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Elements of Fiction in Initiation by Sylvia Plath

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Megan Dominey

on 26 October 2012

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Transcript of Elements of Fiction in Initiation by Sylvia Plath


Stay true to yourself, be yourself, listen to yourself. The Elements of Fiction in Initiation by Sylvia Plath Plot There is both external and internal conflict in Initiation by Sylvia Plath. There is internal conflict between Millicent and her conscience. She wants to become part of the sorority, but her mind keeps telling her no. To become popular or be true to yourself? This was Millicent's problem. There is external conflict in the story when Beverly calls Millicent "gopher" and makes her do ridiculous hazing activities. Millicent gets angry at Beverly of course, but she cannot do anything about it because she wants to be in the sorority so badly. Conflict Main Characters: Millicent, the girls of Rat Court (Beverly Johnson, Louise) Herb.

Millicent is a dynamic character because of the way that she changes throughout the story. At first, she wants nothing more than to become a part of the sorority. She would do anything. By the end of the story, Millicent changes her mind completely about the sorority and decides not to join it at all. The other main characters (Beverly, Louise, Tracy, and Herb) do not change throughout the story. They are static characters. Characters This short story takes place in an unknown place in the world. It is not specified in which country or state this takes place. Millicent attends the high school and that is where she communicates with the girls of Rat Court. Some of the story also takes place in the local town, like the bus and the town square, where Millicent embarrasses herself. Setting There are several intriguing themes in this short story.

Fitting in, high school drama, finding yourself, self-worth, and being yourself are all themes in Initiation. Themes This story is told in third person. I can tell because it is narrated and the narrator talks of everyone in a perspective way. The narrator does not use "I". Point of View Not specified. It could be now. City with modern amanities such as buses and schools. Millicent is telling the story from memory. At the beginning of the story, Millicent has just gotten invited to join the sorority and she decides to go along with it, even if embarrassment and hurt is involved. Millicent wants nothing more than to be in the sorority. Millicent officially begins her initiation process. She talks to girls who have done it before. She talks to her mentor, Louise, who gives her advice and tips to stay ahead of the game. She also tells Millicent the rules. Millicent is nervous, but excited to get it over with a become a member of the elite group. Millicent begins her initiation process. She sees the awful things that she has heard about before, but now she is participating in it herself. She has to publicly embarrass herself. She does things like asking strangers ridiculous questions and dancing in public. This is when Millicent starts to doubt whether it would really be worth it to be in the sorority. Millicent, in the end, denies her own entry into the sorority. She realizes that it would not be a good decision for herself and that she would much rather maintain her self-worth and old life than to give it all up for a sorority with no moral or long term benefit. "Thanks Lou," Millicent said gratefully, thinking, this is beginning to sound serious. Worse than a loyalty test, this grilling over the coals." Millicent resolves the conflict with herself of whether to join the group or not. She decides not to join the group. Instead of becoming "cool", Millicent would much rather keep her sense of sense and pride for herself. She also resolves the conflict with her friend, Tracy. Tracy did not want Millicent to join the elite group and feared that their friendship would end because of it.
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