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Literary Elements


Literary Elements There must be certain literary elements present in a work of fiction. Without these key elements, the story could not function properly. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Literary Elements

Literary Elements
There must be certain literary elements present
in a work of fiction. Without these key
elements, the story could not function properly.
What do you think these basic elements of a work
of fiction are?
  • A. Plot is the sequence of events which
    involves the characters in conflict.

  • Narrative order is the sequence of events.
  • Chronologicalthe most common type of narrative
    order in childrens books. The events are told
    in the order they happen.
  • Flashbackoccurs when the author narrates an
    event that took place before the current time of
    the story. The opposite is a flash forward.
    Provides important background information.
  • Time Lapseoccurs when the story skips a period
    of time that seems unusual compared to the rest
    of the plot.

  • Conflictthe struggle between the protagonist and
    some opposing force. There are several types of
  • Internal Conflict (character vs. self)occurs
    when the protagonist struggles within himself or
  • ie a struggle between doing what you want and
    doing what is right.

  • Types of conflict (continued)
  • Interpersonal Conflict (character vs.
    character)occurs when the protagonist is against
    another character .
  • ie a character is competing against his rival in
    the last track meet of the season.

  • Types of conflict (continued)
  • Character vs. Societyoccurs when the protagonist
    is in conflict with the values of his or her
  • ie I want to wear a white skirt, but it is after
    labor day.
  • ie You want to dye your hair neon green, but it
    violates the dress code.

  • Types of conflict (continued)
  • Character vs. Natureoccurs when the protagonist
    is threatened by an element of nature.
  • ie a character is caught in a rip tide.
  • ie a character is lost in the woods and is
    struggling to make her way through the thick
    brush and pitch black night.

  • Types of conflict (continued)
  • Character vs. Supernaturaloccurs when the
    protagonist is in conflict with any force outside
    of human control, such as fate, religious God(s),
    ghosts, monsters, etc.
  • ie a character is born with a chronic illness.
  • Ie Dracula wants to suck your blood!

  • Types of conflict (continued)
  • Character vs. Technologyoccurs when the
    protagonist is in conflict with human created
  • ie a character is being attacked by a robot.
  • ie a character is taking a test and her pencil
  • If a character is shot by another character, it
    is still character vs. character conflict even
    though the gun is human created technology. The
    other character pulled the trigger causing the
    death. If the trigger was stuck, preventing the
    character from shooting the gun, then it is
    character vs. technology.

  • Plot Line
  • Expositionsets the stage for the story.
  • Describes the setting
  • Provides the situation and condition of the
  • May introduce the problem
  • Inciting Incident is the event that starts the
  • Narrative Hook is how the writer grabs the
    readers attention and bring them into the story.
    This can fall on different places on the plot
    diagram due to reader interpretation.

  • Plot Line
  • Rising Actionincludes all action leading to the
    climax and builds interest and suspense.
    Characters are developed, events become more
    involved this is a significant portion of the
  • Climax/Turning Pointis the point of greatest
    emotional intensity or interest. This is also
    the point at which the most significant change
    occurs. This is a key moment where readers have a
    good idea of what the outcome will be.

  • Plot Line
  • Anticlimaxis when the climax is a let down
    because it is often less exciting than the
    previous events and is often unbelievable to the
    story. (anticlimacticadj.)
  • Falling Actionleads away from the climax and may
    provide any necessary explanations after the most
    significant change.

  • Plot Line
  • Resolution or Denouementis where everything
    comes together and the outcome of the main
    conflict is revealed. Types of endings include
  • Closed Endingreaders feel that they know what
    will happen there is a sense of completion.
  • Open Endingreaders must draw their own
    conclusions they do not know what will happen.
  • Cliffhangeran abrupt ending at an exciting and
    often dangerous time in the plot usually at the
    end of a book that is part of a series.

  • Plot Line

Climax / Turning Point
Falling Action
Rising Action
Inciting Incident
  • Other Elements of Plot
  • Suspensea state of tension or uncertainty an
    emotional pull that keeps the reader reading.
  • 4 ways in which the writer develops suspense
  • author drops hints or clues about future events
    or the final outcome
  • author adds more and more complications to the
  • author develops the characters in such a way that
    makes the reader care about them and wonder what
    their future holds.
  • author delays an event the reader knows is
    coming slows the action to a crawl.

