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Elements of a Satisfying Short Story

In: English and Literature

Submitted By clodtrain
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| Diagnostic Essay | ENGL 1001—Module 1 | | | 6/6/2014 |

Contents Elements of a Satisfying Short Story 1

Elements of a Satisfying Short Story

In order for me to enjoy a short story, there are two essential elements which must be satisfied. Firstly, the storyline must be one of which I can become immersed within; secondly, I must have characters to which I can relate.
Becoming immersed in a storyline is the most satisfying thing that happens to me while reading. I believe that the ultimate achievement of an author is to have the reader—as a result of anticipation— excited to turn the next page; whilst, at the same time leaving the reader with sadness knowing the story will be ending in a few short pages.
In the short story “Sonny’s Blues”, when Sonny’s brother is about to see Sonny play for the time states, “All I know about music is not many people ever really hear it.” At that moment of the story I felt myself there, in the room with Sonny waiting for him to play. A great plot can facilitate such immersion; take one there, let one feel and experience the story.
In contrast, I found “The Yellow Wall Paper” had no such engulfing qualities. Rather than being immersed by the storyline, I was begging for the final page. To make matters worse, when the ending arrived, it provided no closure and only added to the disappointment of the story. Reading the story was a laborious chore rather than an enjoyable experience.
When I find a character believable I will relate to that character on many levels, making the story more satisfying. In “Sonny’s Blues,” Sonny finds himself wanting to escape his home in Harlem in hope of finding a successful career in music. I was able to feel Sonny’s pain as he was “at that piano playing for his life.” I felt Sonny’s anger when he felt that his brother did not take his musical ambition seriously. Because...

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