to explain the situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative projection: A character may look forward to explain the conflict he is in. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. B alancing of the forces : Between P & A there should be a conflict and their power must be equal. <ul><ul><li>Protagonist: is the main character (hero) in a story or drama, not always have heroic virtues & got always embody good qualities. (JAN VALJAN in The Miserables ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antagonist : Opposing force(s) or person(s) ; do not always have to be good & have positive virtues.(The dedective in The Miserables ) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Plot: essential to reveal the characters and the story but it is not everything. <ul><li>Foreshadowing: may be a hint about what will follow or what will happen next about the characters, the setting or the general atmosphere of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Precipitating incident: something minor happens at the beginning of the story that accelerates the events in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Setting: Place + Time + State of Mind. </li></ul><ul><li>In Medias Res : where the plot starts in the middle. </li></ul>
  12. 12. * Irony the contradiction between what you ex pect ,know and want and the REAL FACT . <ul><li>Irony (from the Ancient Greek eironeía , meaning hypocrisy, deception, or feigned ignorance) is a literary or rhetorical device , in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does, and what one means or what is generally understood. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Types of irony <ul><li>Verbal irony is a disparity of expression and intention: when a speaker says one thing but means another, or when a literal meaning is contrary to its intended effect. An example of this is sarcasm . </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic irony is a disparity of expression and awareness: when words and actions possess a significance that the listener or audience understands, but the speaker or character does not. </li></ul><ul><li>Situational irony is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. </li></ul><ul><li>* Likewise, cosmic irony is disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 2 . CHARACTERS <ul><li>Character creation is more complex than creating a plot from the action. From the words of the character; we can understand and define him </li></ul><ul><li>A character must be the one according to the community so d ifficult because infinite variety of human personality. </li></ul>
  15. 15. THREE important qualities for good characterization . <ul><li>Consistency : T he personality should n o t change unless there is a reason for it (sometimes he may be an inconsistent one as well) </li></ul><ul><li>Plausibility: The lifelines of the character . The reader should accept the character as a human being. People from everyday life. </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation: The cause for the character to act. Necessary for the characters & also for the readers. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The characters in a short story are GENERALLY dramatized, not described. <ul><li>Ways of Dramatizing Characters: </li></ul><ul><li>Writer paints a Picture of the physical appearance of the character.(Possession, physical description, immediate surroundings are factors) </li></ul><ul><li>The setting can help the readers to understand the mood of the character </li></ul><ul><li>Their speech and dialogues may help us </li></ul><ul><li>Opinions of others in the story may give an idea about the character </li></ul><ul><li>Giving extra information about the characters’ acts attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>The writer goes directly into the mind of the character & explains the inner thoughts of him </li></ul>
  17. 17. Non-Dramatic Characterization <ul><li>Writer can tell the person’s right character at the beginning by certain adjectives. ( characterization by exposition ) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Characterization by Narration <ul><li>The writer tells us something about the character at the very beginning and to illustrate it, he may tell an incident related to that quality. But this is a rare method. </li></ul><ul><li>* Writer s might use several methods of characterization or only one method may be used. </li></ul><ul><li>* All the characters don’t have to be developed fully. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Kinds of characters <ul><li>ROUND CHARACTER : is a fully developed character. </li></ul><ul><li>FLAT CHARACTERS : CARDBOARD characters also called ^^ one dimensional characters ^^. She / he must JUSTIFY his / her role in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Every character must have an INTEGRAL POINT in the whole story. </li></ul><ul><li>STOCK (LITERARY) CHARACTER : If the reader can imagine the flat characters’ actions beforehand, they are called as stock characters. Stock characters are used for COMIC & SATIRICAL EFFECTS. They are generally exaggerated. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Kinds of chars. <ul><li>1- ) Major characters: </li></ul><ul><li>- Protagonist </li></ul><ul><li>-Antagonist </li></ul><ul><li>-Round Character s </li></ul><ul><li>2-Minor characters: </li></ul><ul><li>-Flat character s </li></ul><ul><li>-Stock (literary) character s </li></ul><ul><li>-Foil character </li></ul>
  21. 21. kinds of characters <ul><li>DYNAMIC CHARACTER : There should be a (positive) change in the character; should not END as he started. A change in the behaviours, opinions, attitudes is necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>STATIC CHARACTER : If the character remains the same throughout the story he is called as STATIC CHARACTER. </li></ul><ul><li>* Protagonist is the most dynamic character. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Kinds of characters <ul><li>Foil Character : the contrasting figure , opposing character.Foils are minor characters, used to emphasize the quality of the major characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Archetypal character : Prototype character s who have universal characteristics regardless of time and place, can be found in every theme,story . ( Femme Fatal ) </li></ul><ul><li>Confidante: is the person with whom the protagonist talks and to whom he reveals his secret (A mother, a nurse,a friend may be confidante) </li></ul>
  23. 23. 3.EMOTION <ul><li>Fiction makes us understand & feel. So emotion is important but not only the emotions of the characters but the readers’ emotion as well. Non-fictional works ,like biographies, travel literatures, articles and essays… any prose work that is not fiction make us only understand. </li></ul>
