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Intrusive narrator←→ objective (unintrusive) narrator


Theplot of the story (or story line) is what happens in it. It is the author’s arrangement of events in the story. The plotis the direct surface layer; the plan of a literary composition comprising a series of incidents which are gradually unfolded and each of the incidents comes out of the preceding one and increases in intensity until the highest point is reached.

When describing what happens, it is important to answer the four simple questions:

1) Who? Who are the characters?

2) Where? Where are they?

3) What? What do they do?

4) When? When does the action take place?

Asummary of the plot is called asynopsis/sɪ'nɒpsɪs/ - синóпсис.

Summarizing a story / novel usually means describing those four things. It is very useful to be able to do it quickly and without too many irrelevant details. That’s why in point 2 of your plan for stylistic interpretation of the text you are asked to give an overall view of the story only in 4 – 6 sentences.

A plot normally runs through 3 stages:

1. Original condition - 2. Change - 3. New condition

The change in a short story is due to a conflict. So, usually a conflict is seen in the original condition, in the very beginning of the story. The essential conflict of the story has a beginning, a development and an end. The conflict may be: 1) external (man against man, man against the society, man against the circumstances (environment), man against nature) or 2) internal (man is in conflict with himself). The conflict can be physical, psychological, moral or social.

The development from one condition to a new one is reflected in the composition of the story. Theplotaccordingly consists of: 1) exposition, 2) body of the story, 3) climax and 4) denouement. The interrelation between these different components of the plot is therefore called composition:

1) In theexposition(introduction) the necessary preliminaries to the action are laid out, such as the time, the place and the subject of the action. Some light might be cast on the circumstances that will influence the development of the action.

2) Body of the story is that part of the plot which represents the beginning of the collision (столкновение) and the collision itself. By collision the opposition, the struggle of forces or characters are understood. Also this step of the composition is called complication (development) – the conflict develops and intensifies. There can be several complications in a story / novel.

3) Climax/'klaimæks/ (кульминация) is the highest point of an action in a story, the crucial moment of the narration; culmination preceding the dénouement. Here the conflict reaches its highest point. It is the moment of greatest intensity. It is the most exciting or important part of a story, which is usually comes near the end.

4) Dénouementis the unwinding of the action; the event(s) in a story immediately following the climax and bringing the action to an end. It signals the release of the conflict. The conflict is settled and a new condition is reached. If there is no denouement the story is called open-ended.

5) The closing of the story is the ending. When it takes an unexpected turn it is called an unexpected or surprise ending.

A piece of narrative prose that has all the elements of the plot as clearly discernable parts has a closed plot structure. A literary work in which action is represented without a certain element of its structure has an open plot structure.

Some word-combinations:

panoramic presentation – when a full description of a particular situation or subject is given; a general representation in words - панорамный

scenic /'si:nik/ presentation - сценический, театральный

tight plot (a highly plotted story) - острый, драматический сюжет

loose plot - свободный, расплывчатый сюжет

a loosely plotted story - рассказ со свободным сюжетом

a plotless story - бессюжетный рассказ

an open-ended story – история без конца, завершения

the exposition, the knitting – завязка

to reach the climax – достигать кульминационной точки

tricky / twisted / open ending – хитрая, сложная, мудрёная / запутанная / открытая, откровенная концовка

the author favours involved plots – автор любит запутанные/сложные сюжеты

Questions to be asked:

1. Is it a story (extract) with a plot? If so, trace it in 4 sentences.

2. Is it simple, complicated, static or dynamic /dai'namik/?

3. Is the action fast-(slow) moving? Or it stands still?

4. How does the story unfold? – Как развивается/развёртывается рассказ/роман?

5. In what vein is the story written? – В каком ключе/духе написана история?

6. Is the author concerned with the plot? – Он заинтересован / обеспокоен сюжетом?

7. What is he after? – Что он замышляет?

8. Are the events arranged chronologically or not? Why?

9. What important change has taken place in the course of the story?

10. What is / are the conflict/s?

11. Identify the climax of the story (extract). Is the conflict settled or not?

12. How can you characterize the ending?

13. Is the presentation scenic or panoramic?



Point of view (author, narrator, forms of the story presentation)

Point of view is the angle from which the story is told.

The author is the person who wrote the story.

The narrator is the person or voice telling the story. He is the product of the author’s imagination like any other character. The narrator may present the events from different “angles” - from different points of view.

Types of point of view:

1) first person narration – the “I” narrator who is either the main character (the protagonist – 1. the main character in a play, book, film) or a witness of the events of the story;

2) third person narration.

The first-person narratoris “an eye-witness”. The first person narration imparts a high degree of economy and dramatic intensity to the story. Often the narrator is much more than a narrative device, since the author is careful to involve him in the plot to the point where he becomes the only character who undergoes any significant personal development.

The narrator’s limited involvement often puts him in a position to report events fully and directly while remaining outside the main action, to evaluate these events. He is often "both within and without", and his dual status as both the narrator and a functioning character accounts for a large part of the success with which the story is told.

The writer’s choice of a first-person narration as the organizing device lends compactness and unity to the story. The ideas conveyed in the judgments made by the narrator involved in the action are made more effective than when they are imposed from the outside by the author.

