Honors English II Fiction Terms
Terms in this set (50)
work of prose or fiction that is much shorter than a novel (rarely more than forty pages) and focused more tightly on a single event.
(realistic fiction) stories based on actual people or events, and may be set in real towns or cities, or the characters might take part in actual historical events
HOWEVER, the story itself is still a product of the writer's imagination
sequence of interrelated events in a story
events in the order in which they occur (most are presented this way)
-straightforward from beginning to end
-most common structure
events are not arranged in the sequence in which they occur (flashback, digressions that relate what happen before and after central conflict)
secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast and comparison to main plot
-describes hidden impulses behind actions of major characters
occur when an author develops two distinct story lines, with two sets of characters in a single work
-often these separate storylines ultimately join into a single, unified tale (however they don't have to...)
sets the story in motion
-the mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story
-the setting is identified
-the main characters with their positions, circumstances, and relationships to one another are established
early part of the narrative which builds momentum and develops the narrative's major conflict
-the internal conflict is introduced (sometimes called the "narrative hook: this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story
central struggle that moves the plot forward
-clash between 2 opposing characters, forces of emotions
struggle WITHIN a character (man vs. himself - fear, desires, etc.)
struggle with an outside force (fate, nature, society, another person...)
intensification of a conflict within a story
-builds up the conflict
the turning point of the story, the conflict reaches its highest point of tension. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. This event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes.
builds up to an expected climax only to tease a reader with a frustrating non-event
sudden shift that sends the protagonists fortunes from good to bad or bad to good
the events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story
-the main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable
the typing up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story
-the hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point
-always involved in the central conflict
-often changes at the end
Antihero - when the protagonist is actually a villain in the story but we empathize anyway
character or force that comes into conflict with the protagonist
-does not necessarily have to be bad
-may be another character, society, nature, supernatural, internal force, etc.
character who changes over the course of the story
character who stays the same
3-dimensional; has many personality traits
-much like a real person
-reader cares what happens to them
has only one or two personality traits
-can usually be described in one sentence
supporting character whose role in the story is to highlight a major character by presenting a contrast to him/her (the protagonist's exact opposite)
types of characters who have become conventional or stereotypical through repeated use in particular types of stories
-normally one-dimensional, flat characters
an original model of a person, a perfect example, or a prototype upon which others are copied; a universally recognized symbol
to be believable, a character must:
a. They cannot be either ALL good or ALL bad - real people aren't like that
b. Must be consistent (can't act one way one time and entirely different another unless there is a CLEAR reason for change. The reader must be able to understand character motivation.)
author tells us exactly what the character is like
-we don't have to interpret the nature of the character for ourselves
1) We get to know the character right away
2) Saves us time trying to figure them out
1) May not believe/trust the narrator
2) May want to make up our own minds.
writer gives hints what the character is like and we use our own judgment
5 ways to reveal:
-Effect on others
point of view
perspective of characters
Who is telling the story?
How much does the narrator know?
author's word choice
-how a character talks/how an author writes
-different country, different level of intelligence
1st person pov
1) recognizable use of pronoun "I" and sometimes "we"
2) only offers one perspective
3) May be a PARTICIPANT, a character involved in the events, or a NON-PARTICIPANT, an observer/character not actually involved and therefore can resemble 3rd person pov
3rd person limited
1) Author tells story through narrator from the viewpoint of one character. Narrator looks at events through eyes, ears, mind, etc.
2) POV considered closer to real life and may serve to unify the story since all details are seen through eyes and experience of one person
method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story
second person point of view
1) Narrator addresses the reader as "you"
2) POV is rare primarily because it is artificial and self-conscious
3) Found mostly in nonfiction
stream of consciousness
narrator conveys a subject's thoughts, impressions and perceptions exactly as they occur, often in disjointed fashion and without the logic of typical speech and writing
the author's attitude towards the work, events, characters, or the reader/audience
"Author's attitude is..."
all the meanings a word suggests in addition to its literal meaning (denotation... "dictionary")
the time and place of a story
TIME - hour of day, season, historical era, etc.
PLACE - specific or general location; country, etc.
Things setting can do:
a. Reveals atmosphere - mood/feeling/emotional effect in a work of literature
b. Reveals character
c. Helps us to understand the behavior of the characters and the significance of their actions (character motivation)
d. verisimilitude - the appearance of being true to life (truth or believability)
e. Provides conflict - setting can have the importance of a major character/antagonist
irony in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning
A harsh form of this is sarcasm.
what happens is the opposite of what we expect to happen
e.g. Golden touch
we know something the character does not
writing that ridicules with the intent of bringing about a change in society (things like greed, injustice, cruelty, deceit, etc.)
-often uses exaggeration - overstating something to make it look worse than it is
object, setting, an event, an animal, or even a person that functions in the story the way you'd expect it to, but also stands for something more/beyond itself
Ways to determine symbol:
1. Symbols are often visual - something you can actually see (like a whale or bird)
2. It is given a great deal of emphasis - often reappears throughout the story
3. It's like a metaphor - identified w/ something else very different from it but shares the same quality
4. Has something to do with the story's theme
5. Sometimes the title of a story will hint at the symbol, or will even BE the symbol in the story
the underlying/philosophical idea the author is trying to get across about life or human nature
-it may be stated briefly or explored in length
- some strong stories may even have more than one of this
Ways to determine theme (not a moral!)
1. Check the title
2. Notice repeating patterns and symbols
3. Look to see how the protagonist has changed or what they've learned/discovered
4. Think in terms of "what does the story reveal," not "what does the story teach"
How to state theme:
1. A theme should be written as a complete sentence.
2. A theme should not be stated as a generalization about life, society, or human nature (DO NOT refer to specific characters in a story to develop theme; universally stated!)
3. The theme you come up with should account for all the details in the entire story.
4. Theme should not be reduced to a cliche.
-a cliche is an is an overused and unoriginal way of expressing an idea like:
"Dreams really do come true"