Elements of a Short Story. OBJECTIVES. Identify elements of a short story Define elements of a short story Demonstrate mastery of short story elements. OVERVIEW. Short stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you.
Short stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you.
These elements can be used as guides to help you think about the actions, themes, and contexts of the story.
- exposition statement
- rising action
- falling action
“Characters in the plot connect us with the vastness of our secret life, which is endlessly explorable.” – Eudora WeltyCHARACTERS
The description of the personalities of the characters in the story and the ways in which authors reveal their personalities:
The basic situation shows us Cinderella, a beautiful and good heroine, in a conflict with her evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters.
Cinderella wants to go to the ball. Her stepmother says “No,” but a Fairy Godmother promises to get her to the ball if she obeys one rule: “Be home by midnight.” Cinderella goes to the ball, the Prince falls in love with her, she flees at midnight, and she loses one of her glass slippers.
That tense or exciting moment when we realize what the outcome of the conflict is going to be.
The Prince makes a house-to-house search for the foot that fits the slipper and finds that foot on Cinderella.
Cinderella and the prince make preparations for their wedding.
Cinderella marries the Prince and they live happily ever after. In the original Girmm story, you also learn that ravens peck out the eyes of the evil stepmother.
Conflict between a character and another person OR a character and something non-human.
- Man vs. Man
- Man vs. Society
- Man vs. Nature
Conflict takes place inside a character’s mind
Man vs. Himself (fears, self-doubts, etc.)
Now that we have identified and defined the elements of a short story, let us use the elements to analyze the short story by Ray Bradbury, “The Pedestrian”. You may use your notes from the PowerPoint presentation.
Dinneen, K. Elements of the Short Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003, from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
Five Elements of a Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003,
Guevin, D. Short Story Elements. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003,http://www.uvm.edu/~dguevin/Elements.html
Anderson, Robert, Et. al. Elements of Literature. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1989.