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Short Story Terminology


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narrative Point of View
the position chosen by the NARRATOR (story teller) from which he or she views and reports about the characters or events in his or her NARRATIVE (story)
subjective Narrator
The narrator is a participant, a character in the story who can reveal only his or her own thoughts and feelings and what he or she perceives and is told by other characters. The narration is in the first person. The pronoun used is "I".
objective Narrator
The pronoun used is "he" "she", "they"
omniscient Narrator
The narrator may or may not be a character in the story and he or she has the god like ability to see the external and internal life of the character in the story.
setting
The TIME and PLACE where the events happen
atmosphere
The feeling generated by a place.
mood
The feeling experienced by the reader.
characterization
The qualities that a person has which make up his or her personality and identity
protagonist
the main character in the conflict
antagonist
the person who opposes the protagonist
short story
a series of imagined events so patterned as to create a maximum predetermined effect with a minimum of material
plot
a "series of imagined events" so patterned as to establish a conflict leading to a climax which is followed by a denouement
Introductory situation
the key event which creates the conflict
complications
the series of problems which are produced by the conflict as it expands and which leads to a conflict
suspense
the uncertainty, mystery, created by the expanding conflict.
foreshadowing
an advance sign or warning of what is to come in the future
climax
the turning point in the conflict which someone wins or loses the struggle
denouement
the final resolution when the conflict is over. It can solve or pose a problem.
external conflict (1)
person vs. person
internal conflict
person vs. himself
external conflict (2)
person vs. society, nature, environment, fate
verbal irony
an indirect form of communication wherein what is stated is the opposite of what is meant
situational irony
when what happens is the opposite of what is intended or expected to happen
dramatic irony
when the audience knows certain information that other characters in the literature don't know
simile
a comparison using "like" or "as"
metaphor
a comparison not using :"like" or "as"
personification
a comparison with humans
symbol
a comparison whereby something stands in for something else
theme
a general statement that the story (literature) makes about some significant aspect of life