  24. 24. How are the emotions conveyed? <ul><li>Not told directly. We learn about them through the actions. Namely; in an indirect way, in connection with the emotions the tone and the mood of the story are also given. </li></ul>
  25. 25. The elements of Emotion: <ul><li>Tone: The way the writer writes the story. Namely; his attitudes towards his characters & events and towards the subject matter determines the tone of the story. Some devices to establish the tone (fear,anger,jealousy) created by Dramatization. </li></ul><ul><li>Mood: The general total atmosphere of the story. Mood is created through the emotions. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Kinds of Emotion <ul><li>Emotions of the character that writer creates </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions that the writer wants the readers to experience </li></ul>
  27. 27. Ways of Creating Emotion: <ul><li>By the representation of a single scene that will create lots of emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>By the construction of a longer situation. </li></ul><ul><li>By mentioning the same theme over and over again (by the repetition of the same theme) </li></ul><ul><li>By bringing back the memories, long forgotten events or past experience s . </li></ul><ul><li>By contradiction (showing the conflicting situations) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Ways of Creating Emotion II <ul><li>By creating similar incidents (between past & present) especially using descriptions of sensation. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Wind blows against the one’s face </li></ul><ul><li>The mother stroking the hair of the child </li></ul><ul><li>* These make the reader remember something from their own childhood or past experiences and feel the same thing with the characters. There may be descriptions of SMELLS & SOUNDS. </li></ul><ul><li>By describing Abstract ideas & concepts (like fear , anger, envy, pity, anxiety…etc) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Devices for Establishing the Mood : <ul><li>1. Dramatic Irony: What is done and said may not be same with the actual fact or reality. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Suspense: What will be the next move? Thinking about an event in the story: Will he do it or not? (out of a dramatic irony the reader might find himself in suspense) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Sympathy: Intellectually you understand and admire the character. Namely; you understand why he is doing this or that or why he speaks in that way.(intellectual understanding of the character) </li></ul><ul><li>4. Empathy: You feel so much for the character that you feel the same things with him. (Emotional understanding of the character) You share same feelings with the characte r) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Restraint: Element of controlling, because too much of everything is negative. </li></ul><ul><li>Not too much </li></ul><ul><li>Not too little </li></ul>
  30. 30. 4. SYMBOLISM <ul><li>A symbol is something such as an object , picture , written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. For ex: a red octagon may stand for &quot;STOP&quot;. Numerals are symbols for numbers . </li></ul><ul><li>A symbol can be anything ( an item, an object and even a name ) that stands for the place of another thing or anything that is used to explain especially abstract ideas meanings be t ter. </li></ul><ul><li>All language consists of symbols. The word &quot;cat&quot; is not a cat, but represents the idea of a cat. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Kinds of Symbols : <ul><li>1. Original Symbols : Arise from the total structure of the story, a new created symbol, you can find it in no other fiction. It is the creation of the writer used for the first time. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Conventional Symbols: don’t come out of the story naturally , but have been used before by some others and become known by the readers. (like moon, sun, river … ) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Origin of symbols <ul><li>Symbolism: in the late 19th century esp. by the development in PSYCHOLOGY & PSYCHIATRY: For Freud , dreams are the revelations of subconscious minds of people and they are full of symbols and need to be interpreted. </li></ul><ul><li>* Figures of speech : (similes, metaphors) may be used by the writer but they are not symbols, just used to strengthen his descriptions. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Origin <ul><li>The psychologist, Carl Jung , who studied archetypes , proposed an alternative definition of symbol, distinguishing it from the term &quot;sign&quot;. In Jung's view, a sign stands for something known, as a word stands for its referent. He contrasted this with symbol, which he used to stand for something that is unknown and that cannot be made clear or precise. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Psychological Symbols : <ul><li>Archetypal images or symbols. Namely, valid for all the time and all the people – universal symbols . </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. a pregnant womanà rebirth, fertility, continuation of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological Symbols - may arise from a person’s own experience or may arise from a group experience. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. a national symbol -- flag . </li></ul><ul><li>Always abstract ideas are symbolized . </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Picasso’s pigeon symbolizes PEACE </li></ul><ul><li>the breast of a mother -- FERTILITY </li></ul><ul><li>heart -- LOVE </li></ul>
  35. 35. 5. THEME : the central unifying element of the story. <ul><li>It is the total summary of all the things that take place in the story.(it is the feeling and the idea that the story gives us or awakens in our minds and hearts) </li></ul><ul><li>Theme : is the summary of the story that arises a feeling in the mind & heart of the reader or it is the feeling given by the total summary of all the incidents, conversations, descriptions in the story. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Everything in a story relates to the THEME. <ul><li>The theme cannot be defined in one word or with one simple sentence. For example; the theme is love, nature, loyalty, everyone should be happy….. </li></ul><ul><li>A theme can’t be defined in words or with phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>The theme must be expressed in a well constructed sentence. It should express a general idea or a life philosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: One must make time to break away the routine daily life to communicate with the other members of the society. </li></ul>
