What is a Short Story?A short story is a work offictional narrative prose with afew characters, limited setting,and a single major event.A short story is meant to beread in a single sitting.
What are its elements?1. Characters – are thepeople, animals, strangecreatures or objects thatthink, talk and act.
Types of Charactersa. Protagonist – one who undergoes achange or learns something duringthe course of the story-the one who takes the leading partb. Antagonist – the who contends withthe protagonist
2. Setting – provides thelocale (place) and period(time) of the short story-it may be real or a makebelieve place and time
3. Plot – is the series ofevents which leads to aclimax, or high point ofinterest
Parts of a Plota. Exposition – the characters andsetting are introduces, as is theconflict – the struggle between acharacter and some other force.a.1 Types of Conflict Man vs Man (could be a specific person or society ingeneral) Man vs Nature (could be weather conditions oranimals) Man vs Himself (could involve personal lifecircumstances or psychological issues)
b. Rising Action – during this time thetension builds as the conflict becomesmore evidentc. Climax – this is the highest point ofinterest in the story-It involves important discovery ordecision. During this time, one of thebattling forces wins and the conflict isresolved
d. Falling Action – the event thatimmediately follows the climax-During this part, the story draws to aclosee. Resolution – the part of the story inwhich loose ends are tied up
ExpositionClimaxResolutionLeah’sparents goaway,leaving Leahalone at theirhome for thefirst time.Leah watcheshorror movies.She wakesup, alarmed atthe noise. Shedecides tocheck thebasementdoor. Shegets locked inthe basement.Leah’s parents arrive homejust as Leah panics.Leahexplains toher parentswhy shewas in thebasement. Leah realizesthat shelearned animportantlesson aboutherself.
Kinds of Plota. Man in a Hole – considered as theoldest and most popular kind of plot.This story begins with a character or agroup of persons trapped in some kindof a hole or problem. The story goeson to show how the charactersmanage to get out of theirpredicament.
b. Man on the Road – some shortstories achieve their unifying effectthrough a single character journeyingthrough life, encountering variousstages of adventure and growth-This type of plot tends to be episodic butbecause all events happened to thesame person, unity is established.
c. Man in a Tub – this type of plotinvolves two important factors. First,there must be an unstructured andusually, an ordinary event. Then,second, a realization or insight fromthe experience of such event.
4. Theme – is a general truth about life-This is considered as the message ofthe story to the readersEx: Greed brings one’s downfall.
5. Point of View – is the way inwhich the story is narrated. It isthe method, the vantage point,that writers use to tell the story.
Types of Point of Viewa. First Person – the narrator, using theword “I” tells the story andparticipates in it.Ex: I turned back to my bucket andsponge, and I could feel the tearsburning in my eyes. I wanted somuch to go to the ball but mystepsisters would not hear of it.
b. Limited third person – the narrator,who is not in the story, tells the storythrough the use of “she” or “he”. Thenarrator cannot see into the minds ofthe characters.Ex: Tears in her eyes, Cinderella turnedback to her bucket and sponge. Shejumped when the door to the roomslammed behind her as herstepsisters left for the ball.
c. Omniscient third person – the narrator,who is not in the story tells the storythrough the use of “she” or “he.” Thenarrator can see into the minds of thecharacters and tell their thoughts.Ex: Hurt and disappointed, Cinderellaturned back to her bucket and sponge.The thought of missing the ball broughttears to her eyes. Cinderella jumpedwhen the door slammed behind her.
Evaluation: Read the short story: How Much LandDoes A Man Need, by Leo Tolstoy Identify the elements of the short story