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UNIT NOTES: Prose Fiction Unit Concepts and Terms (Knight 2011-2012)

UNIT NOTES: Prose Fiction Unit Concepts and Terms (Knight 2011-2012)

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SUPPLEMENTAL HANDOUT
: Prose Fiction Unit Concepts and TermsPre-IB English I (2011-2012) / Knight1.
 
Conflict:
The problem faced by the main character, or
 protagonist.
The
antagonist 
is the opposing force in that conflict.Though the
main
conflict is the central issue for the main character, other conflicts may exist within a work. There are twospecific types:a.
internal conflict:
a problem or struggle within one character. There is one significant form:1.
Person vs. Self 
: The character struggles within herself to make a decision, reach a conclusion, orovercome a part of herself.b.
external conflict:
a problem or struggle between two forces, such as two characters or against the elements.There are three significant forms:1.
Person vs. Person
: The character struggles against the will or actions of another character.2.
Person vs. Society 
: The character struggles against a group or society.3.
Person vs. Nature
: The character struggles against natural forces or elements outside of humancreation or control.2.
 
Setting:
The time and place in which the story unfolds, as well as significant backdrop circumstances, such as a war or
 
other specific time in history. The details of setting can contribute only in a minor way to the plot, merely providing abackdrop against which the events take place, or, the setting can become a major force in the plot, directing characters'decisions and shaping what happens to them.3.
 
Characterization:
The method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes (1) showing thecharacter's appearanc
e, (2) displaying the character’
s actio
ns, (3) revealing the character’
s thoughts, (4) letting thecharacter speak, and (5) getting the reactions of others.a. The method by which characters are presented by authors:1.
 
Direct characterization:
the author tells you directly about a character2.
 
Indirect characterization:
the author presents a character through the character's own thoughts, hisactions, his dialogue with other characters, or through the thoughts and comments of other charactersabout him. Here, the reader has to infer what the character is all about instead of being told directly.b. The types of characters developed by an author:1.
 
Dynamic character:
a character who undergoes a significant change of heart or nature; this is caused byconflict and struggle.2.
 
Static character:
a character who does not change3.
 
Round character:
a character who is multidimensional; we see more than one side of his nature.4.
 
Flat character:
a character who is one dimensional; we only see one side of who he is.4.
Point of View:
The perspective from which the story is told, or, the story teller's relationship with the story. The point of view often affects the reader's perceptions of what happens in the story because who the story teller is and what he knowsaffects our view of the events and characters (see SUPPLEMENTAL HANDOUT on POINT OF VIEW). There are several forms:a.
First person point of view 
: The narrator is a character in the
story and refers to himself as “I.”
This narrator onlysees the events from his own perspective. The narrator speaks in the first person and the reader can only know orexperiences things that this character knows, thinks, feels, and experiences.b.
Third person limited:
The narrator is outside of the story and sees the events through the eyes of only one of thecharacters. His knowledge is limited. The narrator speaks in the third person, but the focus is on only onecharacter, and the reader can only know or experience things that this character knows, feels, and experiences.c.
Third person omniscient:
The narrator is outside of the story and sees the events through the eyes of all of thecharacters. He knows what they all are thinking and his knowledge is extensive. The narrator speaks in the thirdperson and can know and explain anything that happens in the story and what the characters in it know, think,feel, and experience.d.
Third person objective:
The narrator speaks in the third person and can know and explain anything that happensin the story externally but does not or cannot comment on what a character is thinking or feeling; no internalinformation about characters is available.
 
 5.
 
Narrator:
 
The actual “
teller
of the story. He will be a first
or third person narrator. The “
teller
of prose is called a
narrator,
while the “
teller
of poetry is called a
speaker.
 6.
 
Protagonist:
The main
character of the story and the “
owner
of the central conflict. The protagonist should be adynamic character, as he will undergo some character change as a result of struggling with his conflict. He may come outbetter or worse in the end.7.
 
Antagonist:
The opposing force in the conflict. The antagonist may be another character, the protagonist himself, forcesof nature, society in general, or whatever is causing the struggle.8.
 
Sympathetic character:
A character whose circumstances evoke sympathy from the reader for that character. Anauthor may make a character sympathetic in order to contribute to the point he is making by manipulating the reader to be
on the character's side.
 9.
 
Unreliable Narrator
: A narrator in a first-person narrative who cannot be completely trusted to relay informationaccurately or to understand what is going on. This can also apply in a third-person narrative if narrator is anothercharacter addressing the reader directly.10.
 
Suspense:
Circumstances in a plot that evoke anticipation in the reader. Suspense is used by authors to generateinterest and excitement. This device is almost always connected to mood.11.
 
