Short Story Intro

 Short Stories
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Slide 1: Slide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 29 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

 Short Stories

Slide 1 - Slide

What are we going to do?
  • Any questions about 1.2? 
  • Reading ' My Last Landlady'
  • look at tools and their definitions
  • apply them to short stories.
  • learning to analyze short stories

Slide 2 - Slide

What are short stories and how do they work? 
Grab your notebook and write down keywords while watching the following video. 

Slide 3 - Slide

Slide 4 - Video

Characteristics of a short story
  • it started as oral tales and ballads
  • 19th century: started to look like the current form, so written down and printed, usually in magazines. 
  • It is called short, doesn't mean it's always short. It can be lenghty too. 
  • There is usually a twist at the end
  • Often reveals a certain aspect of a character 

Slide 5 - Slide

Tools for working on short stories
  • Plot and tension
  • In medias res - rising action - climax - denouement 
  • Character
  • Theme 
  • Setting
  • Narration
  • Irony
  • Symbolism

Slide 6 - Slide

Plot and tension
  • The plot is the development in the story. One action or event relates to another action or event.
       Example: The King died, and the Queen died of grief.
       The ‘wh-questions’ are a good means to discover the plot.
  • Tension (or suspense) relates to the plot. The more (unexpected) things happen, the more tension a reader will experience.

Slide 7 - Slide

  • Short stories start 'in medias res': it is the starting point of the situation in the story, we don't know anything about what happened in the past.
  • Then the plot develops: rising action, working its way towards the climax.
  • The climax of the story is usually towards the end of the story, but not necessarily the end itself. It is the moment all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
  • The denouement is the falling action: the story comes to an open or closed end.

Slide 8 - Slide

  • Protagonist, main character: usually one or two
  • Readers often connect with the character. 
  • Description: often uses labels: e.g. jealous, courageous, cheeky, though, strong, weak, etc. 
  • Not a lot of character development in short stories. 
  • The character is not the same as the plot. 

Slide 9 - Slide

  • The theme is the message of the story. 
  • When you know the theme you will understand the story. 
  • Some keywords for themes: love - revenge - redemption - good vs evil 
  • You need to be able to describe the theme, so a theme is usually more than a keyword. 
  • Stories contain multiple themes  

Slide 10 - Slide

  • Time and place
  •  Examples for place: country, house, room
  • Examples for time: specific year or era, war time, future, seasons
  • Sometimes there are no direct references, so look for clues. For example: references to historic events, name of the king/queen, is it inside or outside. 

Slide 11 - Slide

Narration or Point of view
  • The narrator is the person or other character who is telling us the story. 
  • Usually it is clear who the narrator is. 
  • Different narration types

Slide 12 - Slide

First person or I-narrative
  • The story is told from a particular character's point of view, as they are experiencing it themselves 
  • Usually you don't get the perspectives of other characters. 
  • Uses first person pronouns (I, we, me, us) 

Slide 13 - Slide

Third person narrative
  • Tells the story using third person pronouns (they,  their, he, she) 
  • Usually narrated by an outsider, someone who doesn't appear in the story. 
  • Can be all-knowing/omnicient (the reader knows everything going on inside the main character's head) or limited (we only know about the characters' actions)

Slide 14 - Slide

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly
normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything
strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
First person
Third person

Slide 15 - Quiz

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
First person
Third Person

Slide 16 - Quiz

Margaret, the eldest of the four, was sixteen, and very pretty, being plump and fair, with large eyes, plenty of soft brown hair, a sweet mouth, and white hands, of which she was rather vain. Fifteen-year-old Jo was very tall, thin, and brown, and reminded one of a colt … Elizabeth, or Beth, as everyone called her, was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression, which was seldom disturbed … “
First person
Third person

Slide 17 - Quiz

  • The explanation of the title may help you understand the theme of the story. 
  • The author will want to make you think 
  • For example: Lamb to the Slaughter

Slide 18 - Slide

Suspension of disbelief
  • Suspension of disbelief: the contract between writer and reader (Disney+ and you) that for the duration of the reading (watching) experience what is told is true: a white duck may wear a sailor's outfit and have three duckling nephews with different caps, a rich white duck uncle in a red coat and a top hat.

Slide 19 - Slide

  • Think of sarcasm. When it is raining and someone tells you: "What a lovely day to be outside."
  •  What you hear or see does not match with reality.
  • Often used in cases of misfortune:
    Win the lottery and die the next day
    Being hit by an ambulance

Slide 20 - Slide

What is the Irony here? 

Slide 21 - Slide

What is the irony here?

Slide 22 - Slide

What is the irony here?

Slide 23 - Slide

  • A symbol stands for something else, bigger, universal.
  • It is a literary technique that adds meaning to a short story by using an event or object as a symbol to represent something else. 
  • For example, a gravestone may be a symbol of death since gravestones are associated with death.
  • Many authors use symbolism to subtly allude to the meaning of something without being obvious.

Slide 24 - Slide

When using symbolism, the following would stand for?

Slide 25 - Open question

When using symbolism, the following would stand for?

Slide 26 - Open question

  • The author jumps back in time. 
  •  it oftens contradicts or proves something in the present. 
  • For example: From Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone:
    When Aunt Petunia makes Harry get a haircut, he wakes up the next morning to find his hair has grown back to where it was. Rowling uses these flashbacks to foreshadow what we soon find out—that Harry has inherited wizarding powers from his parents.

Slide 27 - Slide

  •  is a literary device that writers utilize as a means to indicate or hint to readers something that is to follow or appear later in a story.
  •   is an excellent device in terms of creating suspense and dramatic tension for readers.
  • For example: In Game of Thrones: "Winter Is Coming"

Slide 28 - Slide

Slide 29 - Link