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Short Story

Grade 10
Sep 5, 2022

What Is a Short Story? 

A short story is a project of short, narrative prose that is usually centered around one single event.  

It is limited in scope and has the following aspects 

An introduction 


And a climax/conclusion.  


Even if a short story has much in general with a novel,  it is drafted with more precision.    

An analysis of a short story requires intial comprehending of literary elements.  

The following aspects of  the elements of a story may help you to analyse a short  

  • What is the tone? 
  • Where is the settings? 
  • Who are the characters? 
  • What is the plot ? 
  • What is the theme or the message? 
  • How is the Climax/ Conclusion? 

Short stories can be enjoying because they provide us with a little world we can get a glimpse of and think about on a  scale that’s much smaller than that of a novel.  

When  analyzing the short story, one should begin by identifying a few basic aspects of literature. Learn about the techniques used, tone, setting, mood etc. 

  1. Tone     
  1. One aspect of analyzing  a short story is tone 
  1. What is the attitude of a writer towards the story.  
  1. Has the author adopted a stern or serious tone toward his or her characters and their actions? 
  1. Or perhaps a humorous or even sarcastic tone? 
  1. And how to figure out what the tone of a story is? 

How To Figure Out The Tone In A Story: 

  1. To figure out the author’s tone in a story, pay close attention to his or her diction, or word choice.  
  1. Track an abundance of negative terms or perhaps words that evoke a certain type of imagery.’ 
  1. Setting 

It is a description of when and where the story takes place. In a short story there are few settings compared to a novel. The time is more limited. The following questions can be answered to analyse the short story 

  • How is the setting created? Consider geography, weather, time of day, location, social environment etc. 
  • What character does setting play in the story?  
  • How is it essential portion of the theme or plot?  

Points to ponder on setting aspect. 

Understand the time period, which is also part of the setting, and ask the following self.  

  • The time of the story written? 
  • Does it take place in the past, the future or present ? 
  • How does the time period affect the social circumstances language, atmosphere of the short story? 
  1. Characters 

Analyse how  the characters in the story are given the their roles. In short stories there are usually less characters compared to a novel. They usually concentrate on one central character or protagonist.  To analyse the characters of a short story answer these questions: 

  • Who is the main character? 
  • The main character and other characters are described through dialogue – by the way they speak (dialect or slang for instance)? 
  • Has the author described the characters by feelings, interaction  
  • physical appearance, thoughts. 
  • Are the characters believable? 
  1. Plot and structure 

The plot plays a very important role in analysing the short story as it is  the important sequence of events that make up the story. 

In short stories, the plot is usually concentrated around one experience or significant moment. Consider the following questions: 

  • What is the most important event? 
  • How is the plot structured?  
  • Is the plot believable or unbelievable  
  1. Narrator and Point of view 

Ask questions considering the  narrator is the person telling the story.   

Whether the narrator and the main character are same.  

By point of view we mean from whose eyes the story is being told.  

Stories short are  to be told from one person character’s point of view.  

Consider the following questions to analyze a story :  

  • Who is the speaker or narrator in the story? 
  • Does the author communicate through the main character? 
  • Identify if the story is written in the first person “I” point of view? 
  • Identify if story is written in a detached third person point of view? 
  • Is there an “all-knowing” third person who can reveal what all the characters are thinking and doing at all times and in all places? 
  1. Conflict 

Conflict is usually the core of the short story and is aligned to the main character.  

In a short story there is usually one main challenge. 

  • How do you describe the main conflict 
  • external conflict, in 
  • ternal conflict caused by the surroundings or environment of the main character finds himself/herself in? 
  1. Climax 

The climax is one of the important aspects of analysing a short story  

It is the point of greatest conflict in the short story. It can also be the scene where events take a turn as the story moves towards its conclusion.  Decide …. 

  • When does the climax take place? 
  1. Theme 

The theme is the main idea, lesson, or message in the short story. It may be an abstract idea about the human condition, society, or life. To analyse a short storycarfully analyse ……… 

  • How is the theme expressed? 
  • Are any elements repeated and therefore suggest a theme? 
  • Is there more than one theme? 
  1. Style 

The author’s style has to do with the his or her vocabulary, use of imagery, feeling of the story, and tone .  

In few short stories, the tone can be dramatic, humorous, or cold,  

How is the the author’s language? 

  • What kind  of images are used? 
  • What type of symbolism the author used in the story? 

Steps to analyze a short story. 

  1. Read and summarize 

To analyze the short story , it is recommended to read and re-read it several times. To analyze the short story, divide the narrative into sections.  Summarize your interpretation of the above aspects of a story . 

  1. Brainstorm and take notes 

While reading the story, if you come across an interesting subplot, a challenging character arc, or even a major theme that isn’t showcased through the  story. Brainstorm different ideas and write down the concepts that you find fascinating while reading the short story. 

 Always pay near attention to the details to understand the purpose of the story, as well as the author’s point of view on multiple important situations or events of the story.  

  1. Identify crucial elements of a short story. 

Identifying essential concepts in the short story such as the main conflict, the characters’ personalities, their defining traits, the choices they make, and the point of view of the narrator. 

Similarly, identifying the literary devices of the short story, such as the setting, mood, tone, and style of the text will help further in analyzing the plotline in a more notable way. 


  • Include illustrations, and evidence 
  • When you mention an argument in your story analysis, it is more or less better to back it up 
  •  with credible sources and accurate evidence.  
  •  A quotation cannot become evidence unless it is explained how it proves the claims 
  •  that are being made. 

Analyzing the Craft, the theme/message statement of  short story  

  • It is important to make sure all the analyzations  (points) that have been  made for the short story ties together and ultimately support the theme . 
  • Keeping in mind that the thesis for your short story should summarize the plot, and neither should it be a review of the book.  

The  thesis statement should be an interpretation of the text or an argument that is based on the storyline. 


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