Literature 1: Short Stories By Kiki van Zanten & Lotte ten Broeke?IndexIntroduction to plot 2The Lottery by Shirley Jackson 5Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl 6A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor 7The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 8Bibliography 9?Introduction to plotThe plot of a story or novel describes the main events in a logical order. There are five important elements: The exposition Where the story, setting and the main characters, as well as the conflict are introduced and described.The rising actionWhere multiple events build up to the conflict. This is the part where the tension starts to rise.The climaxWhich is the big turning point in every story. At this point the main character will go through a personal change, or they will make an significant decision that is very important for the rest of the story. The falling action This is the part where the main conflict will be cleared up.
The tension becomes less, but might occasionally rise and fall again, until the conflict is resolved. The resolution The end of a story. This does not have to be a happy ending, it can also be tragic or open.
These elements are the most important parts, or the foundation, of the story and should be described in a logical order. Little Red Riding Hood, like many fairy tales, has a very clear and simple plot structure and it is very easy to use this story to illustrate the differents elements of plot in literature. Exposition Little Red’s mother asks her to bring a basket of cookies to her ill grandmother.
There is a bit of foreshadowing and irony, as she tells her daughter explicitly not to go off the paths in the dark forest and to look out for the wolf, while later we will discover that Little Red will get off the path where she meets the wolf. There is no tension or conflict here yet. Rising action Little Red meets the wolf. Although she is very naive and she trusts the wolf, the reader knows he does not have good intentions and he is on his way to eat Little Red’s grandmother. There is some foreshadowing here as well, because the wolf asks where Grandma lives, so the reader can predict that he will use this information to go and find Grandma. This is where the tension starts to build up, because the reader knows that the grandmother is about to get eaten while Little Red is happily and unknowingly picking flowers in the forest. The climax When Little Red gets eaten by the wolf. The tension builds up very rapidly by her stating things like “But grandma, what big ears you have” (n.
a., n.d.) and when she is at the point of finding out that her grandma is in fact the wolf, he “gobbles her up” (n.a., n.
d.). Falling action Little Red and Grandma are stuck in the wolf’s stomach. A huntsman hears a noise from Grandma’s house and he goes inside to check up on her. The tension is decreasing because the reader knows that the huntsman might be able to save Little Red and her grandmother. ResolutionThe huntsman cuts open the wolf’s stomach and frees Little Red and her grandmother. We know that all conflict is now solved, because the story, like most other fairy tales, ends with “and they lived happily ever after” (n.
a., n.d.)The effect of the plot on the readerLotte’s stories:The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Exposition The town and the atmosphere are described. Nothing really happens, there is no conflict yet.
There is a little bit of foreshadowing because it says “it could … still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner” (Jackson, S. 1948).
This shows that the lottery is not something that the villagers enjoy going to, so it will not be a regular lottery. Rising action The children of the village start to collect the rocks. The reader may not yet realise that this is the beginning of the rising action until the end, because they don’t know what the stones will be used for.
“The men smiled rather than laughed” (Jackson, S. 1948). This shows again that this lottery is not something the villagers look forward to, so this is foreshadowing because later in the story something bad will happen and the reader will know why the people are not enjoying the lottery. Climax Bill Hutchinson draws the ticket with the black dot. He now has to make a decision to join his wife and accuse Mr. Summers of giving him an unfair chance, so his family does not have to draw again, or to quietly obey, which will result in one of his family members getting stoned. The decision he makes changes his life and that of his family.
Falling action This is very near to the end, when the first stone hits Tessie’s head. At this point Tessie is still arguing against her fate, but it is quite clear that she will have to die. Resolution This is the last sentence of the story: “”It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs.
Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.” (Jackson, S. 1948). The story has ended and all conflict has been resolved. Reason for choiceI chose this story because I had already read it in highschool before and I remembered that I quite liked it. It was interesting to analyze the story again because now I understand how I could have predicted that something bad would happen, which I did not see when I first read the story. The structure was also quite clear and it was not very difficult to find the different elements in the plot. Acting it out in class also helped a lot in determining the separate parts.
