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"The key to a successful short story is in its unexpected ending" Do you agree? Are there other factors that are equally important?

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"The key to a successful short story is in its unexpected ending" Do you agree? Are there other factors that are equally important? You should refer to at least four stories. I agree that a good ending is a key component to the success of short stories, but there are many other equally important factors, which play crucial parts to the successes of many short stories, when used or without, a good ending. I have read, six short stories, most of them having unexpected, interesting endings, all being quite rewarding. 'The Unexpected' by Kate Chopin, living up to its name is filled with unanticipated decisions and turns. A young woman, completely in love and besotted over her fianc�, is forced to be separated from her love. He is kept from returning to her longing arms, due to sickness, upon his return her perception of him is one, quite surprising. Instead of the expected fulfilment of her insatiable anguish, she is repulsed by the 'new' him. At the end, she leaves him. 'This was not the man who had gone away from her; the man she loved and had promised to marry. What hideous transformation had he undergone, or what devilish transformation was she undergoing in contemplating him... fifteen minutes later Dorothea had changed her house gown, mounted her 'wheel', and was fleeing as if Death himself pursued her.' From her initial feelings, to her departure, shows a huge change in emotions, completely unforeseen to the readers, resulting in sustained interest also causing slight controversy. ...read more.


Not only does it contain an interesting theme, but also effective use of the supplementary factors creates the successful story. 'The Speckled band', is about a young lady Helen, who after the untimely death of her sister, feels she will be next. The introduction of the story shed's some light on the plot, just enough to entice the reader, but not letting too much on. At the very beginning of , Dr. Watson introduces the case. He explains that he has only just been able to release details of this case because of the 'untimely death' of a lady to whom he vowed to keep the details secret. "It is perhaps as well that the facts should now come to light, for I have reason to know that there are widespread rumours as to the death of Dr. Grimesby Roylott which tends to make the matter even more terrible than the truth." Watson's introduction fills the reader with anticipation. His suggestion of the secrecy surrounding the case makes it seem more intriguing and his suggestion that the truth of it is in someway 'terrible' creates suspense as the reader awaits the descriptions of these so-called terrors. Doyle has already managed to grip the reader, very subtly through giving the least amount of information possible. Little light is shed on the plot, at this point but the reader undoubtedly has their own ideas surrounding the contents of this case. Having a gripping beginning such as this, keeps the reader keen, but such interest needs to be maintained throughout the length of the story through the use of other factors. ...read more.


The author uses significant emotive words in demonstrating her peaceful departure 'kindliness... sweet... tenderly', the passage is ironic. The fact that in that time, children's lives, were valued much less than they are now, makes the mother seem overly caring, in a society used to deaths of infants, and parents. The also to the readers of the story in the 1800's many might have been able to identify with the mother or children, evoking empathetic feelings in the reader. Another important element of a good story the use of correct language, as the right language gives the right effect. In the 'half brothers' the graveness of the dying brother's situation is revealed through the language. 'It hemmed me in.... thicker, thicker... boggy soil.... I dared not move far' these give a claustrophobic feeling, as if he's being enclosed and surrounded, 'boggy soil' like quicksand ready to engulf him, 'he dared not move', by wandering around farther would only worsen his sorry state. This shows how little description can be effectively used to gain the best possible effect for the story. Over my study of the six short stories I have gained a substantial amount of respect for the writers. They are able to use the write balance of different components to achieve their desired effect. Although their stories were and are a great source of entertainment they hold deeper meanings, which shouldn't go unnoticed. They have managed to satisfy readers of their time, as well as people of the 21st century. English Coursework 05/12/04 By Nicole Evans 10A1 ...read more.

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