Literary Terms

 The sequence of events in a story.
 Plot is also a pattern of actions, events and
 Plot includes
 exposition
 exciting force/inciting incident
 rising action
 climax
 falling action
 denouement
 Exposition: opening portion of a narrative or drama, it sets
the scene, introduces the main characters, and discloses
necessary background
Exciting force/inciting incident: sets the action in motion
Rising action: part of the narrative, including the
exposition, in which events start moving toward a climax.
Climax: the turning point, moment of greatest intensity
Falling action: the events that follow the climax and bring
the story to its conclusion
Denouement: resolution or conclusion of narrative
Think of the Parts of a Story like a
Rising Action
Falling Action
Inciting Incident or
Exciting Force
Plot of “A&P”
Exposition: what is established?
 Setting
 Time
 Place
 Mood
 Circumstance
Plot of “A&P”
Rising Action
Three girls in bathing suits come into the A&P.
Watched by Sammy and Stokesie, the girls wander
the aisles of the store.
The girls come to Sammy’s check-out lane.
Store Manager Lengel comes in, sees the girls, and
tells them they must be decently dressed to come in.
Sammy rings up the girl’s purchase.
Plot of “A&P”
Sammy quits his job.
Plot of “A&P”
Falling Action
 Sammy tells off Lengel.
 Lengel tries to reason with Sammy.
 Sammy turns in his apron and tie and leaves the store.
Plot of “A&P”
In your groups, discuss the denouement. Consider these
1. What will happen to Sammy now? Consider his
parents’ reactions.
2. Reread the last line of the story. Now consider again
what will happen to Sammy.
3. Do you think Sammy’s decision was a good one or a
stupid one? Why?
Close reading
With your group, discuss the following:
 Look at the opening line. What if Updike began with:
“Three girls wearing only bathing suits walked in.”
How would that change the tone?
 On page 4, Sammy says “I slid right down her voice
into her living room.” What is the effect of this
 Sammy says “Now here comes the sad part of the
story.” Is sad the best word to use here? What does this
word choice make you think about Sammy?
“The Bats”
The four elements of setting are:
1) Time (When does it take place? Think era and time
of day/week)
2) Place (Where does it take place?)
3) Mood (What is the overall feeling of the story?)
4) Circumstance (What is going on around the
characters in the story? Ex: War, depression,
technological era, etc.)
Struggle between
opposing forces
Conflict can be
Internal– person vs.
External Conflict –
person vs. person,
person vs. nature,
person vs. society,
man/woman vs.
man/woman vs.
 What is the conflict in “A&P”?
 What is the conflict in “The Bats”?
 How do you know?
 Where in the story do you find it?
 An object, character, or
event that suggests
meanings beyond its
literal sense.
 A symbol adds meaning
 In fact, a symbol can add
multiple meanings
So what’s the difference?
 How does a symbol differ from a metaphor?
 A metaphor
 is a statement that one thing is something else, which,
in a literal sense, it is not
 creates a close association between the two things,
underscoring some important similarity between them
 Examples:
Richard is a pig.
She’s a doll.
“I will speak daggers to her, but use none.” (Hamlet)
How can I recognize a symbol?
Symbols are
 Not abstract terms (love, truth) but perceptible objects
 Sometimes people and events are symbolic
 Frequently given particular emphasis (repetition)
 May supply the title
 Lead us to the author’s theme
Symbolism in “The Bats”
 Individually, complete the handout on symbolism.
 Be prepared to discuss your findings!
More symbols
 What does the silver ring in “The Bats” symbolize?
 Make sure you use details from the text to make your
Examining the climax of “The Bats”
 With your group, identify the conflict and climax.
 the conflict will be _________ vs. _________.
 the climax will be where the conflict is resolved.
 Climaxes don’t always resolve the conflict in a positive
 In your group, spend the next 5 minutes discussing why you
think Divakaruni (the author) resolves the story in this
negative way.
 Be sure to use the text to back up your response.
Protagonist – main character
Antagonist – in conflict with/opposes
static (stay the same) vs. dynamic (change)
flat (one-sided) vs. round (many-sided)
Static, dynamic, round, flat?
Define these characters:
 Sammy in “A & P”
 Lengel in “A & P”
 Queenie in “A & P”
 Narrator in “The Bats”
 Mother in “The Bats”
 Grandpa-uncle in “The Bats”
 The techniques a writer uses to create, reveal, or
develop the characters in a narrative.
 Direct: author states directly what a character is like
 Indirect: reader must infer what a character is like
through description, dialogue, action, and how other
characters treat him/her
 Most often, writers reveal/develop characters through
what they say (dialogue) and what they do (action).
 Characters are motivated by desires, temperament and
moral character.
Point of view
 The perspective from which a story is told
 First person
 The narrator is “I” and he/she is a participant in the
 Third person
 Narrator is a nonparticipant in the action
 Omniscient: narrator can move freely through the mind
of any character, and has complete knowledge of all the
events in the story
 Limited: the narrator sees into the minds of some, but
not all, of the characters; typically, one major or minor
Attitude the author is trying to convey about the
Tone is the net result of the various elements the
author uses to create the work
Tone plays an important role in establishing the
reader’s relationship to the characters and ideas
 Literary device in which the actual meaning is masked
by the surface language
 Three main types of irony:
 Verbal: say one thing but mean another
 Situational: something happens that is not what we (or
the character) expects
 Dramatic: the audience knows or understands
something that the characters on stage do not
What kind of irony is this?
 Mrs. Farquar says to Gideon, “When are you going to
show us the snake root?” Gideon replies, “But I did
show you, missus, have you forgotten?”
 Suspense: enjoyable anxiety and/or curiosity about the
outcome of an event
 Foreshadowing: hints at what may happen in a story
 Flashback: a scene relived in a character’s memory;
gives information about something that happened
before the current narrative began
 A generally recurring subject or idea conspicuously
evident in a literary work
 Longer works may have multiple themes
 The theme is not necessarily a moral or a lesson
 The theme is the center, the moving force, the
unifying vision
Try to articulate the theme of
 “A & P”
 “The Bats”
 “The Bet”
 “No Witchcraft”
 “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket”