The Kiss Kate Chopin Analysis

1029 Words 5 Pages
Storytelling is ubiquitous across human cultures. There is evidence of longstanding oral tradition through which narratives have been passed down for thousands of years. With the invention of written language came the story’s divergence into two main types, which evolved into the familiar literary and oral formats of modern day. There is no doubt that these two styles share a common ancestor, so to speak, and that they both serve the same basic purpose of transmitting information in a logical manner. However, they are quite variable in their approach to achieving this simple goal. Although these differences deserve attention, they exist mostly due to the inherent properties of writing and of speaking aloud. The similarities that persist across …show more content…
The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word “story” is little more than an “…account of [past] events” (story, n.) In stripping the anecdote down to its most basic framework, one finds that only three things are absolutely required to constitute a story: an introduction, a conflict of some sort, and a result or a resolution of this conflict. All of these elements are necessarily common to both storytelling styles; without them, there would not exist any story worth telling. In literary works, introduction takes the form of exposition, which, as the name suggests, sets the scene and often the mood for the events to follow: for example, Kate Chopin’s short story “The Kiss” opens with a lengthy exposition that includes a description of the setting and indirect characterization of the protagonist (Pratt 19). On the other hand, an orienting statement in a spoken anecdote provides “who, what, where” information, often employing considerably less detail and a more straightforward approach than its written …show more content…
The narrator usually presents this sort of identifying information in a concise manner before diving into the meat of the story; for example, a young man’s retelling of a fight limits the identification of his combatant and the description of the venue to “this other dude outside” (Pratt 6). Although these two takes on a common element may seem wildly different, in essence they accomplish the same goal of acquainting the reader or listener with the relevant elements of the situation at hand. The difference in the handling of the remaining two key elements by the two genres is mostly cosmetic; a conflict and its resolution could be spliced from a spoken anecdote and inserted into a literary one almost seamlessly. As with the introduction, a written account’s complicating action and resolution may include more explicit details in the form of adjectives, while an oral anecdote makes use of body language and tone of voice to more subtly enhance the narrative. Indeed, when I put pen to paper to record my spoken anecdote, I found that most sentences contained significantly more elaboration than their spoken counterparts had. However, the sequence of event which comprised the conflict and resolution was identical in both

Related Documents