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Lecture 12

ENGLISH 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Kate Chopin, Alice Munro, Dollhouse

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Jeffery Donaldson

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Short stories and novels are written in continuous prose
They differ in length obviously
There is an idea of something singular, independent as opposed to a series of events that become
episodes in a longer unfolding
Edgar Allen Poe: a story you can read in one sitting > short story
Events are more concentrated, cannot spend a few pages describing the characters and their
There is an efficiency in short stories; poems are concentrated in images, rhyme. Similarly,
repeated images in stories can also be thought of as concentrating matter
In a short story, the world is concentrated and the experiences is delivered through weighted
words; there is a lot of suggestion and reading between lines > the space that a story can occupy
is made to be larger through this
There is a sense of unfolding that has its own authority > direction of narrative
Words occupy space and time
Poetry is like a painting, looking at everything at once and linking together. Novels have an
emphasis on time.
A short story is like middle ground between painting and novel > music
Poetry is to prose to what short fiction is to the novel
Short stories are like a house - Alice Munro
Structures of Poetry:
One central idea where everything else is connected to it but not to each other
Three interconnected ideas
Everything held together in some kind of unity (3D Molecule)
All related parts line up together to make something pretty, might not have something
central and may look random, but still has organization that gives it unity > quilt making
Novels do have cycles and patterns while short stories can move forward in a simple sense.
Novels compared to rivers while short fiction to a dollhouse
The Story of an Hour - Kate Chopin
Idea of being frail - ailment. The idea is framed to make the last sentence deliver strongly >
woman was borderline sick, could go one way or the other
Opening lines in a story are very strong, almost a story in themselves or a backstory
foreshadowing the story
Metaphor of door closing, sitting in armchair and looking out of window into a world away from
dead husbands and train wrecks but a world of freedom with beautiful weather. The door is a
diversion between both of these worlds
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