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Short Stories for English Co

Short Stories for English Co

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Short Stories for English Courses
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Short Stories for English Coursesby Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.) Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project GutenbergeBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it.Do not change or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at thebottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the filemay be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to getinvolved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Short Stories for English CoursesAuthor: Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.)Release Date: April, 2004 [EBook #5403] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file wasfirst posted on July 7, 2002]Edition: 10Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ASCII*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SHORT STORIES ***Produced by Robert Rowe, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading TeamSHORT STORIES FOR ENGLISH COURSESEDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTESBY ROSA M. R. MIKELSSHORTRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL, INDIANAPOLIS, IND.CONTENTS
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PREFACE INTRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS OF THE SHORT STORY HOW THIS BOOK MAY BEUSED THE FIRST CHRISTMAS−TREE Henry van Dyke A FRENCH TAR−BABY Joel Chandler HarrisSONNY'S CHRISTENIN' Ruth McEnery Stuart CHRISTMAS NIGHT WITH SATAN John Fox, Jr. ANEST−EGG James Whitcomb Riley WEE WILLIE WINKLE Rudyard Kipling THE GOLD BUG EdgarAllan Poe THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF O. Henry THE FRESHMAN FULL−BACK Ralph D. PaineGALLEGHER Richard Harding Davis THE JUMPING FROG Mark Twain THE LADY OR THE TIGER?Frank R. Stockton THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLAT Francis Bret Harte THE REVOLT OF MOTHERMary E. Wilkins Freeman MARSE CHAN Thomas Nelson Page "POSSON JONE'" George W. Cable OURAROMATIC UNCLE Henry Cuyler Bunner QUALITY John Galsworthy THE TRIUMPH OF NIGHT EdithWharton A MESSENGER Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews MARKHEIM Robert Louis Stevenson.PREFACEWhy must we confine the reading of our children to the older literary classics? This is the question asked byan ever− increasing number of thoughtful teachers. They have no wish to displace or to discredit the classics.On the contrary, they love and revere them. But they do wish to give their pupils something additional,something that pulses with present life, that is characteristic of to−day. The children, too, wonder that, withthe great literary outpouring going on about them, they must always fill their cups from the cisterns of thepast.The short story is especially adapted to supplement our high− school reading. It is of a piece with our varied,hurried, efficient American life, wherein figure the business man's lunch, the dictagraph, the telegraph, thetelephone, the automobile, and the railway "limited." It has achieved high art, yet conforms to the moderndemand that our literature−−since it must be read with despatch, if read at all−−be compact and compelling.Moreover, the short story is with us in almost overwhelming numbers, and is probably here to stay. Indeed,our boys and girls are somewhat appalled at the quantity of material from which they must select theirreading, and welcome any instruction that enables them to know the good from the bad. It is certain, therefore,that, whatever else they may throw into the educational discard when they leave the high school, they willkeep and use anything they may have learned about this form of literature which has become so powerful afactor in our daily life.This book does not attempt to select the greatest stories of the time. What tribunal would dare make such achoice? Nor does it attempt to trace the evolution of the short story or to point out natural types anddifferences. These topics are better suited to college classes. Its object is threefold: to supply interestingreading belonging to the student's own time, to help him to see that there is no divorce between classic andmodern literature, and, by offering him material structurally good and typical of the qualities represented, toassist him in discriminating between the artistic and the inartistic. The stories have been carefully selected,because in the period of adolescence "nothing read fails to leave its mark"; [Footnote: G Stanley Hall,Adolescence, vol. II.] they have also been carefully arranged with a view to the needs of the adolescent boyand girl. Stories of the type loved by primitive man, and therefore easily approached and understood, havebeen placed first. Those which appealed in periods of higher development follow, roughly in the order of theirincreasing difficulty. It is hoped, moreover, that this arrangement will help the student to understand andappreciate the development of the story. He begins with the simple tale of adventure and the simple story of character. As he advances he sees the story develop in plot, in character analysis, and in setting, until he endswith the psychological study of Markheim, remarkable for its complexity of motives and its great spiritualproblem. Both the selection and the arrangement have been made with this further purpose in view−− "to keepthe heart warm, reinforcing all its good motives, preforming choices, universalizing sympathies." [Footnote:Ibid.]It is a pleasure to acknowledge, in this connection, the suggestions and the criticism of Mr. William N. Otto,Head of the Department of English in Shortridge High School, Indianapolis; and the courtesies of thepublishers who have permitted the use of their material.
