Analyzing Novels & Short Stories

Topics: Fiction, Narrative, Metaphor Pages: 4 (1166 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Analyzing Novels & Short Stories
Where and When where a story takes place can be profoundly significant. Consider where the author’s story is placed and why the author made that decision. In Shakespeare’s Othello, for example, the setting is Italy, although Shakespeare was writing in England. He set his play elsewhere, in part, so he could make social commentary about England without incurring the wrath of English rulers. Remember, many stories would be irretrievably altered if their settings were different and setting is, therefore, integral for interpreting the story’s meaning. Plot

Story lines usually follow patterns like those in the example below. Identifying essential plot points will help you to analyze, interpret, and explain the story. The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story. In short stories the plot is usually centered around one experience or significant moment * What is the most important event?

* How is the plot structured? Is it linear, chronological or does it move around? * Is the plot believable?

Characterization deals with how the characters in the story are described. In short stories there are usually fewer characters compared to a novel. They usually focus on one central character or protagonist. -------------------------------------------------

The main character in a story, the one with whom the reader is meant to identify. The person is not necessarily "good", but is the person whom the reader is most invested in. -------------------------------------------------

E.g. Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye
Counterpart to the main character/protagonist and source of a story's main conflict. It may not even be a person....
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