Short Story Unit
Holt Elements of Literature: Third Course (Purple/9th Grade Edition)
Thompson’s Ninth-grade English

For the next couple weeks, you will be studying the elements of the short story. You are going to do this by reading a bunch of short stories and completing a series of activities and assignments that will require you to consider the effective elements of each work of short fiction. Each day’s assignments are listed below. There are quizzes for each of these stories, and you should read each one assuming that you will have to take a quiz on it. Keep notes on the literary elements and vocabulary words discussed in each story. At the end of this unit, you will be writing a short story of your own, and I will expect you to be able to employ the elements of good short fiction in that piece of writing. Enjoy the stories!

“The Lady or the Tiger?” by Frank R. Stockton
Literary Elements: Ambiguity, Verbal Irony, Inference, Motivation

“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
Literary Elements: Plot (conflict, exposition, complication, climax, resolution), Flashback, Flash-forward, Foreshadowing

"Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes
Literary Elements: Characterization, Dialogue

"Helen on Eighty-Sixth Street" by Wendi Kaufman
Literary Elements: Point of View (first-person narrative), Character, Allusions

"The Interlopers" by Saki
Literary Elements: Omniscient Narrator, Surprise Ending (Irony), Tone


Although the unit is not yet complete, I am providing the instructions for the final assignment here so that you can be thinking about it as we read the rest of the stories. You may even decide to start drafting your own story now (hint, hint!) so that you have more time to develop it.

Final Assignment: Write a story of no more than 1000 words which contains a well-structured plot, believable, fully-described characters (at least one of whom is dynamic or "round"), some form of symbolism, and a clearly developed theme. This doesn’t mean you have to beat your readers over the head with symbols or come right out and announce the theme; these things should be obvious if the story is told well. Follow the steps on pages 132-139 of the textbook to complete your short story.

: “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant
Literary Elements: Point of View (Third-person-limited), Irony, Inference, and Theme

"The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty
Literary Elements: Theme and Conflict

“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst
Literary Elements: Sensory Details, Symbolism, and Theme

"A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury
Literary Elements: Style, Mood, Imagery and Description, Cause and Effect, Theme

Final Test
You will take a test dealing with the elements of short fiction as they appeared in the stories we studied during this unit. It will also include some randomly chosen vocabulary words from the stories. Study your notes on the literary elements and vocabulary words!

 

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