  • Other Elements of Plot
  • Foreshadowinghints about what will happen later
    in the story.
  • Coincidencesomething which happens by chance
    easily confused with irony.

  1. Setting includes the time and place in which the
    story takes place.

  • There are two main types of setting
  • Integral Settingessential to the plot
    influences action, character, or theme.
  • Integral Setting is important for 5 main
  • provides necessary background information
  • can be used to create the mood
  • can become a principal force that threatens
    characters it creates conflict
  • can be used to advance the plot
  • can be used to illuminate a character

  • There are two types of setting (continued)
  • Backdrop Settingrelatively unimportant to the

  • A. Character can be revealed through the
    characters actions, speech and appearance or by
    the comments of the author and/or other

  • Types of Characters
  • Protagonistmain character in the plots conflict
    (usually the character the reader identifies
  • Antagonistthe person or force in conflict with
    or working against the main character.
  • Character Foilcharacter whose traits are in
    direct contrast to another character and therefor
    highlights or emphasizes the traits of the former.

  • Character Development
  • Flata character who is one-sided and often
  • Roundfully developed character who exhibits many
    traits. We know the character well.

  • Change in Character
  • Statica character who remains the same, or
    changes very little.
  • Dynamica character who experiences a significant
    change as a result of what happens in the story.

  • Combinations
  • Round Dynamicthis is the best type of
    character development usually the protagonist.
  • Round Staticthe development is considered
    well-done often found in protagonists of
    childrens books.

  • Combinations (continued)
  • Flat Staticthis development is appropriate for
    minor characters.
  • Flat Dynamicthis is NOT a possible combination
    because we do not know enough about a flat
    character to notice or recognize a change.

  • Characterization
  • Direct Characterizationwhen the author goes
    right out and tells the reader about a
    characters personality, attitude or feelings.
  • This occurs in the narration of 3rd person point
    of view limited omniscient and omniscient.
  • As Rachel walked down the hall, she passed Anne
    who had a reputation for being bossy and

  • Characterization (continued)
  • Indirect Characterizationthe author reveals a
    characters personality, attitude or feelings
    through one of five methods.
  • Speech
  • Anne said, Look, you can either do it my way or
  • Through Annes speech, we can conclude that she
    is bossy.

  • Characterization (continued)
  • Indirect Characterization
  • Actions
  • While the group was working on the project, Anne
    continuously checked to make sure everyone was
    completing their assigned task in the manner she
    had instructed. This act was usually accompanied
    by the other group members rolling their eyes.
  • Through Annes actions, we can conclude that she
    is controlling. Through the group members
    rolling of the eyes, we can conclude that they
    are annoyed.

  • Characterization (continued)
  • Indirect Characterization
  • Thoughts
  • Exasperated by the slow progress, Anne thought,
    Holy Guacamole! These idiots cant follow
    simple directions. What more can I do to explain
  • Through Annes thoughts, we can conclude that she
    is irritated, demeaning, and self-important.

  • Characterization (continued)
  • Indirect Characterization
  • Physical Appearance
  • I glanced at Anne as she passed me in the hall.
    As usual, she was wearing a freshly ironed,
    brilliant white button-down shirt with a pair of
    pants, free of any wrinkles despite the fifteen
    minute bus ride to school.
  • Through Annes appearance, we can conclude that
    she is meticulous, tidy, clean, and routine.

  • Characterization (continued)
  • Indirect Characterization
  • Other Characters Opinions
  • When I first met Anne, I thought she was perfect,
    but over the years, Ive realized that she is
    arrogant, rude, and insensitive.
  • Through the 1st person point of view, we get the
    narrators opinion of Anne.

Point of View
  • A. Point of view depends upon who the narrator
    is and how much he or she knows.

