1. Kinds of Literature
Literature can be subdivided into various kinds according to various criteria. It can exist in oral (folklore) or written form; literary speech can be prosaic or poetic.
Literature can be divided into fiction and non-fiction.
Non-fiction is a prose writing that presents and explains ideas or tells about real people, places, events. The main forms/genres of non-fiction are character sketch, journal, letters, memoirs, biography, essay etc. Fiction is writing that tells about imaginary characters and events. The main kinds of fiction are epic (narrative), dramatic and lyric. Lyric. If the author presents an aspect of reality reflected in his inner world, if his emotions and meditations are represented without a clearly delimited thematic or temporary setting, the kind is lyric with lyric poetry as its main variety. Drama. A story written to be performed by actors. The events are represented in the speech and actions of characters in their interrelation. The main dramatic genres are defined by the nature of the represented conflict as well as the moral stand taken by the author and expressed in a peculiar emotive quality of writing (tragedy, comedy and drama). Epic. This kind of literature tells/narrates about the events and the characters more or less objectively. Two main genre subdivisions are delimited by the volume of the represented subject matter. In a novel alongside the main theme there are several other rival themes; several minor conflicts alongside the main one, rival characters alongside the main character; thus the plot is usually complex. A short story is as a rule centered on one main character, one conflict, one theme. There are two types of short stories:
plot (action) short story. This type is built upon one obvious collision. The action dramatically develops on ascending line to explode in the end. The plot structure is usually closed. -psychological (character) short story. This type usually shows the drama of character’s inner world. The structure in such a story is usually open. The traditional components of the plot are not clearly discernable and the action is less dynamic. But these types are not the only ones. The more usual is the so-called mixed type which includes a great variety of stories ranging from psychological-plot short story (e.g. G.Greene) to sketch short story (e.g. S.Lewis).
2. Theme and Idea
Theme of a literary work is the represented aspect of life. As literary works commonly depict human nature, the theme can be understood as an interaction of human characters under certain circumstances such as social and psychological conflicts (war and peace, racial discrimination, generation gap and the like). Within a single work the basic theme can alternate with rival or by-themes and their relationship can be very complex. Idea of a literary work is emphasized thought and emotional attitude transmitted to the reader by the whole poetic structure of the text. Poetic structure is a multi-layered entity and all its layers pertain to the expression of the idea.
3. Characters (Personages)
Characters are people or animals or natural forces represented as persons taking part in the action of a literary work. They are classified in several ways: a) static (staying the same throughout the work) or dynamic (undergoing some change in the personality or attitude). b) flat or round. Flat characters are simple. They are merely sketched out and not fully developed; they have only one dimension, one underlined side. Round characters are complex and fully developed; the reader come to appreciate them as if actual people. c) main or minor (rival). The main character can also be called protagonist. Protagonist is an obviously central character in a story or play, the one whom the readers or audience are supposed to sympathize with. As a rule the protagonist is admirable and distinguished but sometimes he can on the contrary seem very...
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