TOOLS FOR EVALUATING A STORY

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Any work of fiction consists of relatively independent elements - narration, description, dialogue, interior monologue, digressions, etc. Narrationis dynamic, it gives a continuous account of events, while descriptionis static, it is a verbal portraiture of an object, person or scene. It may be detailed and direct or impressionistic, giving few but striking details. Through the dialoguethe characters are better portrayed, it also brings the action nearer to the reader, makes it seem more swift and more intense. Interior monologuerenders the thoughts and feelings of a character. Digression consistsof an insertion of material that has no immediate relation to the theme or action. It may be lyrical, philosophical or critical. The interrelation between different components of a literary text is called composition.

Most novels and stories have plots. Every plotis an arrangement of meaningful events. No matter how insignificant or deceptively casual, the events of the story are meant to suggest the character's morals and motives. Sometimes a plot follows the chronological order of events. At other times there are jumps back and forth in time (Flashbacks and foreshadowing).The four structural components of the plot are exposition, complication, climax and denouement. Expositioncontains a short presentation of time, place and characters of the story. It is usually to be found at the beginning of the story, but may also be "interwoven in the narrative by means of flashbacks, so that the reader gradually comes to know the characters and events leading up to the present situation. Complicationis a separate incident helping to unfold the action, and might involve thoughts and feelings as well. Climaxis the decisive moment on which the fate of the characters and the final action depend. It is the point at which the forces in the conflict reach the highest intensity. Denouementmeans "the untying of a knot" which is precisely what happens in this phase. Not all stories have a denouement. Some stories end right after the climax, leaving it up to the reader to judge what will be the outcome of the conflict.

The way a story is presented is a key element in fictional structure. This involves both the angle of vision, the point from which the people, events, and other details are viewed, and also the words of the story. The view aspect is called thefocusor point of view, And the verbal aspect the voice. It is important to distinguish between the author, the person who wrote the story, and the narrator, the person or voice telling the story. The author may select a first-person narrative, When one of the characters tells of things that only he or she saw and felt. In a third-person narrativethe omniscient authormoves in and out of peoples thoughts and comments freely on what the characters think, say and do.

Most writers of the short story attempt to create characters who strike us, not as stereotypes, but as unique individuals. Charactersare called roundif they are complex and develop or change in the course of the story. Flat charactersare usually one-sided, constructed round a single trait; if two characters have distinctly opposing features, one serves as a foilto the other, and the contrast between them becomes more apparent.

Round and flat characters have different functions in the conflict of the story. The conflictmay be external, i.e. between human beings or between man and the environment (individual against nature, individual against the established order / values ??in the society). The internal conflicttakes place in the mind, here the character is torn between opposing features of his personality. The two parties in the conflict are called the protagonistand his or her antagonist. The description of the different aspects (physical, moral, social) of a character is known as characterizationwhen the author describes the character himself, or makes another do it, it is direct characterization. When the author shows the character in action, and lets the reader judge for himself the author uses the indirect method of characterization.

The particular time and physical location of the story form the setting. Such details as the time of the year, certain parts of - the landscape, the weather, colours, sounds, or other seemingly uninteresting details may be of great importance. The setting can have various functions in a given story: 1) it can provide a realistic background, 2) it can evoke the necessary atmosphere, 3) it can help describe the characters indirectly.

The author's choice of characters, events, situations, details and his choice of words is by no means accidental. Whatever

leads us to enter the author's attitude to his subject matter is calledtone. Like the tone of voice, the tone of a story may communicate amusement, anger, affection, sorrow, contempt. The themeof a story is like unifying general idea about Life that the entire story reveals. The author rarely gives a direct statement of the theme in a story. It is up to the reader to collect and combine all his observations and finally to try to formulate the idea illustrated by the story. The most important generalization the author expresses is sometimes referred to as the message. The message depends on the writer's outlook, and the reader may either share it or not.

There are no hard and fast rules about text interpretation but one is usually expected to sum up the contents and express his overall view of the story. The following questions will be useful in the analysis if a story.




By Ch. Morley | ESSENTIAL VOCABULARY | Make up and practise a suitable dialogue using the phrases and word combinations. | Give a summary of the text. | Study the essential vocabulary and translate the illustrative examples into Russian. | TOPICAL VOCABULARY | The Politics of Housework | A) Draw a family tree for yourself and using the topical vocabulary explain the relationship between your immediate ancestors and any interesting facts about them. | C) Cut them down to the five most important. | B) Turn the above situation into a dialogue and act it out. |

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