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INTRODUCTIONIREQUIREMENTS OF THE SHORT STORYCritics have agreed that the short story must conform to certain conditions. First of all, the writer must striveto make one and only one impression. His time is too limited, his space is too confined, his risk of dividingthe attention of the reader is too great, to admit of more than this one impression. He therefore selects somemoment of action or some phase of character or some particular scene, and focuses attention upon that. Lifenot infrequently gives such brief, clear−cut impressions. At the railway station we see two young people hurryto a train as if fearful of being detained, and we get the impression of romantic adventure. We pass on thestreet corner two men talking, and from a chance sentence or two we form a strong impression of the characterof one or both. Sometimes we travel through a scene so desolate and depressing or so lovely and uplifting thatthe effect is never forgotten. Such glimpses of life and scene are as vivid as the vignettes revealed by thesearch−light, when its arm slowly explores a mountain−side or the shore of a lake and brings objects for abrief moment into high light. To secure this single strong impression, the writer must decide which of thethree essentials−− plot, character, or setting−−is to have first place.As action appeals strongly to most people, and very adequately reveals character, the short−story writer maydecide to make plot pre−eminent. He accordingly chooses his incidents carefully. Any that do not really aid indeveloping the story must be cast aside, no matter how interesting or attractive they may be in themselves.This does not mean that an incident which is detached from the train of events may not be used. But such anincident must have proper relations provided for it. Thus the writer may wish to use incidents that belong totwo separate stories, because he knows that by relating them he can produce a single effect. Shakespeare doesthis in Macbeth. Finding in the lives of the historic Macbeth and the historic King Duff incidents that hewished to use, he combined them. But he saw to it that they had the right relation, that they fitted into thechain of cause and effect. The reader will insist, as the writer knows, that the story be logical, that incident 1shall be the cause of incident 2, incident 2 of incident 3, and so on to the end. The triangle used by Freytag toillustrate the plot of a play may make this clear.AC is the line of rising action along which the story climbs, incident by incident, to the point C; C is theturning point, the crisis, or the climax; CB is the line of falling action along which the story descends incidentby incident to its logical resolution. Nothing may be left to luck or chance. In life the element of chance doessometimes seem to figure, but in the story it has no place. If the ending is not the logical outcome of events,the reader feels cheated. He does not want the situation to be too obvious, for he likes the thrill of suspense.But he wants the hints and foreshadowings to be sincere, so that he may safely draw his conclusions fromthem. This does not condemn, however, the "surprise" ending, so admirably used by O. Henry. The reader, inthis case, admits that the writer has "played fair" throughout, and that the ending which has so surprised andtickled his fancy is as logical as that he had forecast.To aid in securing the element of suspense, the author often makes use of what Carl H. Grabo, in his The Artof the Short Story, calls the "negative" or "hostile" incident. Incidents, as he points out, are of twokinds−−positive and negative. The first openly help to untangle the situation; the second seem to delay thestraightening out of the threads or even to make the tangle worse. He illustrates this by the story of Cinderella.The appearance of the fairy and her use of the magic wand are positive, or openly helpful incidents, inrescuing Cinderella from her lonely and neglected state. But her forgetfulness of the hour and her loss of theglass slipper are negative or hostile incidents. Nevertheless, we see how these are really blessings in disguise,since they cause the prince to seek and woo her.The novelist may introduce many characters, because he has time and space to care for them. Not so the
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