Questions to AnalyzeShort Stories

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Information about Questions to AnalyzeShort Stories

Published on April 7, 2008

Author: BethRitterGuth

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This is a handout given to students in English 106 at LCCC.

Questions for Exploring Short Stories Beth Ritter-Guth, Instructor ENG106: LCCC Spring 2008

Mode Is the story: Comic Pathetic Tragic Satiric Elegiac Didactic

Is the story:

Comic

Pathetic

Tragic

Satiric

Elegiac

Didactic

Narrator Who is the narrator? Is the narrator also a character? What role does the narrator play in the development of the plot? Do we trust the narrator?

Who is the narrator?

Is the narrator also a character?

What role does the narrator play in the development of the plot?

Do we trust the narrator?

Background How does the story start? What happened before the story started? Where does the reader “land” in the story? How do we learn this background? Is the delivery of this background important to the plot of the story?

How does the story start?

What happened before the story started?

Where does the reader “land” in the story?

How do we learn this background?

Is the delivery of this background important to the plot of the story?

Characters Who are the main characters? How are they introduced in the story? When are they introduced? What do we know about these characters? What do we need to know about them? Do they fit any archetypal patterns?

Who are the main characters?

How are they introduced in the story?

When are they introduced?

What do we know about these characters?

What do we need to know about them?

Do they fit any archetypal patterns?

Character and Setting What time period is the story set? Do the characters behave according to the standards of time and location? What do we need to understand about the time period, customs, language, mores, habits, and traditions of the culture or time period?

What time period is the story set?

Do the characters behave according to the standards of time and location?

What do we need to understand about the time period, customs, language, mores, habits, and traditions of the culture or time period?

Characterization? How are the major characters drawn? What are their major strengths? Weaknesses? Are they active? Passive? How to the characters function in relationship to one another? How do the minor characters work with the major characters? Do we trust the characters? Why or why not?

How are the major characters drawn? What are their major strengths? Weaknesses? Are they active? Passive?

How to the characters function in relationship to one another?

How do the minor characters work with the major characters?

Do we trust the characters? Why or why not?

Action, Speech, Ideas How to characters present their ideas? How is speech crafted to provide characterization? Which is more important to the character - actions or speech? Does the reader “get inside the head of” any character? Do the characters change (for better or worse) during the story?

How to characters present their ideas?

How is speech crafted to provide characterization?

Which is more important to the character - actions or speech?

Does the reader “get inside the head of” any character?

Do the characters change (for better or worse) during the story?

Setting How does the author address setting? Is the setting described in full or is it implied? What role does the setting play in the plot/action of the story. How does the setting establish mood? Does the setting impact character development?

How does the author address setting?

Is the setting described in full or is it implied?

What role does the setting play in the plot/action of the story.

How does the setting establish mood?

Does the setting impact character development?

Plot Is the plot of the story the most meaningful part of the story? If not, what is? Is there anything missing in the plot? Is this element missing on purpose? Are there any inconsistencies in the plot? Are these intentional? How does memory play a role in the development of the plot? Do we trust these memories?

Is the plot of the story the most meaningful part of the story? If not, what is?

Is there anything missing in the plot? Is this element missing on purpose?

Are there any inconsistencies in the plot? Are these intentional?

How does memory play a role in the development of the plot? Do we trust these memories?

Organization of Plot Is the story organized thematically or chronologically? Would the outcome be different if the events happened differently? What are the motivations of the major and minor characters?

Is the story organized thematically or chronologically?

Would the outcome be different if the events happened differently?

What are the motivations of the major and minor characters?

Theme Is this story didactic? What is the point of the story - to inform, persuade, or entertain? How does the plot establish the theme? How do the characters function in relationship to the theme? What value statements are implied by the theme?

Is this story didactic?

What is the point of the story - to inform, persuade, or entertain?

How does the plot establish the theme?

How do the characters function in relationship to the theme?

What value statements are implied by the theme?

Symbols Are symbols used in the story? Do the characters recognize the symbols, or are the symbols used for the benefit of the reader only? Do these symbols add meaning? Why, or why not? Are there major and minor symbols? Are the symbols archetypal?

Are symbols used in the story?

Do the characters recognize the symbols, or are the symbols used for the benefit of the reader only?

Do these symbols add meaning? Why, or why not?

Are there major and minor symbols?

Are the symbols archetypal?

Reality and Believability Is this story believable or fantastical? Does the story need to be believable to achieve the overall effect or impact of the story? How does the plot function in believability? Are the characters believable? Is the setting realistic? Does it need to be realistic?

Is this story believable or fantastical?

Does the story need to be believable to achieve the overall effect or impact of the story?

How does the plot function in believability?

Are the characters believable?

Is the setting realistic? Does it need to be realistic?

Critical Theory How would a Feminist react to this story? How would a New Critic react to this story? How would a Deconstructionist react to this story? How would a Psychoanalytic critic react to this story? How would an Ecocritic react to the story?

How would a Feminist react to this story?

How would a New Critic react to this story?

How would a Deconstructionist react to this story?

How would a Psychoanalytic critic react to this story?

How would an Ecocritic react to the story?

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