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ELEMENTS IN A SHORT STORY

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Plot
Setting
Characters
Theme
Moral values
Point of view
Language and style
Tone and mood

1. PLOT
- series of events take place in the story
- has a: a) beginning/exposition
b) rising action
c) climax
d) falling action
e) resolution
- to understand the plot, you must be able to:
* remember the story and tell it in your own words
* list the sequence of events as they occur in the story

2. SETTING
- tells us where and when the story takes place
- provides us with a description of the physical and social background
important to understand the story
- can take place at more than one location
- refers to the time of the events
3. CHARACTER
- people in the story
- only one main characters have smaller roles to play
- minor characters have smaller roles to play
- characters will show who and what they are by their thoughts, words and
actions
4. THEME
- important ideas which emerge from the story as a whole
- author uses theme to convey views or lessons about human values
- alerts reader to some of the important issues and conflicts in the story
5. MORAL VALUES
- refer to good values, lessons and accepted social norms that exist within a
certain society
- every literary text teaches us values and lessons which we can keep for life
6. POINT OF VIEW
- refers to the angle or eyes from which a story is told
- the most common points of view are:
the first person point of view - the narrator is also a character in
the story and uses the word I
the third person point of view the narrator knows everything
that goes on or only views actions from the perspective of one of
the characters and uses pronouns He, She, They and It
7. LANGUGAE AND STYLE
- refers to the creative use of language to make the story interesting and
clear
- gives us a vivid description of events and characters in a story
- some of the forms of creative and figurative language features that writers
usually use are:
simile compare things in an unusual way using like or as
metaphor compares two unlike things, e.g.: The doctor
inspected the rash with a vultures eye.
personification inanimate object is endowed with human
qualities or abilities, e.g.: Oreo, Milks Favourite cookie.
flashback

foreshadowing author gives hints about things to come in later


plot
irony something happens and there is an opposite effect or
result

8. TONE AND MOOD


- refers to the attitude of the writer towards his characters or other ideas of
the story
- some stories have a sad and gloomy tone, some leave us feeling happy and
contented

SHORT STORY HOW DALAT GOT ITS NAME


1. PLOT

2. SETTING
a) The village
- a small Melanau village on Oya River
- Galau, Umat and Lutong lived there
- the fighting took place there
b) The old chiefs house
- the old chief spoke to his sons on his deathbed
c) The longhouse
- a new house built for everybody
- it was far off the ground and the villagers entered by climbing ladder
which could be pulled up
d) The Oya River
- the enemies boats came up to the village by the river
- many of the enemies were killed when heavy trees fell on their boats

e) The village after the fighting


- dead bodies lied on the ground
- blood everywhere
- lots of black flies
3. CHARACTERS
Galau, the eldest son (main character)
a) Fair and just
- You are my eldest son. You are fair and just. Dont change, always be
good to everybody. (pg. 41)
b) Wise
- Galau knows our law and he is very wise. (pg. 44)
c) Had leadership qualities
- but he is a very clever leader. (pg. 49)
- They have learnt their lesson. We must bury the dead and comfort the
living. (pg. 50)
d) Compassionate and merciful
- your kindness is too great. (pg. 51)
e) Kind
- He cried and mourned for him. (pg. 51)
Umat, the second son (minor character)
a) Tall and brave
- You are a brave man and a good leader, but I want you to be kind and
gentle to your brothers. (pg. 42)
- Umat was a tall, strong man. He had often been in fights and wars. (pr. 43)
b) hot-tempered
- I know you are hot-tempered (pg. 41)
c) disrespectful
- But, Father, who shall be the new chief after you? shocked to hear
Umat talk like that at his fathers deathbed. (pg. 42)
- Custom what use is that? Can you buy a pound of custom for ten silver
dollars? Umat asked rudely. (pg. 43)
d) ambitious
- I will still sit in the highest place. (pg. 43)
e) sarcastic
- Heres brother Galau, too frightened to speak up for himself. (pg. 43)
f) cruel
- He was brave and cruel. (pg. 43)
g) traitorous
- We think he has gone to meet our enemies. (pg. 43)

