Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

Grade 11 Short Stories Unit

Mrs. A. DeMontigny

Purpose and the Short Story Many short stories combine the purpose of entertaining with that of revealing life and /or our human relationships. Stories that are intended to entertain usually focus on plot and conflict, may make use of suspense and humor. In contrast, stories that are intended mostly to reveal life and our human relationships focus more on theme and character. Generally, a story gains in depth and significance as the characterization becomes more developed and realistic. The story that reveals life and our relationships provides us with an experience that may be lasting and significant because it may affecting our understanding of ourselves and others. Some purposes for writing may be: To inform the audience about...... To entertain the audience about..... To persuade the audience that..... To explain to the audience about.......

Choices by Susan Kerslake Before Reading 1. What role does personal choice play in the outcome of our lives? We are the products of our choices in life. Or 2. When we experience misfortune, we often find out who our friends really are. In two-three paragraphs, tell about how an unfortunate personal circumstance or event changed your relationship with someone else.

After Reading 1. What do you think caused the accident? What details from the story support your interpretation? (Ext. Resp) 2. Internal conflict becomes significant in the latter part of the story. What is the nature of this conflict? Is it resolved? Why or why not? Provide examples

3. What is Peggys sense of her relationship with Ken before the accident? Does her sense of the relationship change after the accident? 4. Atmosphere is an important element in this story. What are two examples of strong images that create a strong impression on the reader? 5. Does Ken show Peggy that he feels any sense of responsibility to her after the accident? Do you think he has any obligation to her? Discuss. 6. The author uses a modern fictional technique called stream of consciousness style. Check the glossary at the back of the book for a definition of this term and decide whether or not she uses this technique effectively. OR 7. What do you think was Susans Kerslakes purpose for writing this story? What is she saying about the nature of some peoples relationships? Conflict We all know conflict. We have all had to struggle: to understand something, to solve a problem, to reach a goal, to satisfy a need. However, it does not always include the aspect of winning or losing sometimes, there is no clear outcome. There tends to be FOUR (4) main types of conflict: 1) Man vs man 2) Man vs self 3) Man vs Nature 4) Man vs Society

Conflict in stories may happen externally or internally. A character involved in an external conflict is struggling against factors such as other human beings, animals or the environment. A conflict that is internal occurs within a persons mind. A character who is struggling to make a decision, who is trying to resolve an unhappy feeling or who is striving to understand a particular person or situation experiences internal conflict. We can examine the main characters response to conflict to gain some understanding of that characters values, personality and philosophy of life. God Is Not A Fish Inspector by W.D. Valgardson Before Reading 1. Do you feel that grown up children generally understand and appreciate elderly parents in our society? After Reading 1. What is the source of conflict between Fusi and his daughter? 2. Do you agree with Emmas decision to tell the fish inspectors about Fusi? Write s of a page response giving reasons to support your opinion. OR 3. What criticism does the sotry make about attitudes toward religion and toward the elderly in society today? A s of a page response is required.

Character Whether a story focuses on a decision, a dilemma, growth, change or some other central idea, what usually interests readers the most is the characters themselves. We often learn about ourselves through them. In developing the main character of a story, authors often use one of the following three patterns: a) They put it character in a situation that requires him or her to make a significant decision. Usually stories developed around these characters are suspenseful ones because the reader wants to know what the decision and the outcome of that decision will be. b) They lead the main character through the events in the story to a growth in understanding of others. Often new information, an experience or insight is responsible for the characters growth. c) They present a character who, in facing a crisis, changes significantly as a result of it. The change that takes place is usually profound and lasting. In grade 11, we have three ways of analyzing a character: 1. Character Sketch which includes an explanation of adjectives and nouns which describe the character with supporting evidence. |There are four ways a character is revealed in a character sketch: a) Physical appearance b) Actions (what they DO) c) Internal monologue (what they THINK) d) What they SAY e) What others say about him or her 2. Concept-based description -Is the character static (boring) or dynamic (active)? - Is the character realistic or stereotyped? 3. Motivation what is behind a characters action and behaviour? - Why are they doing that action or behaviour? The following questions may be asked to analyze a characters motivation: a) What decisions does the protagonist (good guy) make in the story? Are they good or bad? Why? b) What causes this character to make this choice or decision? c) Does the protagonist change? If so, how and why? If not, why not? What are the consequences of the change? d) What do the minor characters add to the story? What are their roles or functions?

