The Five Elements of a Short Story

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The Five Elements of a Short Story

By | May 2008
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The Five Elements and Insight
Elements are the structures that build a strong story. The five elements of a story are character, figure of speech, form, theme, and symbolism. Insight is ability to see clearly or intuitively in the elements of a story and the story itself. Both “The Tiger,” by Erick Gentry, and “A Lesson in Discipline,” by Teresa Foley, are short stories which contain these elements which each influence the insight that the reader develops. The insights I have gained insights I have attained from these two stories are that I must not assume that something is as always as it seems and that I must be prepared for what lies ahead. I believe that each element influences insight regarding not only itself but also that of the overall story as well. I shall prove this theory by demonstrating that meaning of each element and the effect it has on insight in “The Tiger” as well as “A Lesson in Discipline.”

The first of the elements is character, which in poems are the people around whom the author created his or her plot. Character in stories can influence insights in the plot in many ways. One way is how an event can occur which sets a uneasy tone in a story that shifts the reader’s focus on that character‘s personality. For example, in “The Tiger” the tiger’s relaxed personality calms the reader down during his first confrontation with Fatima. This is important because it allows the reader to focus on developing insight on Fatima’s personality instead of focusing on most tigers’ unpredictable nature. The protagonist character in “The Tiger” is very tranquil and predictable. The protagonist character in “A Lesson in Discipline” is also tranquil and predictable but also well prepared. This is important because it influences insight on the character’s personality as they experience unforeseen tragedy. Character is the people to whom the story is set upon which hold the capability to influence the insight developed by reader through events and...