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SHORT STORY: A short story is a piece of brief literature, usually written in narrative

prose. Short stories can be written in a variety of formats, but the most typical
features are a small cast of characters with names and focuses on a single, self-
contained incident. Short stories make use of a plot and other normal literary
components, just to a lesser and shorter degree than a novel. They also vary in

A SHORT HISTORY OF SHORT STORY: Short Stories date back to oral story-telling
traditions which originally produced epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Oral
narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verse. In Europe, the
oral story-telling tradition began to develop into written stories in the early 14th
century, most notably with Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Before the 19th
century the short story was not generally regarded as a distinct literary form. But
although in this sense it may seem to be a uniquely modern genre, the fact is that
short prose fiction is nearly as old as language itself. Whereas Short story as it has
been defined since the 19th century.

 Folktales
 Based in oral tradition with no known author.
 Anytime and anyplace (once upon a time in a place far away).
 Common ending (they lived happily ever after).
 Often magical.
 Typically, evil is defeated and hero/heroine triumphs.
 Contain universal truths and values of time.
 Were sometimes used to instruct children in values.
 Contain common narrative motifs and common themes.
 Examples are: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast.
 Fairy tales: Unbelievable stories featuring magic and the supernatural; a
fanciful tale of legendary deeds and creatures, usually intended for children; a
fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation; often begin with such formulas
as "Once upon a time. . ." and “In a certain country there lived. . ..” Popular
examples recount the supernatural adventures and mishaps of youngest
daughters, transformed princes, mermaids, wood fairies and elves; Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs.
 Fables:
 Have a moral.
 Were meant to entertain.
 Brief tale.
 Poetic tales with double or allegorical significance.
 Animal characters.
 Satirize human conduct.
 Examples are: Ant and the Grasshopper, Fox and Grapes, Wolf in
Sheep’s Clothing, Dog in the Manger, Tortoise and the Hare, Lion and
the Mouse, Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.
 Myths / Parables:
 Found in almost all cultures.
 Used to explain natural phenomena of the world.
 Used to explain creation.
 Used to explain origins of people.
 Sacred or based upon religious belief.
 Main characters are animals, deities or humans.
 Greek myths (Zeus and Mt. Olympus); Roman myths (Jupiter),
Norse myths (Odin and Citadel of Asgard)
 Legends:
 May be based upon person or event of historical significance.
 Typically, secular rather than religious.
 Principal characters are human.
 Examples are: Beowulf, Robin Hood, King Arthur.
 Tall Tales:
 American tales.
 Exaggerated claims reflecting hardships of settlers.
 Reflect frontier idealism.
 Fictional heroes and heroines based upon real people.
 Examples are: Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett,
Pecos Bill, John Henry, Mike Fink, Daniel Boone.
 Hero stories:
The protagonist is the primary actor. By default, the hero is the
protagonist of his narrative. But a protagonist is not always a hero. He
may be fighting an antagonist that is on the same level as he and,
unlike fate or the Greek gods, can be overcome.

Science fiction: Science fiction is a genre of fiction in which the stories often tell
about science and technology of the future. It is important to note that science
fiction has a relationship with the principles of science—these stories involve partially
true partially fictitious laws or theories of science. It should not be completely
unbelievable, because it then ventures into the genre fantasy. The plot creates
situations different from those of both the present day and the known past. Science
fiction texts also include a human element, explaining what effect new discoveries,
happenings and scientific developments will have on us in the future. Science fiction
texts are often set in the future, in space, on a different world, or in a different
universe or dimension. Early pioneers of the genre of science fiction are H. G. Wells
(The War of the Worlds) and Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). Some well-
known 20th century science fiction texts include 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New
World by Alduous Huxley, and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Material Designed and Selected by Kainat Tufail.