The third-person narratoris outside the story and he/she refers to the characters by their names, or by “he”, “she”, etc. The narrator then focuses on some other character(s). He may have direct (unlimited) knowledge of the characters and act as an observer (witness). He may have no direct (limited) knowledge of the characters and act as an entirely anonymous character. An advantage over the first-person narrator is that there is a greater liberty to move around in time and space, and to include more characters. Third person narration can be of several types:

1) a detachednarrator who reports only what he sees and hears;

2) an omniscient narrator who moves freely in and out of the characters’ mind and is free to comment on their thoughts, feelings and actions (the omniscient point of view). The omniscient point of view means that the narrator knows everything about the events and the characters. But how much of all this does the narrator choose to reveal? What a character says reveals a great deal. But just as in life, a character might say one thing, meaning something else, or indeed be thinking something completely different. There is a lot of room for variety in between these two extremes:

intrusive narrator←→ objective (unintrusive) narrator

An intrusive narrator explicitly tells the reader things, commenting on the characters and explaining events.

An objective (or unintrusive) narrator simply shows things: he/she is more like a camera.

There is one more point of view of the third person narration: the limited point of viewthat means that the narrator confines himself to the impressions and feelings of one character: he/she presents only one point of view of events.

Entrusted narration is more complicated than the author’s narration. Here we deal with the double point of view (the author's and the story-teller's). Here the storyteller is introduced with his outlook, social standing, education, culture, age and other factors which may be different from those of the author's. The text is polyphonic.

The author’s choice of point of view is important because it is the means by which he shapes the material and controls the reader’s interest and sympathy.

Some forms of the story presentation:

1) Interior monologue-the narrator speaks to himself.

2) Dramatic monologue- the narrator or the character speaks alone but there are those he addresses himself to.

3) Dialogue- the speech of two or more characters addressed to each other.

4) Represented speechis the shift from the author's narrative into the character's utterance. It is usually inserted into the narrative by verbs of utterance or mental perception.

5) Stream of consciousness- a form of narrative wherein the author attempts to record life by setting down everything that comes into the character's mind, without any reasonable selection. It is based on the conception of the prevalence of the subconscious over the conscious; hence the recording of unperceived by senses or intellect emotions. It had brought into literature a deeper insight into human psychology, but it also often led to disintegration of the form of the realistic prose sample and the character.

6) Narration- the presentation of events in their development. It is usually dynamic. It is often far more effective first to withhold personal information and then gradually unveil the character’s background than it would be to give all the information about the character in the beginning. Instead of presenting a connected day-by-day narrative, the writer may jump from scene to scene, focusing only on those few incidents which best support the total structure. In avoiding extraneous materials authors create a tightly knit, highly organized narrative structure, in which every scene and detail contribute to the total effect.

7) Description- the presentation of the atmosphere (read the point Atmosphere), the scenery (read the point Setting), and the like of the literary work. Its basic types are subjective and objective: a) the objectivedescription is a factual account. It is usually detailed; b) thesubjectivedescription gives only striking details. It focuses on the mood created in the story and communicated to the reader.

Here we can also be given the description of characters that has some special problems of their own (read the point Characters).

Questions to be asked:

  1. Does the author speak in his own voice or through the hero?
  2. Identify the type of point of view, if it is a first person narration, state if he is the main character (the protagonist) or a witness.
  1. If it is the third person narrator, does he enter the characters’ minds and make comment: does the narrator make comment without entering the minds of characters or does he just report the events?
  2. What is the narrator’s motivation for telling the story?

3. What is the narrator’s attitude to what he is telling us?

4. What is the author’s attitude to the narrator? To the reader?

  1. Is the narrator reliable? Can we trust his judgment? Is the narrator the author's mouthpiece?
  2. Is the point of view consistent through the story? If there is any change what is the effect (achieved)?
  3. Does the narrator moralize?
  4. Does he comment upon …?
  5. Does he express his attitude to …?
  6. Is the attitude explicit or implicit?

Words to be used:

to present events from one's point of view - изображать события с точки зрения …

to present events through the eyes of the character (through the vision of the character)

The story is told in the first (third) person.

This is the first/third person narration.

The author speaks in his own voice (through the character).

to be the author’s mouthpiece (a person that expresses the author’s opinion) on – перен. рупор

to be identified with

an aloof, remote, detached, dispassionate, omniscient, un/sympathetic, not/reliable narrator - сдержанный, суховатый; отдалённый; беспристрастный, равнодушный; бесстрастный; всеведущий; не/сочувствующий; не/надёжный, не/достоверный

to comment on/upon

to pass moral judgment on ... – выносить/произносить моральное, нравственное суждение

to impose (intrude) one’s opinion on the reader(s) – навязывать ч-л. суждение читателю

to sympathize with (the characters) – сочувствовать к-л.

to take sides with sb – принимать ч-л. сторону

to report/record the events - сообщать/отражать события

to leave it for the reader(s) to judge

to remain aloof, remote, detached, etc.

the bare happenings – голые факты, неприкрашенные события



The time and place, the "4) when and 2) where" of the plot, are called the setting.

The atmosphere created by the plot is often very important.


Date: 2015-12-13; view: 1005; Нарушение авторских прав

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