  37. 37. 6. POINT OF VIEW <ul><li>*Also FOCUS: It is the position of the author from which he is telling the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Different ways of Telling Story: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Subjective Narrative Position ( 1st person’s point of view) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Anonymous Narrative Position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( objective ) </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. A. Subjective Narrative Position: (1st person’s point of view) <ul><li>T he writer refers himself as “ I ”. There are different variations of subjective narrative position. The narrator may be a major character, minor character, the protagonist, an observer etc. </li></ul><ul><li>In subjective narrative position, the feelings and thoughts of the writer are involved in the story. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Kinds of Subjective Narrative Position : <ul><li>1.Interior Monologue : Through the all story he thinks in his mind.No actual speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Two kinds: a.Direct Interior Monologue </li></ul><ul><li>b.Indirect Interior Monologue </li></ul><ul><li>a.Direct: There seems to be no central character.The reader seems to have a secret knowledge.We become aware of everything by deducing information from the thoughts of the characters.Another name of this direct method is stream of consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>In ‘’ Direct One ‘’ we feel as if we were the one who is thinking and feeling , eveything is happenning in the mind of the character. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Subjective Narrative Position: 1)Interior monologue <ul><li>b.Indirect: The writer states the central character to present specific details in a rational manner and comment on the general situation.Namely; we see the actions happening in the mind of the character.In this form of interior monologoue there is an AGENT between us and the mind of the character. </li></ul><ul><li>In ‘’Indirect One’’ we have Action. One of the characters in the story begins to think all of sudden and comments on the action in his mind </li></ul>
  41. 41. Subjective Narrative Position: 2.Dramatic Monologue : <ul><li>Here the characters actually SPEAKS & ACTS. It is more common in poetry and fiction.There is a central character who is actually talking to the Author(not to the readers) It is effective and can produce a sense of irony. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Subjective Narrative Position: <ul><li>3.Narrator as Participant : Narrator actually takes part in the story.Namely,he is one of the characters in the story.There is no rule that the story should take place in the past,presen or at the time when narrator is telling the story. </li></ul><ul><li>The most effective form of narrator as participant is when the narrator takes part as an ADULT ,because he describes events with an adult’s eyes.Example ,an adult narratin his / her childhood.This is a subjective view of the character/ writer. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Subjective Narrative Position: <ul><li>4.Narrator as Observer : The writer does not take part in the story usually outside the events.(observing from the outside)It can be minor character and can be relatively objective as he isn’t taking place in the action.For example: a journalist </li></ul><ul><li>In this position, we read about the observations of the writer (observer) like a first hand report.Sometimes the narrator might be the confident of the character or a neighbour of the major character and only tells the readers his observations </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes Narrator(observer) may find himself inthe middle of the action (like the nurse in Romeo & Juliet). Namely; he may be outside the events but from the height of tension he may find himself in the middle of the action </li></ul>
  44. 44. Subjective Narrative Position: <ul><li>5.Simple or Untrustworthy Narrator : The narrator is a simple person and he / she knows or understands the whole action wrong so, narrates the whole story wrongly. This kind of narrator can be simple minded neighbour or a child so we cannot rely on what he/she is telling us. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the narrator might be lying to us because of this reason the readers must take care of the story and must read it very carefully so as to understand it truly.This draws the attention of the reader to the action as it requires an active reading. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Subjective Narrative Position: <ul><li>6.Narrator as a Diariest or Letter Writer : The writer tells the story by writing a diary or in the form of letters. </li></ul><ul><li>Eveything is all written. </li></ul><ul><li>The writer is an observer & the writer tells everything from his point of view.Another name of this tecnique is epistolary. For example Richardson’s Pamela. </li></ul>
  46. 46. B.Anonymous (Objective) Narrative Position : <ul><li>It is the 3 rd person’s point of view. </li></ul><ul><li>The writer is anonymous, we don’t know who is telling the story. </li></ul><ul><li>This kind of narrator also can take place in different positions: </li></ul>
  47. 47. Kinds of Anonymous Narrative Position <ul><li>1.Omniscent Narrative Position : If the writer appears as an omnicient narrator,he is outside the story and knows & sees everything. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a.Single Character Limited Omniscience: The writer knows about the heart and mind of only ONE PERSON(either major or a minor character from the story) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b.Dual Character Limited Omniscience: The writer knows about the heart and mind of only TWO PEOPLE. and usually (protagonist & antoganist) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>c.Multi Character Omniscience : The writer knows about the heart and mind of ALL THE CHARACTERS in the story.(this style is very popular in the 19 th century) The author is a godlike person </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. Kinds of Anonymous Narrative Position <ul><li>2.Dramatic Narrative Position : </li></ul><ul><li>It is the 3 rd person’s objective point of view,very popular today.The suspense is created in the mind of the readers.’’what will happen next” is the permanent question that the readers have in their minds.There is no comment, no mind reading (almost like a movie camera) </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as “A fly on the wall.” </li></ul>