44 terms

English (fiction exam)


Terms in this set (...)

-the sequence of events and actions, arranged in dramatic order
-no change of time: beginning of event to the end
-could incorporate flashbacks: used to narrate incidents in the past
-might use foreshadowing: hints of future actions in the story
-could manipulate passage of time: slow down, speed up, jump over a period of time
used to narrate incidents in the past
hints of future actions in the story
Medias Res
story begins in the middle of action; reader has to be "caught up", usually by flashbacks
Unified Plot
plot in which action is mostly continuous within a single day
Episodic Plot
plot that stretches over weeks or longer periods: consists of isolated scenes connected by transitional devices
1. provides us with essential information- who, what, when, and where
2. trouble begins, begins, shakes up the stable situation introduced in exposition
May be external, internal, or both
Rising Action
3. begins with the complication; things begin to happen in story. This is the body of the story
4. typically, complication is heightened by conflict between two characters with difference personalities and/or goals.
May also be internal within the protagonist or between the protagonist and another force, such as nature
Moments of Crisis
5. points in a story where a resolution of the complication momentarily seems at hand but disappears. AKA "moment of reversal"
6. central moment of crisis; built up tension is released, when falling action begins
Instead of _________, writers may build to an epiphany: a moment of spiritual insight or revelation
Falling Action
7. suspense is released and story works toward the ending
8. "untying the knot" the story ends
Closed Denouement
all is tied up neatly, explains all unanswered questions
Open Denouement
we are left with some questions
a story's main character
the protagonist's opposing character
Flat Character
little depth of detail, 1 or 2 dimensional, often with one trait
Round Character
much detail, complexity, more than one trait, fleshed out
Stock Character
portrays a stereotype, focus on one commonly accepted trait
Static Character
character that does not change during the story
Dynamic Character
character that changes, grows as the story progresses
Description of a character
the degree of detail can help us understand the author's "intent", can help us "know" a character, guide us and our responses
Speech patterns and mannerisms of characters
may also guide us in how we should feel about, think about characters
Motivation of a character
why he or she behaves a certain way, can be suggested by description and/or speech patterns
Names of characters
can be significant and suggestive, as can the titles of stories
Point of view
refers to question of authority in a work, the narrative voice that "tells the story"
-every story has one, a voice that provides readers with information about and insight into characters and incidents
-may be a character in the story or may come from outside the story
Narrative points of view
almost all are either 1st or 3rd person
-the ability of the 1st person narrator to tell the story accurately is important: the reader must assess if narrator is reliable or unreliable
1st person
-narrator is a participant in the action, may be major or minor character, may be close to the events in time or distant from it
-Unreliable narrator: at times the 1st person narrator relates events in a distorted manner; through naivete, ignorance, impaired mental processes, etc,; we cannot trust what/how he or she relates events
-stories seem more immediate than 3rd person, but they are limited by the fact narrator must be present at all times and must have some knowledge of what is going on
3rd person
narrator is a non-participant in the story, doesn't reveal source, can move from place to place to describe action and report dialogue
Omniscience 3rd person
degree to which narrator can reveal thoughts of characters.
"All Knowing"
ranges from total to limited
Total Omniscience
narrator know all about all characters' lives, pasts, actions, futures, and can access all thoughts of any characters. Not often used by contemporary authors
Limited Omniscience
narrator is limited to the thoughts and perceptions of one character
Editorial/ Authorial intrusion
3rd person narrator comments directly on the actions in the story, may seem to be speaking to a character or to the reader
Dramatic/ Objective
3rd person narrator simply reports dialogue and action, does not go into the characters' minds
The overall meaning the reader derives from the story. the theme of story is connected to what the author is arguing about the world and life, perhaps about human nature, gender roles, economic or political power, and other "big issues" such as these
-the time and place of the story
-specific setting: the precise time and place where action takes place
-the specific setting is often a microcosm that reflects the doings of society at large
-the characteristics of language in a particular story
-includes diction, sentence structure, grammar, etc.
-readers must also pay attention to the prevailing fashions in the period when a work was written. what seems "pretentious" today may not have carried that meaning when it was written
the expressive feeling or emotion developed in a story; related to the style of a story' may give us clues to the author's perspective in a story (sentimental, cynical, ironic, skeptical, etc.)
a detail in a story that means more than literally what it is; can help reveal the significance of actions and things in a story, often point to a larger meaning
Traditional symbol
a concrete thing that, in a particular culture, has shared symbolic meaning other than its literal meaning. often symbols are used to represent abstract ideas
ex: white, red, times of day,
Private symbol
a symbol that an author has made his or her own by repeated use of it in his or her written works