The Short Story
A short story is a short piece of fiction Learn the elements of short stories through the classic “Cinderella”
Setting • Setting is the time and place of the story’s action. Setting includes ideas, customs, values, and beliefs.
The setting in “Cinderella” • The story takes place a long time ago in a land ruled by a king and a queen.
Characters • Characters are the actors in a story’s plot. They can be people, animals, or whatever the writer chooses. • The protagonist is the main character.• The antagonist is the person in conflict with the main character. Not all stories have antagonists.
Characters in “Cinderella” • The main characters are Cinderella, the stepsisters, their mother, the fairy godmother, and the prince. • Protagonist: Cinderella• Antagonist: the stepsisters, their mother
Point of View • Point of view refers to the relationship of the narrator, or storyteller, to the story. • In first-person point of view, the narrator is a character in the story, referred to as “I.” • In third-person limited point of view, the narrator reveals the thoughts of only one character, referring to that character as “he” or “she.” • In third-person omniscient point of view, the narrator knows everything about the story’s events and reveals the thoughts of all the characters. Cinderella is told through the third-person omniscient point of view.
Theme • Theme is the central idea or message of a story, often a perception about life or human nature. • Stated themes are directly presented in a story. • Implied themes must be inferred by considering all the elements of a story and asking what message about life is conveyed. • The theme of “Cinderella” is implied. The reader can infer the message that if you are in a bad situation, you should do the best that you can. In the end, things will work out for you.
Plot • Plot is the sequence of events in a story. Each event causes or leads to the next. Plot is often created through conflict, a struggle between opposing forces. • An external conflict is one between a character and an outside force, such as another character, nature, society, or fate. • An internal conflict takes place within the mind of a character who is torn between opposing feelings or between different courses of action.
Problem and Conflict in “Cinderella” • Problem: Cinderella wants to go to the ball, but her stepsisters prevent her from going. • Conflict: The conflict is external—Cinderella versus the stepsisters and their mother.
Types of Conflict • Conflict is generally categorized in the following ways: – Man versus Man: this is an external struggle between two characters – Man versus Society: this is an external struggle between a character and a social force or condition produced by society, such as poverty, political revolution, or a set of values – Man versus Nature: this is an external struggle between a character and some natural obstacle or natural condition – Man versus Self: this is an internal struggle within a character, where aspects of his or her personality may struggle for dominance. These aspects may be emotional, intel ectual, or moral.
The Five Stages of Plot • Exposition introduces the story’s characters, setting, and conflict. • Rising action occurs as complications, twists, or intensifications of the conflict occur. • Climax is the emotional high point of the story. • Falling action is the logical result of the climax. • Resolution presents the final outcome of the story.
The 5 Stages of plot in The stepsisters Cinderella try to force theirfeet into the slipper. A fairy Cinderella dances It fits Cinderella. godmother with the prince, appears and but leaves hurriedly provides at midnight; losing a Cinderella lives An Cinderella slipper with her stepsisters invitation with clothes, and their mother. to the ball a coach, and The prince Cinderella and they make her wear arrives. footman. says he the prince marry. rags and do all the will marry hard work. Cinderella the woman goes to the whom the ball. slipper fits. The stepsisters They live happily go to the ever after. ball.