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Elements of Fiction in Sylvia Plath's "Initiation"

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by

S Barnes

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Elements of Fiction in Sylvia Plath's "Initiation"

Elements of Fiction in Sylvia Plath's "Initiation" Conflict The conflict in this story was both internal and external. Internal conflicts are problems that take place within a character. External conflicts are problems between other people.

Internal conflict in Sylvia Plath's "Initiation" was in Millicent. She was struggling to find her identity. Should she stay friends with Tracey and be free like a heather bird? Or, should she join the sorority and be trapped like the birds that all look alike?
The External conflict was between Millicent and all of the other sorority girls. They had her doing embarrassing things for the hazing ceremony called "rat court." The cracked eggs on her face, trapped her in a basement, and made her do the Charleston Step to school. Characters Main Characters: Millicent, Beverly, Louise, and Tracey With the exception of Millicent, all of the characters listed above are static. They are static because they don't change throughout the story. Millicent is the only one that changes because she discovers whether or not she wants to stay with Tracey, or join the sorority. This is also part of her internal conflict. Setting The story has multiple locations where events takes place. These locations are: the school, Beverly Johnson's house, and a bus. The story never specifies where these locations are, and when this all took place. Where? When? Themes Some themes in "Initiation" are: conformity and individuality.

Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. In this case, Millicent is conforming to the sorority.
Individuality is the quality of a character that distinguishes them from others. If Millicent had joined the sorority, she would no longer have her individuality, and would be like the bird that looks the same as all the others. The basement of a house, school, and a bus Millicent, Beverly, Tracey, and the heather bird guy on the bus Internal and external MIllicent vs. herself vs. her friends Individuality and conformity Millicent chooses the sorority over her best friend. She goes through the "rat court" hazing ceremony Meets a guy on the bus who talks about heather birds. This would show up later in the story. Millicent likes a boy, but the rules of rat court say she can't even talk to him. This is when she started to dislike her decision to join this sorority. She realizes that she'd rather not be with the sorority, and would rather be free like a heather bird "Initiation" Sylvia Plath Millicent tells Tracey about it, but later found out the she had been rejected because of some stupid rules She goes into the basement for one last time before the initiation is over Millicent saw birds outside the window which reminded her of the sorority girls. They were like the birds she saw since they all looked and acted the same
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