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Conventions of Prose

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on 8 March 2015

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Transcript of Conventions of Prose

Defining Prose Elements of Prose Where do I find Prose? Prose typically includes several key elements. The structure of prose is often a reflection of ordinary speech. There is little or no meter and a simple structure using sentences and paragraphs. In a nutshell:

"everything that is not prose is verse, and everything that is not verse is prose."

- Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme
Prose is a form of language which applies ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythm (as in traditional poetry) Not all Drama fits neatly into one of these two broad categories. Other types of dramas include the following. History plays, such as many by Shakespeare, are based on events of the past. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, can be considered a history play. A melodrama features stereotyped characters and exaggerated conflicts. A tragicomedy combines tragic and comic elements. A modern realistic drama features ordinary language, realistic characters and controversial issues. A political drama reflects the author's opinion on a political theme or issues. An example of a political drama is Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Not all drama fits neatly into one of these two broad categories. Other types of drama include the following: History plays, such as many by Shakespeare, are based on events of the past. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, can be considered a history play. A melodrama features stereotyped chracters and exaggerated conflicts. Dramatic Conventions Dramatic conventions are literary devices that break the illusion of reality. In a practice called the suspension of disbelief, the audience agrees to accept these conventions while watching-or reading-a play. A soliloquy is a speech in which a character who is alone onstage reveals private thoughts and feelings to the audience. This character may appear to address the audience directly, but is is understood that the audience is overhearing the character talking or thinking out loud. An aside is brief remark delivered by a character to express private thoughts while other characters are onstage. Like a soliloquy, it is directed to the audience and presumed to be unheard by the other characters. The transition from one scene or act to another might involve a considerable passage of time in the plot. Novel
Short story
What is Prose? Paragraphs
Speech Phrases
Word Choice
Tone Color
Description When a writer conceives an idea s/he conceives it in a form of words. Analysis of Style Short Story
Factual Prose
The Personal Essay
Letters Types of Prose Who is telling this story? To whom?
Exactly what is going on?
What sort of people live in this story?
Where is all this taking place?
What are they saying to each other? Narration
First Person Narrators
Second Person Narrators
Third Person Narrators Point of View
TAXI by Jesus Garcia

In the back seat of the Volkswagen Beetle, the woman, her baggy eyes shut, chants the Lord's Prayer over and over.She's sitting in between The Monkey, who has a simian arm casually draped over her shoulder, as if he were her boyfriend, and Handsome, who is riffling through the contents of her purse. I can see through the rearview mirror that he's found her wallet.
"Your name's Lourdes," he says, reading from her driver's license. "Lourdes Santos de Diaz. What do you know, you live in Las Lomas! At 2721 Sierra Gorda." The recitation of her name and address doesn't break her concentration, not even for a second. She continues to drone the Lord's Prayer. It's starting to get on my nerves. I bet she hasn't been in a church in years, except for weddings and communions. But once in my taxi, most of the "passengers" put on a big show of piety.

I look at her in the rearview mirror. Her face, slack with middle age, is grimly set. I return my gaze to the road. "Lourdes?" I ask. "Are you a religious woman?"

"Yes," she says. She smoothes down her beige skirt, as if any of us were interested in her legs. "Yes, I am."

"Good," I counter. "Then not only will God protect you, he will pay you back threefold anything we take from you." Handsome goes through her husband's wallet. "And your name is Adolfo," he says. Adolfo is lying in a fetal position on the floor of the cab beside me where the passenger seat should be. He chokes, gasping, yet again. The Monkey places his big foot in the crack of Adolfo's ass, just to make sure he doesn't get carried away. "Please," says Adolfo in a strained voice. "Please, let us go, for the love of God." I can't stand it when they beg. I am by no means a violent person, but the whining makes me want to move my foot from the accelerator and stomp their faces. First Person Narration (Point of View) The story is written from the viewpoint of the character who tells the story, ie I saw… I felt… I did…, and is also a character in the story. The "I" in the story is not the author but a character that the author has created to tell the story. This character is known as the narrator or storyteller.

The narrator talks directly to us and tells us about his or her own experiences, thoughts and feelings. The tone of voice the narrator uses to reveal the characters and events in the story will show us what his/her attitude is to these characters or events. For example, the narrator could be compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, critical, impartial and so on. First Person Narration Second person narration is very seldom used as it means that the author/performer can only address one person. If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Best to close the door; the TV is always on in the next room. Tell the others right away, "No, I don't want to watch TV!" Raise your voice - they won't hear you otherwise - "I'm reading! I don't want to be disturbed!" Maybe they haven't heard you, with all that racket; speak louder, yell: "I'm beginning to read Italo Calvino's new novel!" Or if you prefer, don't say anything; just hope they'll leave you alone. Find the most comfortable position: seated, stretched out, curled up, or lying flat. Flat on your back, on your side, on your stomach. Second Person Narration
(Point of View) Unlike first person narrators, third person narrators do not take part in the story. The narrator is outside the story and refers to the characters either by name or in the third person, i.e. he felt… she thought… they did…Third person narrators are very powerful and can order the action as they please. They can also choose what to tell us about the characters and what to leave out.

Third person narration can have four points of view.

The omniscient point of view
The intrusive narrator
The impersonal narrator
The limited point of view Third Person Narration (P.O.V) Omni means 'all' and the second part of the word means knowledge as in 'science'; thus omniscient means knowing everything. The omniscient narrator is therefore like God - he or she knows everything about the characters and events. This narrator can move from character to character, selecting which speech and actions to write about. He or she can tell us about the thoughts, feelings and reactions of each character in great detail so that we will understand all of them. The omniscient narrator has to be totally trustworthy. This is the simplest style of narration. Third Person Narration Types
The omniscient point of view The intrusive narrator is like the omniscient narrator, but he also judges the characters and comments on all their actions and motives.

“Many years ago my two friends had a stepsister called Cinderella. She was a badly dressed, disobedient and sulky child, and to try and make her mend her lazy ways my friends made her help with the household chores. She had to help them scrub the floors, tidy the house, cook the meals and wash the pots. She also had to help them wash and iron clothes.” Cinderella as told by the ugly sisters' best friend (third person narrator) Third Person Narration Types
The Intrusive point of view The impersonal narrator is the opposite of the intrusive narrator. The impersonal narrator describes the action without introducing his/her own comments. The narrator remains detached from the characters and passes no judgments. Third Person Narration Types
The Impersonal point of view This point of view means that the story is told in the third person but only from the point of view of a single character. It is another way of combining third person narration with first person narration. The reader sees everything that is going on but only from the point of view of one character.

“Buddy stole the money form his mother's purse just before he left for school. His mother was in the kitchen clearing up the breakfast things and his father was still in bed. He tiptoed into the front room and slipped the purse out of her handbag. He clicked it open and took out a £5 note. A wave of disgust swept through him. Only two weeks ago he'd vowed to himself that he was going to stop shoplifting and here he was stealing from his own mother. He hadn't done that since he was a little kid and had sometimes nicked the odd ten-pence. He was turning into a real thief.” Buddy by Nigel Hinton Third Person Narration Types
The Limited point of view
Action & Plot
Narration Essentials to Prose Novels
Short Stories
Fairy Tales
and on and on and on and on...........
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