The effect of the plot on the readerLamb to the Slaughter by Roald DahlExposition Mary Maloney is sitting in her living room, waiting for her husband. There is no tension or conflict. There is a bit of foreshadowing, because the writer really emphasizes that Mary is “curiously tranquil” and waiting “without anxiety” (Dahl, R. 1953). It is mentioned so often that it seems like she is too calm and something will happen which will disturb the peace.
Rising action Patrick Maloney pours himself a second drink, which is unusual. “”I’ll get it!” Mary cried, jumping up.” (Dahl, R. 1953) The way this is described, because of the words ‘cried’ and ‘jumping up’, causes quite a lot of tension.
When Mary takes the leg of lamb out of the freezer and carries it upstairs, she is “holding the thin bone-end of it with both her hands” (Dahl, R. 1953), which is the same way a baseball player would hold his baseball bat. This is foreshadowing for the fact that she will hit her husband’s head with it. Climax. This story has two climaxes. The first climax is when Mary hits her husband and kills him, but this is not the main climax, because the tension keeps growing as the detectives come to her house to investigate the murder. The main climax is when one of the police officers points out that there is still meat cooking in the oven (Gahr, E. & Stannard Gromisch, E.
2012). At this point, the tension is at its highest, because the police officers might find out that Mary killed her husband with the leg. For Mary this is a big conflict, because she has to think of a way to hide her murder weapon. She asks the police officers to eat the lamb and they finish the leg. Mary, in the eyes of the police, changes from a possible suspect to a victim of the murder (Gahr, E.
& Stannard Gromisch, E. 2012).Falling action The police officers eat the leg of lamb together. The tension disappears with the murder weapon.Resolution This is the very end, when Mary giggles. One of the police officers has pointed out that the murder weapon must be right under their very noses (Dahl, R.
1953). It is quite clear that Mary will not be held accountable for the murder. She will not have to worry about hiding the murder weapon anymore, so all conflict has been solved. Reason for choiceI chose this story because I always used to read books by Roald Dahl as a child and I quite like the way he writes. It was pleasing to see that this story was as ironic and grim as his children’s books. I especially like the last sentence “And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.” (Dahl, R.
1953), because it suddenly changes the whole atmosphere of the story at the very end by changing the main character from someone who has to cleverly get away with murder to a psychopath. The effect of the plot on the readerThis story has two climaxes, which makes it quite interesting to read. The first climax is quite early in the story, so the tension builds up fast, but the tension starts building again very shortly after the climax, towards the second one.
The second climax is near to the end, so the falling action is not very long. Kiki’s stories:A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’ConnorExpositionThe grandmother tries to manipulate her son, Bailey, into taking the family to Tennessee as she had read in the paper that a serial killer, The Misfit, was roaming around their usual holiday destination, Florida. Although the grandmother is against the idea of going to Florida at first, when the time comes to begin travelling, she is dressed in her Sunday best. O’Connor very obviously plants the idea of the grandmother dying here as you would always be dressed well for your funeral.
“Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.” (O’Connor, F. 1953).Rising ActionThere is more foreshadowing in the rising action when the grandmother points at a graveyard, that coincidentally has the same amount of graves as those who are travelling.
“They passed a large cotton field with five or six graves fenced in the middle of it, like a small island. “Look at the graveyard!” the grandmother said, pointing it out. “That was the old family burying ground. That belonged to the plantation.”” (O’Connor, F. 1953). Whilst driving through Georgia, for their journey to Florida, the grandmother tells the family tales of the plantation, that ironically belongs to the family of the graveyard, and convinces Bailey to turn into a dirt road to find it.
Halfway down, the grandmother realises that the old plantation she is thinking of is in East Tennessee, not Georgia. Her sudden awareness of this mistake causes her to let go of the cat she had secretly smuggled into the car.ClimaxThe cat the grandmother had smuggled along jumps out from hiding and causes Bailey to lose control of the car and crash.
Falling ActionThe Misfit and his gang show up to the scene of the accident. The grandmother tries to use her being a lady as an excuse to not get killed like the rest of her family. She continues to bribe the Misfit and begs him to pray. “”Jesus!” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady.
