Plot Structure and Setting in Emma

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Plot Structure and Setting in Emma

By | April 2006
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Describe two of the following key concepts in the study of narrative and apply them to the analysis of one of the set novels: time and order: plot and structure: setting.

Narratives are stories about a series of events, usually in sequence and often with one event causing another (Ways of Reading p211). Within the study of narrative there are several key concepts such as time and order, plot and structure and setting, all of which enable the reader to follow the series of events and gain a better understanding of the story. For the purpose of this essay we will examine the main features of both plot and structure and setting. This will enable us to have a better understanding of these key concepts and enable us to move on and apply them to the analysis of Jane Austen's novel Emma.

In describing Plot and Structure a simple description would be to say that plot is what happens in a novel and structure is the novel's overall organization. In the study of narrative structure can be broken down into different types, form, themes and plot. Form is how the novel can be divided into chapters, sections or frame narrative. Chapters and sections have several functions within a novel, for example chapters tell the reader when they can pause. Sections however are more significant and show changes in time, point of view and theme. Themes can give a solid foundation to the structure of a text when they are repeated throughout. This is also seen with the use of images and symbols, such as the lighthouse in Virginia Wolfe's To The Lighthouse. Plot within structure organizes the key events into an order, depending on the text this could be linear or anti linear.

The plot of a novel is the narrative and development of the story. The main features of plot within narrative are conflict and closure. All conflicts revolve around the arguments of the protagonist and the antagonist due to their differing views or feelings. The closure is when the narrative resolves the...
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