  • There are three points of view
  • First Personthe narrator is a character in the
    story, using the pronoun I. This narrator is
    easy to identify with because it makes the reader
    feel as though he/she is in the story.
  • Second Personthe author speaks directly to the
    reader using you. (very seldom used)
  • Third Personthe narrator is not in the story and
    uses pronouns "he, she, or it

  • There are three third person points of view.
  • 3rd Limitedreaders are given the thoughts and
    feelings of only one character.
  • 3rd Omniscientthis all knowing narrator knows
    everything about the characters and their
    problems, including their thoughts and feelings.
    Typically, this narrator does not share all
    characters thoughts and feelings, especially
    minor characters, because this would be
    overwhelming for the reader.
  • 3rd Dramatic or Objectivewe are told only what
    happens and what is said. The narrator shares
    events like a newspaper reporter without opinion.

  1. Style is the language used in a book the way
    the words are put together to create a story.

  • Types of Style
  • Standard Written Stylemore formal than most
    speech, such as avoiding contractions, slang,
  • Hello, my name is Kathryn.
  • Conversational Stylethe language is more
    informal is written to mirror the way people
    actually talk.
  • Hi, Im Katy.
  • Eye Dialectwords are spelled the way they sound
    and is sometimes hard to read.
  • Hey yall, you ken call me Kate.

  • Devices of Style
  • Toneshows the authors attitude toward the
    subject, character, and events.
  • The authors attitude is conveyed through
    language and rhythm.
  • The attitude that you (the reader) get from the
    authors words.
  • Tone can be described as humorous, critical,
    sarcastic, straight-forward, non-judgmental, etc.

  • Devices of Style
  • Moodthe climate or feeling in a literary work.
  • Setting, objects, details, images, and words
    contribute to the mood.
  • ie the setting and objects are mysterious, and
    the language of the character is odd and vague.
  • The dilapidated house loomed ominously at the
    end of the overgrown yard. I had heard stories
    about the woman who lived here many believed her
    to be a witch. I still had twenty more raffle
    tickets to sell, so taking a deep breath to calm
    my nerves, I hesitantly knocked on the door,
    hoping that no one was home.

  • Devices of Style
  • Imageryit is an appeal to the sensestaste,
    touch, sight, sound, and smell. It paints
    pictures in our minds.
  • Figurative Languageuses words in a non-literal
  • Personificationgives human traits to animals or
    inanimate objects.
  • Similea direct comparison of two seemingly
    unlike things using the words like, as, or
  • Metaphoran implied comparison stating the
    resemblance of two unlike things.

  • Devices of Style
  • Hyperboledeliberate and obvious exaggeration
    used for effect, e.g. "I could eat a million of
  • Idiomsa word or phrase which means something
    different from what it says - it is usually a
    metaphor. Idioms are common phrases or terms,
    whose meaning is not real, but can be understood
    by their popular use, e.g. Dont bark up the
    wrong tree, Its raining cats and dogs, You
    threw me under the bus!

  • Devices of Style
  • Allusionan indirect reference to something
    outside the current literary work.
  • He was a real Hercules.
  • Symbola person, object, situation, or action
    that stands for something in addition to itself.
  • A dove is an actual bird, but it is also a symbol
    for peace.

  • Devices of Style
  • Ironycontrasts what is expected with what
    actually happens
  • Verbal Ironysarcasm or the opposite of what is
    really meant go play in traffic! or sure, I
    would love to clean the house.
  • Dramatic Ironythe reader knows what is
    happening, but the characters do not . (think of
    scary movies)
  • Situational Ironythe unexpected twist when the
    opposite of what is logically expected to happen
    actually occurs (not necessarily a plot twist,
    but any event occurring on the plot line).

  • The authors underlying message about life or
    human nature.

  • What theme is not
  • Theme is not the subjectthe subject can related
    in one word, ie love, war, friendship, etc.
  • Theme is not the plot.
  • Theme is not the summary of the story.
  • Theme is not the moral of the story which tells a
    moral imperativesomething readers should or
    should not do, usually illustrated with

  • Theme is what readers learn about the subject
  • Friendship is often hard to sustain.
  • All people have both good and bad qualities.
  • Evil exists in many forms and is often mistaken
    for something else entirely.
  • Theme can be interpreted in different ways by
    different readers.
  • When determining theme, it is necessary to find
    details/text evidence to support it.