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Traditional plot development can be traced graphically just the way it did G.Freitag, a German critic in 1863 (“Freitag’s triangle”).
E.G. Longacre [1983: 21] views the plot as the notional structure of narrative discourse. He singles out seven notional features:
1) Exposition, or “lay it out” (time, place, local color, and participants);
2) Inciting moment, or “get something going” (the planned and predictable is broken up in some manner);
3) Developing conflict, or “keep the heat on” (the situation intensifies or deteriorates, depending on the one’s viewpoint);
4) Climax, or “knot it all up proper” (everything comes to a head);
5) Dénouement, or “loosen it” (a critical event happens which makes resolution possible);
6) Final Suspense, or “keep untangling” (works out details of the resolution);
7) Conclusion, or “wrap it up” (bring the story to an end).
The first part of a plot is the exposition. The task of the exposition is to establish the setting (time and location), introduce the main characters and the foil, give whatever background information the reader needs. Also, the exposition establishes the atmosphere and the tone of a work of fiction.
A set of related happenings, or sequence of events is caused by the conflict.There isno storywithoutconflict. Conflict is the struggle between two opposite forces. There are two basic kinds of conflict: external and internal.An external struggle or external conflict involves a person against another person, a person against nature, a person against society. The nature of internal conflict is different: internal conflict is between two elements within a person that struggle for mastery. In general more than one kind of conflict is present in a fictional work.
The conflict builds to the climax. The latter is the decisive point in a story or play in which the problem must be resolved in one way or another.
Events that precede the climax and lead to it are called the complicating action.On the other hand, events that follow the climax and serve to resolve the conflict are called falling action. Together they built a set of related happenings that center on the conflict.
Longacre proposes to call the climax at the surface level as the Peak.The scholar points out those routine features of the event-line may be distorted or phased out at the Peak. He claims that the Peak has features peculiar to itself, otherwise a zone of turbulence would not be observed.
It is worth mentioning some markers of the surface peak:
a) Rhetorical underlining, which according to Longacre, is one of the “simplest and most universal devices for making the important point not only of a narration but of other sorts of discourse as well” [Longacre 1983: 27];
b) Concentration of participants (crowded stage);
c) Heightened vividness marked by a surface structure tense shift or by shift to a more specific person;
d) Change of pace (variation in the size of constructions and variation in the amount of connective material);
e) Change of vantage point and/or orientation (the phenomenon of role reversal).
f) Incidents of particles and onomatopoeia.
Denouement refers to the resolution of the plot. The conflict is worked out in the denouement.
In some stories the plot develops though flashbacks. A flashback technique is the interruption of the in the development of a story when the writer breaks chronological order and relates to something that happens before the story began. Foe example, in two famous stories by Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and the Short Happy life of Frances Macomber, insights into the main story are provided in flashbacks. In some stories climax may be less dramatic than the reader expects it to be. Likewise, especially in modern stories, the climax and the denouement may come very close together.
4.2.1 The author’s narration.It should be noted that the text’s elements systemic interaction is created and guided by the author. It is his/her position and view point defines and shapes everything in a work of fiction. However, the expression of the author’s position is spread over the text in an irregular and heterogeneous way. In a prosaic work, the author’s speech comes in turn with the characters’ speech. Although all of them are but an artist’s inventions, they express their own point of view in their reasoning. The plurality of viewpoints, represented in a single text makes it a multi-faced and polyphonic one.
A full set of character’s remarks initially dispersed over a text is called his/her speech part(«ðå÷åâàÿ ïàðòèÿ»). A speech part is reflective of a person’s outlook on life and world-view.
Speech parts are presented by different language material. The author’s speech can definitely be told from that of characters. Thus, two basic speech flows may be indentified in a work of fiction: (1) the author’s one; (2) the characters’ one.The latter is heterogeneous: a character speaks about something, thus expressing his ideas in an explicit way and thinks about something, without pronouncing his/her thoughts aloud. They are exposed in the text as one’s inner speech. And after all, there is a contaminated form of utterances in a work, a mixed exposition in which both the author and the character are available: a represented speech.
The author’s evaluation of objects, events phenomena, which make up his fictional reality, plays the leading role in forming the work’s concept. A work of fiction as a result of the author’s cognitive activity by all means bears the author’s concern, i.e. evaluation and modality. They are available in every text part, but it is in author’s proper speech that they represented in the most direct sincere form. Here, the author’s viewpoint comes to the surface in order to be explicitly expressed. Text categories actualization is as well the prerogative of the author’s speech. Therefore, while analyzing the work of fiction, we should very thoroughly treat the concept signals placed in the author’s speech – as they intermediately come from the author.
