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Unformatted text preview: RDG 091 Critical Reading
Narratives Analysis of a Short Story
Reading literature is an excellent way to
learn about people and how they live their
lives. Short stories are narratives. In a narrative the author relates events,
which happen to characters in chronological
order. Analysis of a Short Story
First check all difficult vocabulary. Read the story twice or more.
Read Be cautious when reading a story set in a
different period of time or culture.
different A reader’s understanding of a story should
be more than an opinion. A reader often reacts emotionally and
intellectually to the work.
intellectually Elements of short stories
Elements are the parts of the short story. We will examine the major elements of the
Theme I Setting
Setting is the where and when.
Where - the location of the story’s action.
Think about the country, the culture. Is
the action set in a rural area, an urban
area, in a public place, in a home?
When - the time of the story’s action.
Think about the century, the season, the
time of day. II Plot
Plot is the sequence of events.
Plot explains why things happen in a
Little Red Riding Hood puts on her cloak.
She walks through the forest and meets
the big, bad wolf. After outsmarting the
big, bad wolf, she arrives safely at
Grandma’s. III Characters Characters participate in the events or actions of
Characters may be main characters or supporting
Conflicts are the struggles or disagreements
between characters. A conflict may also arise if
the character meets challenges in the plot events.
Readers should always consider if a character
changes by the end of the work.
changes III Characters
Physical traits are usually not as important
as character traits.
Feelings and emotions of the characters
may be inferred by the thoughts, words,
and actions of the character.
Actions and opinions and point of view
help the reader understand the motivation
of characters’ actions. IV Theme The main idea, the moral lesson, is the
most important information learned from
the story. The theme is the author’s point.
The theme is inferred by the reader. The
author provides hints and clues.
Theme relies on emotions or feelings such
as jealousy, love, depression, bravery, or
other life challenges.
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2012 for the course RDG 091 taught by Professor Chaloka during the Fall '09 term at Moraine Valley Community College.
- Fall '09