Saturday, April 16, 2011

Individual Assignment #3: Short Stories

Short Stories

-most require readers to bring a prior knowledge or understanding of the situation
-dramatic conflict---may not always be resolved in the climax
-foreshadowing---gives the reader a glimpse into the future, or a sense of what may happen
-repetition---helps drive the point home, most people learn best by repetition
-suspense--draws a reader into the idea of the story
-setting can include mood or atmosphere
-could be any of the perspectives (first person, second person, and third person)
-the theme, or total meaning of the story doesn’t have to be just one moral....could encompass more than 1 valuable life lesson
-plot, setting, characters and theme are perhaps the most important details of a short story
  • arresting opening
  • well developed and appropriate structure
  • action
  • tension
  • clearly recognisable climax
  • effective use of language in word choice and imagery
  • one or two well developed characters
  • effective use of narrative voice
  • revealing use of interior dialogue
  • dialogue that makes a contribution to narrative development and/or to characterisation
  • skillful exploitation of conventions of the chosen genre
  • use of setting to enhance narrative

            The excerpt of Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King is both short and concise. Everything happens quite quickly. While the plot isn’t complex, there is a clearly defined plot line. The setting enhances the plot, by creating the problem. There is not a clearly recognisable climax or action, but there is obvious tension between the mother and father. There are two well developed characters, that of the mother and the son. The son’s thoughts are made known to the reader. It is a third person narrative, meaning the reader is able to know everything about what’s going on. There is foreshadowing when the father talks about work before they leave on their holiday. The story does stay true to most of the characteristics of a short story. 

This is a picture I took of Waterton Lake. It represents the theme of the story. 

The theme of the story Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King is that of crossing boundaries. In the excerpt, this applies to Waterton Lake. The border runs through the lake, and the character of the son is able to cross it. The idea of the border is a figurative boundary, but it represents a very real boundary. The son’s parents are not getting along, and his father has to cross a boundary, and leave. The son learns a lesson from the lake, and it’s a valuable one. Sometimes, to get where you want, you have to cross boundaries, even though it may hurt someone you love. 

Situational irony is when the exact opposite of what is intended happens or a very different outcome becomes apparent.  
Dramatic irony is irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.
Verbal irony is when the exact opposite of what is said is meant.
Situational and verbal ironies are used in the short story The Wall by Gilles Vigneault. Situational irony applies to the fact that the man is repairing his own prison cell, meaning he could break out if he wanted to. Verbal irony applies to what the man says to the people around him. Dramatic irony is used when the man leaves the prison by his own volition, and nobody stops him.