TEACHING LITERATURE
                   Plot


 

The plot is the sequence of events in a story.

Less experienced readers often read only for plot; better readers also consider what revelations about life or character are presented by means of the plot.

Plot, therefore, is often best studied in terms of its function or its relationship to the total meaning of the story.

The analysis of the central conflict of a story is often very helpful in determining what is really at issue in the story.

In most stories:

The main character, the protagonist, has a certain motivation or goal, but obstacles arise which may prevent the protagonist from achieving this goal.

Conflict results. Forces working against the protagonist are called the antagonists.

The conflict that results may be both internal and external for the protagonist and may result in a dilemma (a situation where one must choose between two equally undesirable courses of action).

As the suspense builds, the writer may plant clues to forecast the ending. This technique is called foreshadowing.
 

What Goes into a Plot?

1.Exposition : It is the information needed to understand a story.

2.Complication / Rising Point : It is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.

3.Climax : It is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.

4.Resolution and Falling Point : It is the set of events that bring the story to a
close.

It's not always a straight line from the beginning to the end of a short story.

In Ernest Hemingway's story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," the action shifts from past to present. This shifting of time is the way we learn what happened and why, and it keeps us interested in the story.

Good stories always have all the plot elements in them.


 Page Created on September 8th, 1998
 Last updated on April 20th,1999
   Copyright (C) 1998/1999 by Nada AbiSamra.
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