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1 Literary Elements Worksheet Name:____________

There are generally five major elements to each short story or novel. These are setting,
plot, character, theme and point of view. Each of these elements contains specific terms
used to discuss, appreciate and analyze a piece of literature.

Using the glossary found in your text, please find the definitions for each of the following
terms. Read the definition first and then choose key points to write down. Some terms will
be defined for you. You will be able to use this as a reference throughout the unit on short
stories.

SETTING:_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

PLOT:_________________________________________________________________
Initial Incident:
the action/comment/event that gets the story going

Rising Action: _____________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

Climax: ___________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Falling Action: ____________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________

Denouement: ______________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Conflict: a clash of actions, desires or wills. There are three types.


Person vs. Person (external struggle)
Example: One person takes something away from another.

Person vs. Nature/Environment (external struggle)


Example: A person is threatened by a dangerous animal or place
Person vs. Self (internal struggle)
Example: A person seeks an unrealistic goal.
Exposition: _______________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

Complication: _____________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Turning Point: the reader gets a hint of how the problem may be resolved.

CHARACTER: _________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Protagonist:_______________________________________________________

Antagonist: _______________________________________________________

Classifications of Character:
Flat: _____________________________________________________________
Round: ___________________________________________________________
Stock/Stereotype: __________________________________________________
Dynamic: _________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
Static: ____________________________________________________________

Characters are generally a combination of two elements, such as round and dynamic
or flat and static.

THEME: ________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
The theme states a universal truth about human behaviour.
POINT OF VIEW: ________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

First Person: _______________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________

Limited Omniscient (om-nish-ent): _____________________________________


___________________________________________________________________

Omniscient: ________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

The points of view above are the three most common. You may also see a fourth:
Objective: the narrator in this point of view can only record what is seen and heard.
Like a video camera, the narrator cannot tell what is going on inside the characters’
heads and hearts, or other locations. The reader is a spectator with no inside
information.