English 10 Short Story & Poetry Terms Ms. McDowell Short Story: A fictional tale of a length that is too short to publish in a single volume like a novel. Usually, short stories concentrate on a single event with only one or two characters and can be read in a
single sitting. The short story has three main elements: plot, characters, and setting. In addition, short stories also contain other devices/features including: theme, conflict, point of view, suspense, foreshadowing, and flashback.
A. Plot: The events that make up the story are referred to as the plot. Traditionally, it is divided into five parts. Introduction: The reader meets the characters and discovers the setting. The conflict is introduced at the end of the introduction, with the inciting incident.
Rising Action: Builds up the story (the longest part) a series of steps that lead to the climax. You get more information about conflict and character here. Climax: This is usually the most intense part of the story or the turning point.
Falling Action: The plot begins to wrap up in this section of the story, which is usually brief. Conclusion: This part follows quickly after the climax and provides the last pieces of information for the reader.
5.B. Anti-Climax (Anti-Climactic): A dull or disappointing ending to something after increasing excitement. For example: After the weeks of preparation, the concert itself was a bit of an anticlimax. In connection to a story or novel, it means an ending that doesnt measure up to the plot events that precede it (the ending is anti-climactic).
Plot Diagram: Also known as Freytags Pyramid, the story diagram or plot diagram, was invented in 1864 by Gustav Freytag to visually represent the five plot parts and their relationship with one another. Modern stories may or may not tidily fit Freytags Pyramid.
Protagonist: The main character in the story. The protagonist is usually, but not always, a good guy. Antagonist: The force against the protagonist. The antagonist is usually another character, but not always. The antagonist is usually described as the bad
guy, although this is not always the case. Dynamic: A dynamic character changes in some important way because of plot events. For example: a cruel old man might see the error of his ways and become generous and kind, or a gentle girl becomes vicious and angry because her parents divorce. Static: These characters are the opposite of
dynamic characters. They dont change through the course of a story. They have the same personality throughout. Flat Character: This is a minor character with one or maybe two sides to the personality. These characters might not seem very realistic or life-like because so little is
known about them. Round: These characters are believable and complex people with several sides to their personality. They are lifelike and behave like real people would, if real people were in those same situations. Methods of Characterization (ways we learn
about characters) 1. Direct Characterization: The author directly tells you about the characteristics. Dottie was the talker, the outgoing one the extrovert. Jack was too shy around girls to say much at all. 2. Indirect Characterization: Revealing a
characters personality through the characters thoughts, words, and actions; the comments of other characters; or the characters physical appearance. C. Setting: Emotional Setting Mood/Atmosphere of the story
Physical Setting Time Place Year Season Weather, Etc. Theme: The message of the story, stated in one or two complete sentences. When a
person describes a storys theme, the person is describing what can be learned about life and/or people from the story. Try not to confuse theme with the topic, which is the subject a piece of writing is about. For example, the topic of Scooby Doo is solving mysteries, yet one theme of Scooby Doo is that good triumphs over evil.
Conflict: Conflict drives the plot forward and is either described as internal or external: Internal Conflict: When the conflict is an internal struggle within a character. Usually characters, like real people, have conflicting fears and goals that cause them to behave in certain ways.
Person vs. Self External Conflict: When the conflict is outside a character in a short story/ novel. External conflict is best described as the adversities faced by the character during the plot. Person Person Person
Person vs. vs. vs. vs. Person Environment
Society the Supernatural Point of View: Who is telling the story and how is he/she telling it: First Person: I is the central character and tells his or her own story. Third Person
Omniscient: Characters are referred to as he and she, and the reader knows all characters thoughts/feelings Limited Omniscient: Characters are referred to as he and she, and the reader knows one characters thoughts/feelings Objective: The story is about he or she, and the author records action objectively, as a movie camera would. The reader does not see any of the characters thoughts (doesnt get inside their heads).
Flashback: When a character thinks back to/describes an event that occurred before the story began. Foreshadowing: A hint of events to come in the short story. Suspense: Anxiety or apprehension resulting
from an uncertain, undecided, or mysterious situation. Suspense is when the writer creates anticipation of an approaching climax in the reader. Dilemma: A dilemma is a difficult decision where neither of the two choices is ideal. (Skip ahead one term) Symbol: something
that represents, or stands for something else. Irony opposite of what is expected/meant Situational Irony a situation that is opposite of what one might expect. Verbal Irony when someone says something but the opposite is true/they mean the opposite.
Dramatic Irony when the reader/audience knows something that a character does not. Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words (two or more words that are close to each other). Example: lifes fitful fever
Example: the kite crashed into the car Allusion An indirect reference to something. Example: She had found her Romeo. Example: He was hit by Cupids arrow. Ballad Narrative poem (tells a story) Usually song-like
Usually short stanzas with rhyme scheme (quatrains) Blank Verse Poetry with meter but no rhyme. Usually this is seen as iambic pentametre (a line with ten syllables in pairs of five this is common in Shakespearean verse).
Example: Shall I compare the to a summers day? Thou art so lovely and so temperate. Connotation Things that come to mind, or are commonly associated with, a particular idea or word. Example: The word home often implies safety,
warmth, family, etc. Denotation The literal, dictionary definition of a word. We learned that home has the connotation of warmth, safety, and family; however, home also has the denotation of the place where one lives (this is the dictionary definition of home).
Free Verse Poetry that does not have rhyme or regular metre. Hyperbole (Hi-per-bully) An extreme exaggeration meant for emphasis or humour. Example: Ive done this a million times.
Example: He was hungry enough to eat a horse. Example: I feel like I could move mountains. Imagery Descriptive language that plays on the five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound
Lyric Poem A poem that expresses emotions of the speaker. Metaphor A direct comparison without using like or as Her hair is silk.
OR, her silk hair flowed over her shoulders. Onomatopoeia Words that imitate the sounds that they represent. Example: The bacon sizzled. Example: The wind whooshed by. Example: The tree branched made a cracking
sound. Example: The crackle of the fire was mesmerizing. Oxymoron Two contradictory, or opposite, words are combined in one expression or phrase Examples: jumbo shrimp; wise fool; same
difference; Great Depression; pretty ugly. Personification Giving human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract ideas. You could think of it as giving human qualities to things that wouldnt ordinarily have human qualities. Example: The wind whistled. Example: The branches reached their arms to
the sky. Example: The stars danced playfully. Simile A comparison using like or as. Example: Her hair was as soft as silk. Example: The rain was like a warm shower. Sonnet
A 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. The most common type of sonnet is the Shakespearean sonnet with the following rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
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