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56 terms

Elements of Prose Literature

STUDY
PLAY
plot
a series of events in a narrative that is carefully constructed by the author for artistic purpose; a series of related incidents that build upon one another as the story develops, meant to entertain the reader
simple narrative account
just a chronological description of real events. Its purpose is to tell what happened
plotless short story
a very modern creation that is pleasurable to read as it describes characters in a situation, but does not employ the development or resolution of a conflict.
in medias res
the story is opened in the middle of the action and then information about the beginning of the action is supplied to the reader through flashbacks and other devices for exposition.
frame story
a story within which another story or stories can be told
framed story
the story within another story
typical plot structure order
1. exposition
2. conflict & complications
3. technical climax
4. resolution
5. conclusion
exposition
background information on the characters, setting and other events necessary for understanding the story are given and the conflict is often introduced
rising action
the conflict is developed with complications, suspense (anticipation as to the outcome of events) is created, and foreshadowing (hints at later events) may be used
conflict
the interplay between opposing elements; the plot of a story is produced by and propelled
internal conflict
protagonist vs. self
external conflict
protagonist vs. others (struggles with people or society)
protagonist vs. environment (external struggle with nature)
technical climax
the turning point in the plot at which the outcome of the action is determined; often, the protagonist changes or has an opportunity to change at this point; after this point, the conflict begins to come to an end
dramatic climax
point of greatest interest or intensity of the story. This is subjective.
resolution
the events following the technical climax in which the outcome is actually worked out; works out the decision that was arrived at during the technical climax
resolves the conflict
conclusion
the final event of a story's plot
reversal
temporary change of direction
setting
the represented time and place of events in a literary work
the four functions of setting
1. to help understand the characters and their actions
2. to help create mood and atmosphere
3. to facilitate plot development by being involved in the conflict
4. pathetic fallacy
pathetic fallacy
a technique using the setting, or nature, to parallel or mirror the mood of a character or of the story
character
a fictional personality created by an author
characterization
the technique a writer uses to create and reveal characters in a work of fiction; credibility and consistency are essential
two methods of characterization
1. expository
2. dramatic
expository characterization
telling the reader about a character's personality in a straightforward manner; this method is quicker and more direct
dramatic characterization
showing the reader what a character is like through descriptions of thought, dialogue, action, etc.; this method is less quick, more indirect, but often more interesting
motivation
the reasons that cause characters to act the way they do
protagonist
the central character in a work of fiction; the character who sets the action of the plot in motion
antagonist
the principal opponent of the main character; the person or thing working against the protagonist
round character
a character who is well described and whose thoughts and actions are clearly revealed during the development of the story
flat character
a character who is not well developed in a story
dynamic character
a character who grows, learns or changes in some significant way throughout the story; a character is different at the end of the story than at the beginning
static character
a character who resists change or refuses to change during the story
foil character
a character who contrasts in some important way with a more important character; a character who, through contrast, underscores the distinctive characteristics of another
consistent character
a character whose speech, thoughts and actions are what the reader has been lead to expect from that particular character
stock character
a type of character that is always found in abundance in a particular type of story
stereotyped character
a character created according to widely held, often narrow-minded, ideas; this character has no individuality and is not well developed
point of view
(perspective) the physical and psychological relationship between the narrator (the teller of the story) and the story's characters and events
four types of point of view
1. first person
2. third-person objective
3. third-person limited omniscient
4. third person omniscient
first-person
the narrator is a character in the story. Narrator ≠ protang. "I"
third-person objective
the narrator is not a character in the story and reports only what can be seen and heard. "fly on the wall"
third-person limited omniscient
the narrator is not a character in the story and reports not only what can be seen and heard, but also the thoughts and feelings of one of the characters "he/she"
third-person omniscient
the narrator is not a character in the story and reports not only what can be seen and heard, but also the thoughts and feelings of all of the important characters "he/she"
theme
a controlling idea or message of a literary work that is a general truth or commentary about life, people and the world that is brought out in a story
three guidelines to stating a theme
1. must be a complete declarative sentence
2. must be a general truth about life
3. must be clearly brought out throughout the entire work, not just part of it
atmosphere
describes the general feeling of the story itself, usually established by the setting's description
mood
describes the reader's state of mind after she finishes the story (deals with readers' emotions)
style
the distinctive handling of language by a writer through the purposeful selection of words (diction ) and sentence structure (syntax )
diction
refers to a writer's word choice
syntax
refers to the arrangement--the ordering, grouping, and placement--of words within a phrase, clause, or sentence
tone
the author or speaker's attitude toward the characters, events or audience conveyed by details and descriptive words used by the author
symbolism
the use of something concrete to represent something abstract; using an object in the story to represent an idea, concept, quality or condition
irony
contrast between the way things truly are and the way they appear to be
three types of irony
1. verbal irony
2. dramatic irony
3. situational irony
verbal irony
a discrepancy between the literal meaning of a word and the meaning actually conveyed; saying one thing but meaning another
dramatic irony
a discrepancy between knowledge held by a reader and a character's ignorance of that knowledge; when the reader knows something a character doesn't
situational irony
a discrepancy between the expected outcome of a situation and the actual outcome; a twist in the plot