Elements of a Short Story

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This will help people study for the ESS test.

Point of View

the perspective from which a story is told

3rd person omnicient

the pronouns "he", "she", and "they" are used, the narrator knows everything about every character.

3rd person limited omnicient

the pronouns "he", "she", and "they" are used, narrator does not know more than the characters do.

1st person

the pronouns "I", "us", and "we" are used

Character

a person in a story.

Major characters

persons or agents taking part in the conflict of a story.

Minor characters

persons or agents NOT taking part in the conflict of a story.

Direct Presentation

the author tells you what they are like

Indirect Presentation

the author lets the reader come up with their own assumptions about the character.

Characterization

the way of showing what a character is like; the way that a person looks, talks, acts, or thinks

Protagonist

the central character in a story (hero of a story faced with a conflict)

Antagonist

the villain of the story who causes the conflict

Dynamic/Round

a character who changes in personality or attitude, whether for the good or for the bad

Flat/Static

A character who remains the same throughout history

Stock

Stereo typed characters who have occurred so often in fiction that their nature is immediately known (example: mad scientist, prince charming)

Setting

the time and place in which the events of the story take place

Specific Setting

Example: Charlotte's Web - barn and pens, 8:16

General Setting

Example: Charlotte's Web - farm, 1970

Mood

the overall feeling of a story created by the authors choice of words

Symbol

an image, object, or action that stands for an idea beyond its literal meaning

Imagery

the use of selected details to describe one thing in terms of another.

Theme

a story's point, its key idea that the issue is about. The universal truth or idea.

Foreshadowing

hints about an outcome are given to the readers

Simile

two unlike things compared with "like" or "as"

Metaphor

two unlike things compared without "like" or "as" (example: the field was an endless sea of green)

Plot

the sequence of incidents or events of which a story is composed

Conflict

A clash of actions, ideas, or goals in the plot of a story

Man vs. Man

the conflict is b/w the main character and some other person

Man vs. Nature

the conflict is b/w the main character and physical nature, society, or fate

Man vs. Himself

conflict is between the protagonist and some destructive element in his or her own nature

Climax

the turning point or high point of a story

Denouement

That portion of a plot that reveals the final outcome of its conflicts or the solution of its mysteries

Resolution

denouement

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