The Metaphor by Budge Wilson Before Reading 1. What is a metaphor? What is its function? Can metaphors describe people effectively? Why or why not? After Reading 1. Why do you think Miss Hancock got along so well in junior high but had so much difficulty in senior high? 2. What do you think the authors main purpose for writing this story? 3. Using the three ways of analyzing character that are on the previous page, analyze one of the following characters : Charlotte, her mother or Miss Hancock. Dont forget the motivation part! Your analysis should be approximately 2 pages in length and is worth 10 marks. Setting and Atmosphere Setting fixes the time and place of a story and can play a major role in developing the storys character and conflict. Sometimes the setting supports or defines the values and concerns of the characters. It can also be the source of the conflict or an instrument for revealing character. Often we learn how characters respond to their environment and that gives us personalities and perspectives on life. Setting also affects a storys atmosphere and our reaction to it. Atmosphere is our feelings associated with a story so if the setting is in a graveyard in November, we may have a gloomy, dark feeling about a story. However, if a story is set in a sunny spring morning in a field of flowers, our feelings are lighter and more optimistic. The authors diction, that is his choice of words and phrases, affects the atmosphere, the pacing of the dialogue, the selection of details the author uses and the figurative language used also affects the atmosphere. The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark Before Reading 1. If you had to take one of the following to a deserted island, what would you take? A painting? music? movies? or books? After Reading 1. When is this story set? What has recently happened? Support your ideas with details from the story. 2. Why is Dr. Jenkins prepared to kill in order to keep his records? 3. What are the main conflicts of the story? 4. Find two examples of ironic contrasts in the story.

5. The characterization of the characters in this story is generally flat. Why would the author do that and should he have developed them more than he did? 6. Is the ending effective? Note you are not doing questions for this story as you are working on your character analysis. Point of View When something happens to us, our version of the story is called our point of view. The author of a story decides how the story will be told and what the character(s) will say. The author can tell a story from one characters point of view (first person), from the authors point of view through the eyes of one character (limited omniscient) or the through the eyes of several or all characters (omniscient). We tend to like stories that are told in first person as that point of view creates a sense of immediate involvement that is often intense and fast paced. We learn the innermost thoughts of the narrator and helps us understand and get into the story better. In a limited omniscient story the author stays at the side of a character, relating only what that character thinks and feels as well as what they see and hear. Since no other characters are explored, the reader is limited in their understanding of the other characters. In an omniscient story the author uses third person in an unlimited way with unlimited knowledge and freedom of movement. This is the most flexible point of view and allows the author the greatest scope of developing a story. Point of view is important has we learn more about a storys purpose and meaning if we consider the point of view and perhaps, what is not being revealed to us. The Dolls House by Katherine Mansfield Before Reading 1. What are some ways in which people gain status in our society? What motivates some people to seek status? What conflicts does that sometimes cause? 2. What is class discrimination? How is it learned? What might be done to end it? After Reading 1. What conflict is at the heart of the story? In what way does the setting help to create the conflict? How is the conflict resolved? 2. Explain the importance of the dolls house as a symbol in the story. 3. In what way are the Kelveys scapegoats? Does our society still have scapegoats? Explain. OR 4. What is the importance of Kezias and Our Elses common love for the lamp? How does that bond add meaning to the story?

Irony and Symbol Irony is using a word or phrase or a situation to mean the exact opposite of its literal or normal meaning. It is the difference between what is said and what is meant. It may occur in the contrast between waht a character thinks to be true and what we know to be true. By developing an event or situation that has the opposite result to what is expected, the author creates a situation in which the ironic contrast generates new meaning. There are three kinds of irony: a) Dramatic Irony the reader or audience sees a characters mistakes or misunderstandings, but the character does not. b) Verbal Irony the writer says one thing and means another c) Situational Irony there is a great difference between the purpose of a particular action and the result. Symbolism is a person, place, thing or an event used to represent something else. Ex a dove represents peace, a heart represents love etc. Most often, the symbol in a story is an object that represents its owners character or situation, or both. For example, a secluded, near-empty apartment might represent the alienation and emotional emptiness of its tenant. Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Before Reading 1. Is everyone in our society equal? Should everyone be made equal in every way? Why or why not? After Reading 1. What is the situational irony in this story? What point do you think the author is making through the irony? ( 5 m) 2. Harrison Bergerons rebellion is a failure. Given the nature of the society in the story, could someone like Harrison have succeeded in rebelling? Explain. What point does the ending make?

Just for fun The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson Theme is the authors message or point that they are trying to teach the reader. What is the theme of this story? What is the irony?

Final Assignment

You are going to write a short story on the theme of _________________________. Your story is going to contain the elements that we have studied: Plot structure Conflict Characters Setting and Atmosphere Point of View Irony and Symbol

It should be approximately 800 -1000 words in length and be well-developed. Also required are the following parts: 1. Planning Chart with the right side containing a web or outline and the left fully completed 2. Rough Copy edited and revised with 10 changes made for each (10 editing changes, 10 revision changes)

3. Good Copy typed

This is worth 30 marks.

This is due: __________________________________________