Short Story Elements Of Thank You Ma Am

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Short stories have five elements that complement each other. These five elements are characters, setting, conflict, plot, and theme [1], and although every one of those elements is of great importance, characters are the most important elements of a story. Characters are the reason a story has a conflict and a plot, and in order for us to learn a lesson and understand a theme of a story, we need to be able to understand what the characters have experienced and what they’re feeling. “The Tell Tale Heart”, “Thank You Ma’ am”, and “The Scarlet Ibis” are all short stories in which characters and their decisions drive the plot, conflict, and themes. The description of the characters’ personality is known as characterization. There are two types …show more content…
Jones, but instead she caught him. Characterization was both direct and indirect in the story. The author described the physical traits of Mrs. Jones directly. “She was a large woman”, he says. However, we inferred the different aspects and personalities of the characters from their dialogue with each other. Mrs. Jones was able to protect herself from the young boy that tried to steal her purse. We could tell that Mrs. Jones did bad things when she was young and she wanted to do well by Roger and stop him from going down the same path. She said, "I were young once and I wanted things I could not get." This is of great impact on the plot because it explains why she forgave Roger instead of sending him to jail. By taking Roger to her house, we see that she is a mother-type figure and even though she was tough and able to protect herself she was also kind and understanding. Roger was an innocent young boy, who was apparently raised by a bad family or even had no family at all. When he had the chance to run, he decided not to because he trusts Mrs. Jones. “Roger looked at the door—looked at the woman—looked at the door—and went to the sink.” This helps show the impact Mrs. Rogers and her kindness had on him and thus on the plot of the story itself. The characterization of Mrs. Jones as a kind and mother type figure demonstrates to us and help us realize some of the themes in the …show more content…
Brother is telling the story from his point-of-view. Characterization was indirect because we only know about the characters from his thoughts and feelings. He claims “Doodle was just about the craziest brother a boy ever had.” He also calls Doodle “a disappointment.” Brother was cruel and heartless in the beginning of the story. He says he had a “knot of cruelty” in him. He pushed Doodle to limits Doodle was not capable of reaching.. Doodle’s character displays innocence as well as kindness towards his brother and he was trying hard to make Brother happy. This all helped in shaping the conflict and plot of the story. On one hand, we have Brother, who did not like Doodle, and on the other hand, we have Doodle who was trying to make his brother proud. At the end of the story, the image of Brother holding his dead brother shows us he was capable of love and sorrow. The way Brother progressed from earlier in the story to realizing his mistakes in the end is a great example of character development. All the events and the way the character’s descriptions and more importantly arcs progressed, showed different themes including pride, shame, and guilt.

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