Short Story Presentation Project Overview:

Short Story Presentation Project
Overview: Fiction is the art of showing, and the short story writer portrays the nuances and
complexities of a single character’s life. Committed to this aim, the fiction writer nonetheless
has multiple techniques at his or her disposal, which we have discussed over the course of the
semester. Every short story, more or less, has characters and a plot, a setting and a narrative
point of view, a conflict, a climax and a resolution. Yet our study of the fiction as a genre has
also revealed that fiction writers have different agendas and adjust these common features to suit
their purposes. There are realist writers, fantasy writers, and magical realist writers that combine
elements of realism and fantasy. There are writers who emphasize external interpersonal
conflicts, internal psychological conflicts, or who instead emphasize the imagined alternate
realities of their characters. Moreover, different stories highlight different techniques: They can
consist mostly of dialogue or mostly of the narrator’s dialect; of one or two characters or of
many; of a speaker whose tone is ironic, comedic, or earnest, or of a speaker who employs a
wealth of imagery and figurative language. What does your group’s short story do? What
techniques does its author use? What makes this story like others we have read and what makes
it distinctive? Moreover, since this is a World Literature course, you could also ask yourself:
What does the story teach us about the nation or continent from which it emerged? How does it
differ, thematically or formally, from other texts we've read and what does it say about the
culture that produced it?
Directions: This assignment provides you with three options. It is required that you either (1)
work in a group of 4 to present on a story for 8-10 minutes (50 points), or (2) write an in-class
essay after school on a topic with which I will supply you (50 points). You also have the option
to (3) act out a scene or scenes from your story in a 5-7 minute video and show it to the class for
extra credit of up to 10 points.
Group presentation: Bearing in mind the discussion of short fiction in the “Overview” above,
you and your group should present to the class the key features of your story. Begin with a brief
summary of the events in your story (no longer than a minute), and follow this with an analysis
of the key features of the story, identifying its sub-genre or sub-genres, its distinctive
characteristics or tendencies, its literary devices, and other key features that are relevant to its
discussion. You should plan on, first, selecting brief, illustrative passages from the story that
include these features, on second, reading them (however, if you spend the majority of your
presentation reading the story this will not help your grade), and on third, explaining your
interpretations. In concluding, provide your class with a list of 5-7 open-ended questions that
will promote class discussion at the end of your presentation. (Do not ask closed-ended,
informational questions. If your questions are closed-ended, you will lose points.)
Extra Credit Option: For extra credit you may act out a scene from your story or act out an
abridged version of the whole story and video tape your performance for the viewing in class.
Wear costumes and use props. Your video should be between 5 and 7 minutes in length.
Short Story Presentation Schedule
Below is the group presentation schedule. Your positions on the schedule were determined by
the number your group chose. On presentation days, all students should have both stories read
before arriving at class and should be prepared for a quiz. If you choose to write an essay, if you
are absent on the day your group presents, or if I discover you have not contributed as much to
the presentation as your other group members, you will be obligated to stay after school on a day
I determine to write your essay. If you do not appear on that day, you will earn a 0/50, whether
you "forgot" to come or had some other reason for not coming.
1/10: Possibly a Group 5 presentation (Young gee, Alessandro, Daniella S., and Alex P.) on
(Pirandello, pp. 185-91 in WGSS). Be prepared for a reading quiz on Pirandello.
1/17: Group 1 presentation (Jennifer, Junie, Ashley Domondon, and Savannah) on
Mauppassant's story (Mauppassant, pp. 31-37 in WGSS); also, Group 2 presentation (Chris
Viera, Melissa, Kahleel, and Krystal) on Machado de Assis's story (Machado de Assis, pp. 12735 in WGSS).
1/18: Group 3 presentation (Christopher Dinh, Ashley Das, Matt, and Jaideep) on Rilke's story
(Rilke, pp. 150-54 in WGSS); also, Group 4 presentation (Olga, Amanda, Maddi, and Evan) on
Mann's story (Mann, pp. 155-61 in WGSS).
1/19: Group 6 presentation (Larissa, Michelle, Gabrielle D., and Gabrielle F.) on Kawabata's
story (Kawabata, pp. 219-21 in WGSS). Also, possibly a Group 5 presentation (Young gee,
Alessandro, Daniella S., and Alex P.) on (Pirandello, pp. 185-91 in WGSS). If so, review
Pirandello's story before arriving in class.