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The elements of analysing fiction

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by

Karin Hansen

on 27 September 2016

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Transcript of The elements of analysing fiction

The elements of analysing fiction
Plot
Plot is what happens and in what way in a piece of fiction.
Theme
Setting
Analysis and interpretation
It relates to the structure of the ACTION and the CONFLICT
chronological
things happen in their natural order like in real life.
a --> b --> c --> d
In medias res
The action begins without us having an introduction
b --> c --> d
Flashback
The story jumps back in time.
b --> a --> c
Flash-forward
The story jumps ahead and shows what happens in the future.
a --> c --> b
Endings
Can be OPEN or CLOSED
A central message, concern, or insight into life expressed through a literary work

Can be expressed by a one or two sentence statement about human beings or about life
May be stated directly or implied
Interpretation uncovers the theme
A specific place at a certain time in a specific social context
Setting
Place
Location
Physical
Atmosphere
Mood
Feelings
Word choice
Weather
Time
Life
Era
History
Day
Characters
Protagonist
the main character
Antagonist
the opposite of the protagonist
Minor characters
often not described in detail. Their function is to interact with the main character
Flat character
one-dimensional, simplified, static (no development)
Rounded character
A complex character. Usually undergoes a development
Characterization
A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story.

Direct characterization
Direct- writer tells us what the character is like

Indirect characterization
writer shows what a character is like by describing what the character looks like, by telling what the character says and does, and by what other characters say about and do in response to the character.

Point of view
Language
Dialogue

The story will change perspective according to who the storyteller is.


In fiction: someone is always telling us the story.
= the narrator

The author chooses what point of view (POV) the narrator will use to tell the story.
First-person POV
A first-person narrator is good at creating an atmosphere of intimacy.
(Almost like reading someone's diary or mind).


Important to distinguish between the author (forfatteren) and the narrator (fortælleren)
Third-person POV
The narrator is not identified.
The tone is less personal and more objective.
Unlike the first-person narrator, the third-person narrator is outside the story, and is telling the story from a distance.
functions as a camera
Third-person omniscient POV
Omniscient = all-knowing
The narrator knows everything about the character, places, events and past and present situations.
can be restricted: tells the reader about some of the characters' emotions and thoughts, but omits the emotions of other characters.
First-person plural POV


The first-person narrator is usually singular ("I") but may be plural ("we").
The events are viewed through the collective or communal mindset.
The unreliable narrator
Another version of the first-person narrator.
The narrator presents a version of events that is at odds with reality

Usually the reader will find out gradually and especially towards the ending of the story that the narrator has been distorting the facts
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