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Short Story Unit Introduction Notes Allegory the entire piece of literature has a deeper symbolic meaning (story can be read on more than one level) Style the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Short%20Story%20Unit

  • Short Story Unit
  • Introduction Notes

I. What is a Short Story?
  1. Prose fiction (ordinary language)
  2. 7,000 10,000 words
  3. Can be read in one sitting

II. Why is the short story important?
  1. It is a distinct art form, a genre.
  2. Every word counts. The author carefully selects
    every word and action.
  3. It is a form of literature cultivated by American
  4. It is ideal for high school study because it is

III. Characteristics of the short story
  1. Can be read in one sitting
  2. Relates to the author in some way
  3. Relates to real life
  4. Leaves the reader with a main idea
  5. Has no more than 6 characters
  6. Every detail is important

IV. Background Information
  1. Originated in the United States
  2. Established in the mid-19th century (1850s)
  3. Edgar Allen Poe is considered the Father of the
    Short Story

V. Differences between
  • Short Story
  • Simple plot
  • Single emotion
  • Covers short time span
  • Few characters
  • Novel
  • Complex plot
  • Many emotions
  • Covers many years
  • Many characters

VI. Purpose of the title
  1. Sets the mood (The Most Dangerous Game)
  2. Arouses interest
  3. Suggests the setting
  4. Names the main character
  5. Names an important object (The Necklace)
  6. Suggests the type of story (use of words such as
    mystery or adventure)

What are the elements of the short story?
  1. Setting (shown in the exposition)
  2. Characterization
  3. Plot
  4. Conflict
  5. Theme
  6. Point of View

VIII. Setting
  • When and Where the story takes place
  • Establishes the atmosphere of the story
  • What are the requirements of Setting?
  • Time
  • Place
  • General environment
  • Mood and Tone

Characterization Methods used by the author to
let the reader get to know the characters.
  1. Direct method of characterization the author
    directly tells the reader something about the
    character (She is kind.)
  2. Indirect Method of characterization the reader
    draws a conclusion about the character based on

  • Characters name
  • Characters appearance (how he/she looks, clothes
    worn, etc.)
  • What the character says
  • What the character thinks and feels
  • What the character does
  • What other people think of the character
  • How animals react to the character (animal

  • Usual characteristics of characters in the short
  • Must have believable traits
  • Stereotypical or stock characters are classified
    by certain characteristics which everyone in a
    certain group has or is assumed to have

  • Types of Characters
  • Protagonist the main character who is trying to
    achieve a goal
  • Antagonist the character who antagonizes, who
    causes problems in the story the antagonist may
    be an obstacle rather than a person at times

  • Flat Character character with only one trait,
    one-sided, no depth
  • Round Character a complex character,
    many-sided, realistic, more traits are given or
    observed in this type of character

  • Static character does not change during the
    story (in personality, maturity, beliefs, etc.)
  • Dynamic character changes, usually for the
    better, due to events in the story

  1. Foil This character serves as a contrast for
    another character, often the characteristics of
    the foils appear exaggerated because of the
    stark contrast. (Tybalt and Benvolio in Romeo and
  2. Stereo Types athlete, bully, lawyer, etc

X. Plot The plan of action for the story, the
sequence of events
  • Exposition the beginning situation, introduces
    setting and characters
  • Author may choose to jump right into the story.

  • The beginning situation may set the mood with
  • The story may begin with an emotional statement.
  • The story may begin with dialogue.

  • Rising Action complications, problems,
    conflicts in the story beginning
  • Internal Conflict Man vs. Himself (conscience)

  • 2. External Conflict
  • Man vs. Man
  • Man vs. Nature
  • Man vs. Society
  • Man vs. Fate

  1. Turning Point the fate of the main character is
    sealed events of the plot begin to move toward
    an ending the point when the story changes
  2. Climax the highest emotional tension in the
    story the outcome of the story is clear at this
  3. Falling Action bringing the story to a close

  • Denouement (resolution) conclusion of the
    story, working out of the final details.
  • Turning Point/Climax
  • Rising Action Falling Action
  • Exposition

The plan of action for the story, the sequence of
events consisting of
Turning Point / Climax
Rising Action
Falling Action
Inciting Incident
XI. Theme The main idea of the story the idea
the author wants to put across to the reader
  1. Theme may be the authors commentary on life.

  • B. The theme must be
  • Specific
  • Universal, applies to anyone (Romeo and Juliet
    theme of love and devotion)
  • Important to the story
  • Provide unity to the story
  • Presents the reader with a new awareness of life

XII. Point of View Who is telling the story,
from whose perspective
  1. First Person story is told by a character in
    the story uses I, narrator knows only his own
    thoughts and feelings and what he sees.

  • B. First Person Detached story is told by a
    narrator who is reflecting on something that
    happened in the past narrator has had time to
    reflect back on the event

  • C. Third Person Objective told as a reporter,
    eye of the camera point of view, narrator only
    reports on what he sees, no thoughts or feelings
    of characters revealed

  1. Third Person Omniscient God-like narrator
    knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters
    and sees all that happens.

  • E. Third Person Limited Omniscient God-like
    narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of only
    one character, usually the main character.

XIII. Additional Important Terms
  • Tone the authors attitude about the story

  • B. Mood the feeling the reader gets from the
  • C. Foreshadowing the author hints at events to
    come later in the story

  • D. Flashback the author takes time to tell
    events that occurred in the past
  • E. Symbolism a concrete object stands for an
    abstract idea (something represents something
    other than itself. EX the U.S. Flag)

  1. Allegory the entire piece of literature has a
    deeper symbolic meaning (story can be read on
    more than one level)
  2. Style the way the author uses language in his

  • Diction vocabulary, word choice, narration,
    dialogue, or dialect.
  • Types of sentences length, type (simple,
    complex, etc.), punctuation
  • Use of figurative language
  • Use of literary devices

  • What is figurative language?
  • Poetic language
  • Simile comparison using like or as
  • Metaphor a direct comparison saying one thing
    is another
  • Personification giving an inanimate
    (non-living) object human qualities

  • Sound Devices
  • Onomatopoeia the pronunciation of the word
    sounds like the sound the word makes (ex. Buzz,
    click, pop)
  • Alliteration the same sound starts a series of
    words or syllables

  • What are literary devices?
  • Flashback and foreshadowing
  • Symbolism and allegory
  • Inference and indirect description reader must
    draw conclusions based on clues given by the
  • Satire a literary work that mocks (makes fun
    of) the stupidity or vices of individuals,
    groups, or society in general

  • 5. Irony a contrast, contradiction
  • a. Verbal irony what is said is opposite to
    what one would expect or what is said is the
    opposite to what is intended

  • b. Situational irony what happens is the
    opposite to what one would expect or when one
    does not get what he deserves, or when one acts
    differently from what is expected.
  • c. Dramatic irony the reader knows things the
    characters do not.

Extra Information
  • Add these definitions
  • Connotation the positive or negative
    association you make with a word
  • Epiphany-a character undergoes a transformation
    once he comes to a certain realization about
    himself or life