Short Story Essay

606 words - 2 pages

The assumption is often made that short stories are weak and lack expression, simply because of their physical size limitations. However, if one were to sit down and read just a few of New Zealand's finest short stories, attitudes would almost certainly change for the better. Maurice Gee for instance, A fine novelist and artistic hero for some, holds many admirable short stories to his name. Gee's famous story 'A Glorious Morning, Comrade' proves to us the inherent potential to which New Zealand writers can live up to in a short story. The main purpose of a short story is to enable the reader to picture in their mind the images which the writer 'paints'. Consequently, more demands are made on the reader.Since words are strictly limited, characters must be created very quickly. It is for this reason that writers use a 'plunge' technique. The reader is plunged into the plot by being forced to start in the middle of the action. For instance: 'A Glorious morning, comrade', by Maurice Gee, and 'The hole that Jack dug', by Frank Sargeson. Much less detail is provided to us about the characters, so again we imagine the aspects which are not given to us. Take for example the second paragraph in Frank Sargeson's 'The hole that Jack dug'. The narrator takes less than one paragraph to describe Jack. However, using special wording, the narrator can describe him in much detail using little words to emphasize a few of Jack's unique physical aspects: "The trouble with Jack's grin is that it shows too many teeth." Once Characters are established, a plot or structure will begin to form. Sometimes it will teach a lesson, Sometimes the whole story may seem pointless as is the case with 'The hole that Jack...

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