Motif 
: A recurring word, phrase, image, object, or action that creates unity throughout a text and may also reinforceits theme.12.
Flashback:
A shift in time to the past. This device is connected to the Narration mode of development (see Non-Fiction Unit notes). 13.
 
Theme:
A statement of truth about life or human nature. A theme statement must be written in a completesentence.14.
 
Tone:
The attitude of the author toward his subject. The author may be critical, appreciative, etc. (seeSUPPLEMENTAL HANDOUT on TONE and MOOD)15.
 
Mood:
The atmospheric feeling the reader gets from a work. A mood may be mysterious, suspenseful, eerie, happy,etc. (see SUPPLEMENTAL HANDOUT on TONE and MOOD)16.
 
Allusion:
A reference within a literary work to an event or person from history or another literary work. Forexample, a
reference to one's “Achilles’ Heel”
is an understood comment about one's weakness. Knowledge of mythologyallows the reader to understand the message behind the allusion. The Bible is often used as a source of allusion. (seeSUPPLEMENTAL HANDOUT on BIBLICAL ALLUSIONS)17.
 
Hyperbole:
The use of exaggeration for the purpose of creating a specific effect.18.
 
Onomatopoeia:
The use of words that sound like the sound they describe or depict, such as
whoosh
or
bang.
 19.
 
Denotation:
The dictionary definition of a word. It is a literal definition without the addition or influence of emotionor experience.20.
 
Connotation:
The meaning that the word takes on with emotion and experience added. It is the feeling that a wordgives in addition to its definition. For example:
 
Consider these two sentences. “He was a zealous promoter of the cause.” “He was a
 
fanatical promoter of the cause.”The words “zealous” and “fanatical” mean essentially the same
thing and are listed as synonyms in a thesaurus.
However, “zealous” is ge
nerally seen as a
positive enthusiasm, while “fanatical” is generally seen as negative. Another
example of 
synonymous words with different connotations is “giggle
,
” “chuckle
,
” “chortle
,
” and “guffaw
.
 
21.
 
Inference:
An understanding about what is happening based upon information that is given indirectly (anunderstanding
derived from “
r
eading between the lines”
).22.
 
Figurative Language:
Language that is not literal; additional meaning is present. There are several elements:a.
Personification:
The use of human characteristics to describe non human beings or things.b.
Symbol:
A Symbol is something that is itself but also represents or stands for something else. A flag is apiece of cloth that can be seen, felt, and experienced through the senses, but it also represents a country orcommunity. In literature, symbols are usually used in this way, with something tangible also representingsomething abstract, on a different level of meaning.c.
Simile:
A comparison of two unlike things using the word
like
or
as.
 d.
Hyperbole:
A figure of speech (a form of irony) in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; anextravagant statement. Adjective: hyperbolic.e.
Metonymy:
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is
closely associated (such as “crown” for “royalty”).
 Metonymy is also the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to thingsaround it, such as describing someone's clothing to characterize the individual.f.
Synecdoche:
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole (for example, ABCs foralph
abet) or the whole for a part (“
En
gland won the World Cup in 1966”
). Synecdoche is often treatedas a type of metonymy.e.
Metaphor:
is the concept of understanding one thing in terms of another. A metaphor is afigure of speechthat constructs ananalogybetween two things or ideas; the analogy is conveyed by the use of a metaphorical word in place of some other word. For example:
The streets were a f 
urnace, the sun an executioner.”
 
(Cynthia Ozick, “Rosa” 
 )
 
The components of a metaphor are tenor and vehicle; tenor refers to the concept, object, or personmeant, and the vehicle being the image that carries the weight of the comparison. The words were firstused in this sense by the critic I.A. Richards (1893-1979)
. In the first stanza of Abraham Cowley’s poem“The Wish,” the tenor is the city and the vehicle is a beehive:
Well then; I now do plainly see,
This busy world and I shall ne’er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joyDoes of all meats the soonest cloy;And they, methinks, deserve my pity...
There are several common forms of metaphors:1.
Dead metaphor:
one in which the sense of a transfer
red image is absent. Examples: “
to grasp a
concept” and “
t
o gather what you’ve understood”
use physical action as a metaphor forunderstanding. Most people do not visualize the action
dead metaphors normally go unnoticed.Some people distinguish between a dead metaphor and a cliché
. Others use “dead metaphor”
todenote both.2.
Extended metaphor (conceit)
: establishes a principal subject (comparison) and subsidiary subjects(comparisons). The
 As You Like It 
quotation is a good example, the world is described as a stage, andthen men and women are subsidiary subjects further described in the same context.

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