Lutong, the youngest son (minor character)


a) patient and sensible
- You have always been a patient man. (pg. 42)
- even as a boy, you were sensible and fair. (pg. 42)
b) respectful
- we must respect the custom. (pg. 43)
c) loyal
- Think of our late father, he would be so sad if he knew we were
quarrelling. (pg. 45)
d) loving and caring
- Where is my brother? is he sick? (pg. 46)
e) practical and rational
- Brother, we shouldnt ask why and what for. Lets just tell the men to
build a new house. We can start tomorrow. (pg. 46)
The old chief
a) wise
- It was ruled by a wise, old chief who had three sons. (pg. 41)
b) observant
- Lutong, you have always been a patient man. (pg. 41)
c) trusting
- Umat, I want you to be kind and gentle to your brothers. If brothers
quarrel, how can a village have peace? (pg. 41)
d) respected and loved
- Your late father was the best chief we have ever had. (pg.44)
e) well-liked
- their good old chief had passed away. (pg. 42)
4. THEME
a) Customs and traditions
- The story centres around the question of who should be the successor after the
chiefs death. According to the village custom and tradition, the eldest son, Galau
should be the one to take his place, as stated by Lutong, It is our peoples custom
that the eldest son should succeed the father. (pg. 43).
- It also shows the consequences of not following the tradition.
b) Greed for power
- Umat wants to become the new chief although Galau is more suitable for the
part. Umat is even willing to do anything in order to become the chief. He does
not care about the village custom and tradition. His ambition and greed lead him
to forget about loyalty and obedience.
c) Peace and order in society
- It is important to maintain peace and order in society. Lutong tries to keep the
peace by saying that Galau should be the new chief while Umat should be the
military leader.

d) Sibling rivalry
- Umat does not hold to traditions and customs strongly. In fact, he challenges his
brother, Lutong rudely; asking if he can buy a pound of custom for ten silver
dollars. (pg. 43). He also says that he is taller and braver. As a result of this
sibling rivalry, there is conflict in the village which cause disorder.
e) Love and forgiveness
- Centres around the love in a family and the forgiveness that the eldest son has.
When Galau heard that his brother was dead, he cried and mourned for him (pg.
51). He even wanted the men to take his place. We can see that blood is thicker
than water.
5. MORAL VALUES
a) Traditionalism
- Tradition is important. Galau is willing to follow the traditions of his society in
terms of succession.
b) Loyalty and obedience to elders
- This is a virtue we could have. Lutong helps Galau according to his dead
fathers wishes.
c) The importance of peace and harmony
- Value peace and harmony that can be preserved if we follow the traditions and
do things in an orderly, well laid out manner. If we violate the customs and
traditions, it could lead to disorder and disharmony.
d) Love and forgiveness
- We should not be jealous, envious or hateful. Although Umat betrayed his
brother and clan, Galau still forgive him. This shows that the love that Galau had
for his brother was deep.
e) Peace and order in society
- It is important to maintain peace and order in society. Lutong tries to keep the
peace by saying that Galau should be the new chief while Umat should be the
military leader.
f) Pride and jealousy lead to a persons downfall
- We should realise that these negative emotions only lead to negative
consequences. It was a result of Umats pride and jealousy that lead to his own
death.

6. POINT OF VIEW
This story is written in the third person point of view. The author enables us to
know everything that is going on and how the character felt.
7. LANGUAGE AND STYLE
a) Simile
His wisdom is as good as another mans strength ! (pg. 49)
The house was as safe as a big ship. (pg. 49)
b) Symbol a word, object or person which represents something else
e.g.: Galau a symbol of wisdom, peace and order
Umat a symbol of envy, jealousy, violence, war and rebellion
The flies a symbol of death
8. TONE AND MOOD
Tone a blend of nostalgia for a forgotten era of peace and simplicity
Mood regret arising from the tragic power struggle