4.2.2. The entrusted narration.Since ancient times, a narrator had been introduced in the work of fiction to replace the author (although this narrative technique grew extremely popular in the second half of 19th century). The major function of the narrator is to create and keep up the authenticity of the story. In the modern English literature, an author may stick up to this type of narration in case when the problems he/she raises are not clearly formulated for him/her and he/she does not know how to settle the conflict. In such a situation, a narrator seems to suit better than a traditional “omnipotent, omniscient author”.
A narrator is naturally limited by the facilities of his personal contacts and his personal observations. As well as all the other witnesses of some conflicts, s/he only knows what s/he managed to see, or what s/he was told about (with some distortions of facts possible). Inner mechanisms of actions and motivations of the other characters are often inaccessible to him. In this way, the problem comes to be raised but not settled.
The narrator can carry up his functions either explicitly – narrate the story on his behalf and from the 1st person, or implicitly. In thelatter case, we can identify the narrator’s voice by such traces as the specific language means organization and from the alternated point of view.
There is no distinct classification of the entrusted narrative types. In Russian science, they distinguish two major types of entrusted narration: 1st person narrative and the tale «ñêàç». The latter was introduced in 1920s and thoroughly described by V.Shklovsky on the basis of the Gogol’s “Shinel”. Since that the majority of scholars treat “tale” as a narrative which is at most close to the norms of oral colloquial speech, with a vast number of low register elements, with grammar, orthoepic, syntactic and literary norms violated.
There was a hypothesis made that the tale’sorganizing principle is “the device of making things strange, the device of the impeded form”, i.e. deautomatization of narration. However, this idea did not prove to be exhaustive.
V.A.Kuharenko considers that all types of entrusted narration share such a common feature as the bringing in a stranger’s point of view, which organizes both the “world of denotates” and the compositional-linguistic substance of the book. The chief thing is entrusting of the narrative to a fictional person, the transfer of reflected reality perception and cognition facilities to a stranger’s consciousness, to a stranger’s system of rules and values in order to achieve maximum credibility of the story.
In this case a narrator joins in the fictional world of a book as its inseparable part, while an author always raises over his/her characters.
The author’s position can fully coincide with that of a narrator. This is a unidirectional entrusted narrative(F. Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby”, W.S. Maugham “The Moon and The Sixpence”). In case of a differently directed narrative, the author’s position does not coincide with this of a narrator.
The coincidence of the author’s point of view with this of a narrator can result in a false idea that their images are as well identical (myths about E. Hemingway, N. Mailer, etc.).
4.3. Narration of characters.The central element of a work’s denotate structure is a conflict, it being set by characters the author chose. Separate characters and personalities stand for the individual though which the general is grasped. They are the bearers of the author’s ideas or his opponents.
Whatever a character says in the book proves to be his self-description. Irrespective of his/her utterance’s content, it gives a multifaceted idea of the speaker: his educational level, general culture, social status, profession, etc. A full set of character’s remarks initially dispersed over a text is called his/her speech part(«ðå÷åâàÿ ïàðòèÿ»). A separate utterance is as rule a part of the dialogic unity:two or more remarks, closely welded by formal and content ties.
4.3.1. Dialogue.Dialogic part of a book, a “dialogue” can be unambiguously distinguished due to its punctuation and graphic structure. The main function of the dialogue is the presentation of a spontaneous communication of personages. Eventually, the dialogue in prose and drama is an analogue of the oral colloquial speech and submits to the rules of its development:
- Oral colloquial speech is characterized by an emotional coloring, which can be identified through both the choice of morphemes (e.g. affectionate diminutive suffixes), and of words, constructions, phrases, etc;
- Lexical structure of the dialogue is sate with units of informal stylistic layer, polysemic words. This allows using a relatively small set of vocabulary units to describe diverse situations: e.g. the verb “to pop” in the below mentioned dialogue "We hadn't anything fixed up. I just thought I'd pop round... Just pop your coat on... She's popped up the road to the shops... Would you like me to pop downstairs and make you a cup of cocoa?... His eyes stare as if they'll pop out of his head... Just pop into the scullery and get me something... There's a fish and chip shop up on the main road. I thought you might show your gratitude by popping up for some" “Ask Me Tomorrow” by S. Barstow.
