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The tools of fiction

The setting is the place and the time of the story. Time
setting usually refers to the time of the day, the
season, the year; but it is important to be aware of the
context within which the action of a novel takes place,
so social historical factors are also important.
Place setting can be interior or exterior and it deals
with the description of the landscape, interiors and
objects. A novel may begin with the description of a town
or a landscape which is the primary setting of a story
and also provides important information about the
characters who live in it. When the description is very
detailed, depending on the language of the senses or
metaphorical expressions, the setting may acquire the
status of a character, almost a protagonist of the story.

Characters are the people who appear in a novel and
represent the most important ingredient in the world of
fiction. The presentation of a character can be direct or
indirect. The two methods of presentation are often mixed
by authors in order to create portraits that are
realistic but also provide a psychological insight into
the inner life of their characters.Depending on their
role in the story there can be major and minor
characters. A further distinction can be made between
round and flat characters. Flat characters, also called
"types" or "caricatures", are built around a single
psychological trait or quality; the are easy to recognise
and do not develop throughout the story, even if they
experience different relationship and situations. However
this does not mean the are always artistically inferior
to round characters. As a matter of fact, the author can
use them to create a particular atmosphere inside a
complex narrative frame. Round characters pass through
the crucial events of the story, change their personality
as the narration develops and can even influence the
plot; they are more complex and have more than one facet,
like human beings.
An essential element of a narrative text is the speaking
voice, that is, the narrator. The narrator is not the
author of a book; author is a real person, with his own
experiences, personality and ideas. the narrator is the
voice who tells the story, either the protagonist or a
witness. It may also be a voice outside the story who
tells events he has not taken part in. In this case it is
called external.
The first-person narrator employs the "l" mode; it can
coincide with a character in the story or the protagonist
who tells his life. The choice of this narrator can have
the following functions:
-to bring the reader close to the mind and feelings of
the narrator;
- to convey an impression of reality
- to restrict the reader's prospective.
The thir-person narrator knows everything about the
events and the characters' thoughts and intentions; this
is why such a narrator is also called omniscient. The
omniscient third-person narrator can be obtrusive when he
addresses the reader directly by making personal remarks
and digressions or by providing a comment on the society
of the time, on some of the characters. The obtrusive
narrator takes away the realistic illusion and reduces
the emotional intensity of what is being told by focusing
on the act of narrating. The narrator is unobtrusive when
he shows what happens but he does not interfere with the

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