1. 1.      Setting

The setting of a literary work is the time and place of the action.

ž  The setting includes all the details of a place and time – the year, the time of day, even the weather.

ž  The place may be a specific country, state, region, community, neighborhood, building, institution, or home.

ž  The setting of a story often helps to create a particular mood, or feeling.

  1. 2.      Theme

ž  The theme of a literary work is its central message, concern, or purpose.

ž  A theme can usually be expressed as a generalization, or general statement, about people or life.

ž  The theme may be stated directly by the writer although it is more often presented indirectly.

ž  When the theme is stated indirectly, the reader must figure out the theme by looking carefully at what the work reveals about the people or about life.

  1. 3.      Plot

Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows arrangement of events and actions within a story.

Plot Components

Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced

Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict.

Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes.

Falling Action: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable.

Resolution/Denouement: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point.

Plot: Conflict

Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story.  Without conflict, there is no plot.

Plot: Types of Conflict

Character vs Character

Character vs Nature

Character vs Society

Character vs Self


  1. 4.      Point of View

ž  Point of View is the perspective from which a story is told.  It is the relationship of the narrator to the story.

¡  First-person is told by a character who uses the first-person pronoun “I”.

¡  Third-person limited point of view is the point of view where the narrator uses third-person pronouns such as “he” and “she” to refer to the characters.

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