You are on page 1of 3

PART I : Analyzing Novels and Short Stories

I.1 Story, Discourse, and Time


Novels and short stories can be analyzed at two levels: story and discourse
Story story : the chronological and causal sequence of events + the participants experiencing these events (the characters) theme : a central idea underlying the narrative motif : a meaningful element which is repeated in the narrative (e.g. : loneliness) setting : the space and time in which the story is situated events : can be of all kinds (smallest units of a story) characters : get involved by causing, participating, or being affected by events

I.1.1

I.1.2

Discourse the way the story is told to the reader narration : how is the story told, who speaks? focalization : from which perspective are you made to perceive things? characterization : direct vs. indirect Time order : the relation between the order in which the events appear in the story (chronologically) and the order in which they are narrated duration : the relation between the supposed duration of the events in the story and the amount of time used to describe those events frequency : the relation between the number of times an event takes place in the story and the number of times it is narrated

I.1.3

I.2 Analyzing the Discourse Level


I.2.1
Narrator is the narrator also a character in the story hes telling? homodiegetic : the narrator has participated in the story heterodiegetic : the narrator has never been present in the world of his/her

story is the narrator a character in a story told by a different told by a different, higher narrator? extradiegetic : the narrator is not told by a narrator (standard) intradiegetic : the narrator is a character in another story (story-within-the story, told by one of the characters extradiegetic + heterodiegetic : narrator hovers over the story, has not experienced what he or

she is relating (like a God, talking about characters in third person) extradiegetic + homodiegetic : the narrator has no other narrator above him/her, he/she relates events experienced by him-/herself (talking about himself in the Iform) intradiegetic + heterodiegetic : an embedded narrator relates events which he/she has not experienced (e.g. : a character telling a fairytale in a story) intradiegetic + homodiegetic : an embedded narrator relates events in which he/she takes part

I.2.2

Focalization focalizer : who perceived the events in the story internal focalizer : focalizer belongs to the fictional world external focalizer : focalizer remains outside the fictional world (like a camera registering the action) stability fixed focalization : if the events are perceived by one single agent multiple focalization : if the events are perceived by various characters

I.2.3 Characterization
direct characterization : the narrator explicitly discusses the personality/appearance of a character indirect characterization : the narrator portrays a character through his habits, actions, speech and thought