An Intriduction to Literature


Terms in this set (...)

Five Principal Genres of Literature
Short Story
For the purpose of analysis, we break the short story into five parts:
Definition of Plot
the planned
sequence of events
providing the frame-work
for the resolution
of opposing forces.
Plot Planned:
arrangement and selection are the keys to creativity. There must be order to the parts.
one thing leads to another "because of"; one thing is caused by another element in the events
Sequence of Events:
a beginning, a middle, and an end
a basic structure
achieving harmony and ending conflict
Opposing forces:
actions, ideas or characters that conflict with other actions, ideas or characters
Parts of Plot... what it looks like
A diagram of a standard plot looks like this:
1. Exposition presents essential background information,
often describes setting, and presents the major characters.
2. Inciting force/ generating circumstance
sets the plot in motion, creates central conflict or struggle that work is about.
3. Rising Action or complication
includes the events that happenbetween inciting force and climax.
4. Climax
is the moment of highest suspense or turning point of story.
5. Falling Action
is the part in which conflict begins to move to a resolution.
6. Denouement or Resolution
is the point at which the conflict is resolved and the work is ended.
a hint or clue about what will happen later
interrupts action to tell about an earlier event and to give information
Surprise ending
unexpected turn of events at end; the twist
a feeling of growing excitement by the reader
Character Struggling Against Another Character:
This is the most obvious form of conflict, when a character in a book struggles with another character in the book. This can be in the form of arguments, conflicting desires, opposing goals, physical confrontations or emotional dilemmas. Think of an example from Lightning Thief or Sea of Monsters.
Character Struggling Internally With Self:
Sometimes conflict is internal. When a character struggles with moral dilemmas, emotional challenges or desires he or she deems unsavory, the conflict is with the character's own soul or conscience. The character has to weigh the possibilities and then make a decision. His or her decision usually creates some kind of turning point in the character's life.
Character Struggling Against Forces of Nature:
Sometimes all the characters in the book are the good guys and the conflict in the book is between all the people and forces of nature that are out of the characters' control. Examples include fires, storms, blizzards, or people pitted against viruses that rage out of control, wiping out large portions of the population.
Character Struggling Against Fantasy/Supernatural/Technology:
This type of conflict is usually found in specific genres of literary style, such as fantasy, science fiction, horror and supernatural books. When the character comes up against poltergeists, robots, aliens, divine forces or supernatural villains, the main character must call upon his or her strength to defeat the fantastic enemy confronting him or her.
Character Struggling Against Society:
When the character is repressed by society and not by a specific character, the conflict takes place between that character and society or with a group within the society . One example of conflict between society and the main character is Frankenstein, in which the monster has no respite from the judgment and horror expressed by all of society, leaving him loveless and despondent.
is the complete nature of the imaginary person as he is revealed to the reader by the narrator.
is the main character who will experience the most change in the story.
is the character or force that opposes the protagonist.
is a character whose purpose is to highlight the protagonist.
Direct Exposition:
author tells reader what character is like
reader sees character doing things & figures out what character is like
reader hears character speaking, hears character spoken to or spoken about and figures out what character is like
Revelations of Minds and Thoughts:
author tells reader what character is thinking & reader figures out what the character is thinking as well as what he is saying and doing
A narrator
is the person telling the story can be a fictional character within the story. can be an invisible person making comments on the characters and events from outside of the story.
First Person or Participant Point of View:
narrator is a character in the story; identified by use of first person pronouns. Narrator can be major or minor character.
Third Person or Non-Participant Point of View:
narrator tells story as a non-participant in the story. This is a limited point of view and is characterized by third person pronouns.
Omniscient Point of View:
a non-participant view in which narrator knows all and can enter the minds of all the characters
Limited Omniscient:
author limits narrator's omniscience to the mind of one character of just a few characters
Stream of Consciousness Point of View:
a narrative method in modern in which author tells story through unbroken flow of thoughts and awareness. It attempts to capture what is going on in the mind of the character.
the physical and sometimes spiritual background against which the action of the narrative takes place.
Place and Description:
geography, topography, scenery, physical arrangement, etc.
Occupation and Daily Manner of Life:
jobs, socio-economic class, general morality, complexity of life, etc.
when and how long
General Environment:
religious, mental, moral, emotional, social conditions which the characters experience
Uses of Setting
To make action seem real and believable To teach about other cultures or ways of life To create a mood or atmosphere To be a source of conflict To symbolize