PLOT AND PLOT STRUCTURE
The impact of a literary work, as it has already been stated, depends on all its elements. Among them plot and plot structure play an important role. The plot is a series of interlinked events in which the characters of the story participate. The events are arranged in a definite sequence to catch and hold the reader's interest. The writer arranges the events, ordering them as he sees fit. Most stories and novels have plots. But there are some which have no plots. To these belong stories and poems describing nature. It is difficult to trace the plots in the so-called "novels of ideas" and stories presenting the stream of consciousness, since the thoughts of the character are set down as they occur regardless of their logic. Yet one should bear in mind that the events in a plot need not always involve physical movement, the movement may be psychological. In the latter case the plot reveals the dynamics in the psychological state of a character. Every plot is a series of meaningful events. They are meaningful in the sense that the writer does not follow all the events in which the characters of his story would participate in real life during the span of time covered by the story. He selects the events which are meaningful to the message contained in the story, and to characterization, i. e. he chooses those that serve to reveal certain features of the characters. their motives and morals. Therefore, each event in the story is always logically related to the message, the theme, the conflict, and is psychologically related to the development of the characters within the story. Sometimes the logical, and sometimes the psychological aspect may be the more obvious. Since the writer selects events that have special meaning in relation to the message of the story, every event in the plot is always suggestive. And this is what the reader should keep in mind. He should discover the role the events of the story play in characterization and in conveying the message. Any plot involves repetition, but it does not mean mechanical repetition. A plot is comprised of a variety of events, each of which recalls the reader, directly or indirectly, to the central problem. No matter how casual each event might seem to be at first glance, it generally returns the reader to the main problem of the story. The plot of any story always involves character and conflict. They imply each other. Conflict in fiction is the opposition (or struggle) between forces or characters. Conflicts are classified into external and internal conflicts. Different types of external conflicts are usually termed in the following way: Man against man, when the plot is based on the opposition between two or more people, as in The Roads We Take by O'Henry. Man against nature (the sea, the desert, the frozen North or wild beasts). The conflict in The Old Man and the Sea by F. Hemingway, The Hunter by J. Aldridge, or the scientist's effort to discover the secrets of nature involve a conflict between man and nature. 3. Man against society or man against the established order in the society, when the individual fights his social environment openly, or when there is a conflict between the individual and the established order: a conflict with poverty, racial hostility, injustice, exploitation, inequality. 4. The conflict between one set of values against another set of values. These sets of values may be supported by two groups or two worlds in opposition. For example, the conflict in The Fall of Edward Barnard by S. Maugham is between ambition and prosperity, on the one hand, and truth, beauty and goodness, on the other. Internal conflicts, often termed as "man against himself", take place within one character. The internal conflict is localized in the inner world of the character and is rendered through his thoughts, feelings, intellectual processes. Here the character is torn...
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