Plot, Setting, Narration, Theme, Motif Symbolism and

Characterisation
By:
Ms. Lynne April
OUTCOMES
 Know how to identify the Plot in a novel.
 Be able to identify the Narration.
 Identify the Theme of a novel.
 Describe the Tone of a novel.
 Know the importance of the Setting in a novel.
 Be able to describe each character in its complete
context.
 Know what is Symbolism
 Know what is Motif

PLOT

 Plot refers to what happens in the story - events and
thoughts which make up the story's basic structure.

 Is usually composed of an introduction, rising
action, a climax, falling action and
catastrophe/denoumet
FREYTAG’S PYRAMID
PYRAMID EXPLAINED
WHAT QUESTIONS ARE RELATED TO THE
PLOT?

• What is the story about? What are the main events in
the story?
• Events chronological or are they arranged in another
way?
• Are flashbacks, summaries, stories within the story
used?
• Is the plot fast-paced or slow-paced?
• How do the thoughts, behaviours, and actions of
characters move the plot forward?
• Conflicts in the plot : physical, intellectual, moral or
emotional?

QUESTIONS
• What is the climax? When does it occur?
• Ending of the story: happy, unhappy, or indeterminate?
• Does the plot have unity? Are all the chapters relevant to the
total meaning or effect of the story?
• Do incidents grow logically out of the preceding incidents and
lead naturally to the next?
• Do occurrences initiate, complicate, or resolve the story?
• Are they resolved? How?
• Is conflict between good and evil obvious, subtle or complex?


PLOT IN CATCHER IN THE RYE
 High School boy that gets expelled
 Flash backs – yes
 Conflicts – moral, physical, emotional
 Rising action?
 Falling Action?
 Catastrophe?



PLOT IN ROAD TO MECCA
 Elderly woman artist gets a surprise visit from a young
teacher friend with consequences.
WHAT IS SETTING?
SETTING
Setting refers to the location of a story or novel in
terms of place, time, social environment, and physical
environment.
SETTING

• Place: the geographical location of the story - a country or
a city/village/indoors/outdoors
• Time: the period in history, the day of the month, and/or
the hour of the day in which the events of the story occur.
• Social environment: the location of characters and events
in a particular society and/or a particular social class
(lower, middle, or upper class).
• Physical environment: the details of the location in which
the story takes place. These physical details often indicate
the emotional state of the characters or the relationship
between characters.


QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTING

• Where and when does the action take place?
• How does the setting affect characters in the story?
• Does their environment give them freedom, satisfaction,
or make them feel trapped, dissatisfied, or unhappy?
Why?
• Be able to describe the social forces and institutions that
shape the characters and their lives: political, social,
economic, philosophic, religious, educational, etc.
• Determine to what extent, if at all, the characters are
influenced by nature.

SETTING OF CITR
 1950’s
 Sanatorium
 Manhattan
 Upper Class
 Lavender Room
 Radio City

SETTING OF RTM
 1974
 New Bethesda, Karoo
 Miss Helen’s house
WHAT IS NARRATION?
 Through whose eyes do we see what is going on in the
text?
 1st person narrative: the reader is addressed by an ‘I’
who can only relate what he sees, feels, knows and
thinks. Is the narrator reliable? The narrator is not the
author.

 Are the characters described directly by the author or
indirectly by what they say or do?

NARRATION

 3rd Person narrative: the characters are referred to as
he or she or they.
 An omniscient point of view allows the narrator to
know everything there is to know about the
characters and their actions. This narrative style
makes use of panoramic descriptions..

POINT OF VIEW
 A limited or restricted point of view leaves the
narrator with only interior insight in one
character. An objective point of view only allows
the narrator to relate what can be seen from the
outside of the characters. It is left to the reader to
find out about reasons and consequences. This
narrative style is scenic
Themes
 Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas
explored in a literary work.

 Alienation as a Form of Self-Protection
 The Painfulness of Growing Up
 The Phoniness of the Adult World

Motifs
 Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary
devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s
major themes.

 Loneliness
 Lying Deception
 Intimacy, Sexuality, Relationships


Symbolism
 Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colours
used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

 Symbols can be anything that the author uses to
communicate a non-verbal message.
 All symbols and their abstract meaning need to be
looked at in context.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SYMBOLISM

 Are there any objects which seem to have a symbolic
meaning? What are their meanings?
 Do any people act as symbols in the story? What do
they represent?
 Do aspects of the story's setting seem symbolic? In
what way?
 Is one symbol used throughout the story or do the
symbols change?

Characterisation
 Characters are the people (or animals!) in a story.
 Character refers to people's outward appearance,
behaviour and also their inner emotional, intellectual,
and moral qualities.
 Main characters’(the protagonist or hero/heroine),
personality traits move the plot forward and
contribute to conflict.
 Many stories also have at least one minor character,
who is not the focus of the story but who still plays an
important role. Sometimes characters provide
contrasts with one another.
THANK YOU! 