I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!”” (O’Connor, F. 1953). He does not listen.
ResolutionThe grandmother tries to find sympathy in the Misfit. “She saw the man’s face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children!” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. ” (O’Connor, F. 1953). The Misfit shoots the grandmother three times. She dies. Reason for choiceI chose this story as I found it an enjoyable read.
In class, we participated in a helpful activity where we had to act out roles in order to understand elements of the literature better. Because of this I was able to identify the Freytag pyramid with a better understanding as I could relate back to the scenes.The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanExposition The narrator has been diagnosed with a mental illness after giving birth and according to her doctor and her husband, John, who is coincidentally also a doctor, resting and restricting her from any physical or mental activity will cure her.
John rents a holiday home for the summer months as he thinks a change in surroundings will be best for the narrator. Some foreshadowing can be found when the narrator mentions the word “creepy”, this is potentially the beginning of her obsessive behaviour and her own final creeping. “John was asleep and I hated to waken him, so I kept still and watched the moonlight on that undulating wall-paper till I felt creepy.” (Perkins Gilman, C. 1892). Rising ActionThe narrator is instructed to do absolutely nothing for the time that she is there and is strictly supervised by John and his sister, Jennie.
She continues secretly documenting her thoughts in her journal although her husband had prohibited it. She starts to lose her mind and sees the pattern in the yellow wallpaper moving. There is more foreshadowing here when the narrator is not fully aware of how insane she is actually becoming. “This bedstead is fairly gnawed!” (Perkins Gilman, C. 1892).ClimaxAs the time goes by, the narrator continues studying the patterns in the wallpaper as the lighting hits it differently throughout the day. The narrator also studies the wallpaper at night and thus, does not sleep anymore.
She is captivated by the lady creeping around the room.Falling ActionThe narrator becomes obsessed with the lady in the wall, whom she identifies herself with, and begins to see her creeping in the gardens. The narrator begins to worry that John and Jennie are becoming suspicious of her. She locks herself in the room and throws the key outside, she then begins to strip the walls of the awful yellow wallpaper to try and set the lady free.ResolutionJohn returns home and threatens to break the door down if the narrator does not open it.
She instructs him on where to find the key and the sight that met him once he opened the door, startled him. The narrator is now free despite John’s intentions. “”I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane.
And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”” (Perkins Gilman, C. 1892). John faints and the narrator continues to creep around the room and over his body.Reason for choiceI chose this story as I am fascinated by southern gothic tales. I enjoy classical feminist literature andGilman is able to write in a style and about topics that I can appreciate. Her work is very similar to my favourite poet, Sylvia Plath, and because of this, I find I am more intrigued by Gilman’s story.BibliographyN/a. (2017, November 25).
Plot – Examples and Definition of Plot. Retrieved 11 December 2017, from https://literarydevices.net/plot/Jackson, S. (1948). The Lottery.Dahl, R.
(1953). Lamb to the Slaughter.Gahr, E. (2012, March 02). Story Structure of “Lamb to the Slaughter” (E.
S. Gromish, Ed.). Retrieved 06 January 2018, from http://www.brighthubeducation.com/homework-help-literature/123247-conflict-action-climax-and-resolution-in-lamb-to-the-slaughter/#imgn_1Perkins Gilman, C. (1892). The Yellow Wallpaper.
O’Connor, F. (1953). A Good Man is Hard to Find.SparkNotes Editors. (2006). SparkNote on The Yellow Wallpaper. Retrieved January 11, 2018, from http://www.
sparknotes.com/lit/yellowwallpaper/Riadh Chohra, (2015, October 30). The Yellow Wallpaper (Summary & Analysis) Video File. Retrieved from https://www.
youtube.com/watch?v=6kl4y3_r4f8/ What is the climax of the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”? (2017). ENotes. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.
enotes.com/homework-help/what-climax-story-17649.Fischer, K., (2012, November 13). Transcript of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. Prezi.
Retrieved January 9, 2018, from https://prezi.com/8lbgdwwn0o6x/a-good-man-is-hard-to-find-by-flannery-oconnor/