- In order to preserve the credibility of oral speech in the work of fiction, its major characteristics are to be reproduced: emotionality, spontaneity, etc. Exclamatory words, interjections, vulgarisms, slang, repetitions are brought in. The sentence communicative type undergoes changes. Phrases get short, elliptical, interrogative and exclamatory constructions abound:
E.g. ""Our father is dead."
"I know. How long ago did he die?"
"'Bout a month."
"No. In Washington." (J.Steinbeck)
- In a fictional dialogue, orthoepic and grammar forms are often violated:
E.g.: "I ain't so young as I used to was" (S. Maugham. Cakes and Ale), or "I ain't got no money. They has all the money" (E. Caldwell. Trouble in July).
Since the middle of 1920s in English-speaking prose, the volume of dialogues has been gradually increasing.
4.3.2. Inner speech.Inner speech, reflective of a character’s thinking is a part of a person’s speech set in a work of fiction (along with the dialogue). The latter (dialogue) plays great role in the plot development. The latter (inner speech) reveals motives of characters, elucidates causal relations in the book.
In reality, the inner speech is the derivative from the outer one. All the characteristics of inner speech spring from its chief specificity: the inner speech is not intended to take part in the communicative process; it is not directed to any addressee to convey him/her some message; it is thus self-directed. The sender and the addressee are a single person. Inner speech can be highly elliptical for any trace of idea can be easily decoded by a person him/herself. Another important feature is its high associativity.
The fictional analogue of the inner speech should be told from the real thinking process. The author’s task is to introduce one into a stranger’s inner world and make it comprehensible for the reader.
Types of inner thinking patterns in modern literature;
1) Stream of consciousness:
E.g. 1. "Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders, knows remembers believes a corridor in a beg long garbled cold echoing building of dark red brick sootbleakened by more chimneys than its own, set in grassless cinderstrewnpacked compound surrounded by smoking factory purlieus and enclosed by a ten foot steel-and-wire fence like a penitentiary of a zoo, where in random erratic surges, with sparrowlike childtrembling, orphans in identical and uniform blue denim in and out of remembering but in knowing constant as the bleak walls the bleak windows where in rain soot from the yearly adjacenting chimneys streaked like black tears" (Faulkner “Light in August”).
E.g. 2. "...if ever he got anything really serious the matter with him its much better for them go into a hospital where everything is clean but I suppose Id have to bring it into him for a month yes and then wed have a hospital nurse next thing on the carpet have him staying there till they throw him out or a nun maybe like the smutty photo he has shes as much a nun as Im not yes because theyre so weak and pulling when theyre sick they want a woman to get well if his nose bleeds youd think it was Î tragic and that dying-looking one off the south circular when he sprained his foot at the choir party at the sugarloaf Mountain the day I wore that xlress Miss Stack bringing him flowers the worst old ones she could find at the bottom of the basket anything at all to get into a mans bedroom..." (J. Joyce “Ulysses”).
2) Inner monologue(dated XVIII c., "he thought", "he thought to himself", "he pondered", etc.)
E.g. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (E.Hemingway): 10 pages long inner monologue in the frame as follows:
You are thinking about something else now?"
"Yes. My work."
"What was it you were saying?"
"I was saying that you must not worry about your work."
3) Inner reaction:short insertionsserving to express the quick, usually emotional, reaction of the participant of the situation to what is happening. These insertions usually contain colloquialisms and emotionally coloured lexical units.
"...the small straight nose and a cowlick in one eyebrow that sends a little fan of hairs the wrong way and seems to express a doubt. Amazing, genes." (J. Updike “Rabbit is Rich”).
4) autodialogue –one’s talk to oneself. Its semantic content is very stable: the struggle between rational and emotional, expressed by two inner voices. Each side brings into the conflict its arguments: feelings, presentiment, intuition confront with sober reasonableness and logic.
4. 3. Represented speech.Writers often claim that their fictional characters prompted them to use certain linguistic means while representing the fictional reality on their behalf. A contamination of the author’s and the character’s voices takes place. The point of view of the latter dominates, although the scope of his speech availability signals yields to this of the author. In fact, the character’s voice is only heard due to one or two quotation words, a colloquial construction, etc.
4.3.3. Represented speech. Image of a personage.The main function of the above mentioned phenomenon, otherwise called represented speech,is the description of the situation from within, from the position of the person, who is actually experiencing it. Linguistically, the represented speech is a welding of the character’s and author’s speeches.
There several types of represented speech to be distinguished:
1) The represented author’s speech;