Глоссарий терминов


THE PLOT is a series of interlinked events in which the characters of the story participate. One should bear in mind that the events in a plot need not always involve physical movement, the movement may be psychological. In the latter case the plot reveals the dynamics in the psychological state of a character. The plot of any story always involves character and conflict. They imply each other.
Components of the plot structure are Exposition, Complications, Climax, Denouement.
In the exposition the author introduces the theme (i. e. what the story is about), the characters and establishes the setting (i.e. the place and the time of the action). The exposition supplies some information on either all or some of the following questions: Who? What? Where? When?
Exposition is followed by the complications, which generally involve actions, though they might involve thoughts and feelings as well. As a rule this structural component consists of several events (or moments of complications). They become tenser as the plot moves towards the moment of the decision the climax.
The climax is the key event, the crucial moment of the story, the point of the highest emotional tension.
The last structural component, the denouement, is the unwinding of the actions, the events that follow the climax. It is the point at which the main character is clarified.
A story may have no denouement. By leaving it out the author achieves a certain effect-he invites the reader to reflect on all the circumstances that accompanied the character of the story and to imagine the outcome of all the events himself.

CONFLICT in fiction is the opposition or struggle between forces or characters. Conflicts are classified into internal and external. Different types of external conflicts are usually termed in the following way.
1) Man against man, when the plot is based on the opposition between two or more people.
2) Man against nature (the sea, the desert, the frozen North or wild beasts).
3) Man against society or man against the established order in the society.
4) The conflict between one set of values against another set of values. These sets of values may be supported by two groups or two worlds in opposition.
Internal conflicts, often termed as "man against himself, take place within one character. The internal conflict is localized m the inner world of the character and is rendered through his thoughts, feelings, and intellectual processes. The character is torn between opposing features of his personality.
The plot of a story may be based upon several conflicts of different types; it may involve both an internal and an external conflict.
In every literary work the writer's feelings and emotions are reflected in the
tone, attitude and atmosphere.
ATMOSPHERE is the general mood of a literary work. It is affected by such strands of a literary work as the plot, setting, characters, details, symbols and language means Thus in 'The Oval Portrait" E.A. Рое sets the story in a remote turret of an abandoned castle The main event takes place at midnight. The oval portrait is in a niche and "in deep shade". All these details, the language and the fantastic history of the portrait create the mysterious atmosphere (or mood) of the tale.
The atmosphere may be peaceful, calm, cheerful, cheerless, gloomy, etc.
THE AUTHOR'S ATTITUDE is his view of the characters and actions. It reflects his judgement of them. Attitudes may be agreeable, optimistic, involved, detached, impassive, indifferent, critical, contemptuous, ironical, cynical, etc
The attitude of the author to his subject matter determines the tone of the story.
THE TONE is the light in which the characters and the events are depicted. The tone is, therefore, closely related to atmosphere and attitude.
The tone may be sympathetic or impassive, cheerful or serious, vigorous or matter-of-fact, humorous or melancholy, familiar or official. There are scales in the variations of tone. Thus the tone may be casual, impolite, defiant, offensive, sarcastic, ironical, sneering or bitter,
THE THEME of a story is the main area of interest treated in the story. The writers may treat various themes: love, family relations, school life, an anti-war theme, human relations in various layers of society, the power of beauty, etc. The theme is the main insight about human experience that an author expresses in a work. While some writers present us with direct statements of their themes, most writers prefer to imply their themes in their works. An implied theme is one that is gradually revealed to the reader through the other elements of the work. Because the theme is a complete idea, it should be stated in a complete sentence. We can usually find a story’s implied theme by asking the following questions:
•What ideas about life the story’s title suggests?
•What do the particular events and conflicts reveal about life in general?
•What might these particular characters with these personality traits tell us about people in general?
•What views of the world do the setting and its details offer us?
•What does seeing the events and characters from this particular point of view tell us about life?
•Was the author’s purpose in putting these elements together to say something about life in general or to present one special sort of person and view of life?
Within a single work the basic theme may alternate with rival themes and their relationship may be very complex.
THE MESSAGE of the story is the most important idea that the author expresses in the process of developing the theme. The message is closely connected with the theme and is generally expressed implicitly, i.e. indirectly, and has a complex analytical character.
The idea of a literary work are the underlying thought and emotional attitude transmitted to the reader by the whole poetic structure of the literary text.
When an author directly states facts about a character’s personality, the story is said to have direct characterization. We can trust a direct statement from the author that a character is honor or has a wonderful sense of humor. Direct characterization is the easiest way for an author to reveal the personality of a character.
Depending on how much information we are given about them, characters can be either flat or round. Flat characters seem very simple, as if they could be summed up with only one or two personality traits. On the other hand, round characters have many different and sometimes even contradictory personality traits. Because they are complex, or many-sided, round characters are capable of doing and saying surprising things. In this sense they are like people in real life.
Besides being either flat or round, characters can be either static or dynamic. Static characters remain the same throughout the story. Dynamic characters, in contrast, change and develop, often because of something that happens to them in the course of the story. Such a change, in fact, can be the most important event in the story.   
The setting of the story is the place and time in which the story happens. The setting is described so that we can picture the scene and enter the world of the story. Since a story is usually short, the author must choose specific details of description that will inspire our imagination to fill in the rest.
The details that are used to sketch a setting need not be only visual, for the author may successfully appeal to any of our senses. For example, the sense of sound might be important in a story about a violent storm.
In a story told from the limited third-person point of view, the author narrates the story through the eyes of one particular character. We know everything that the central character thinks and feels. We may know more about that character than the character knows, but we are not told the thoughts of any other character in the story.