Short story as a form, in comparison to the novel and poetry
Literature is quite a wide and is always classified into two forms, that is, fictional and non-fictional literature. There are two types of techniques that are applied in literature, the prose and the poetry. Literature that is written in form of poetry will always make emphasis on rhythmic qualities of language and the aesthetics which will include sound, symbolism, meter, and phona-esthetics. On the other hand, literature that is written in prose normally applies the grammatical structure that is ordinary and uses the natural flow of speech. The classification of literature is done according to issues such as genres, historical and the political influences of life.
Below are some of the forms of literature that are mostly applied in writings:
A short story can simply be explained as a work of literature that is brief and always written in a form of narrative prose. The feature of a short story involves cast that is small in terms of the characters and the short story normally focuses on one particular incident with an intention of bringing up a certain single effect or a particular mood.
Short stories when compared to the novel are much less complex since they tend to put a focus on one incident. In addition, short stories are less complex due to the fact that they have a single setting, single plot, and the number of characters involved is quite small when compared to the novels. Short stories also tend to cover a period of time that is shorter when a comparison is made between short stories and the novels.
On the other hand, a novella is a form of literature that features very fewer conflicts when compared to a novel and its more complicated if compared to a short story. The novella is always a bit shorter than a novel but when compared to the short story it is a bit longer. In many novellas, the ending is always located at the point where change is to take place.
A novel is simply a narrative prose that is longer and in many instances describes characters and events that are fictional. This description of events and characters that are fictional in a novel is done in a sequential way that helps to form a story that has sequence, hence developing a novel. In addition, the novel has got historical roots which run into antiquity, the fields of modern romance, medieval and it follows the tradition that was used in the novella.
Poetry is a form of literature that simply uses features such as rhythmic style of language (Shopen, 1and aesthetics which may include sound, symbolism, meter, and phona-esthetics.
These features of poetry are used to help evoke or portray various meanings in addition to or in place of just the ordinary meanings which are prosaic ostensible. Poems are in many occasions short in length when compared to short stories, novella, and novels.
Comparison of a Short Story to the Novel and Poetry
When a comparison is done between a short story as a form of literature and a novel, it is notable that a novel has got more characters featured to create the flow of the story while the characters used in a short story are few in number. Short stories and poetry experience a lot of limitations when it comes to the use of characters. This is due to the reason that short stories and poetry apply single plots and settings as compared to the novel which a wider range of plots and settings which help to make the story flow in a comprehensive manner.
In addition, when compared to the novel, a short story only touches on a particular incident while a novel may have a wide range of events featured to help create the flow of the story. When compared to short story and a novel, poetry applies various features such as sound, symbolism, meter and phona-aesthetics which may not be applied when writing a short story or a novel. The period of coverage by a short story is quite limited and short when a comparison is made between a novel and short stories.
Novels tend to cover quite a longer period of time than short stories. In addition, poetry also tends to cover a short period of time and therefore the period of coverage for both the short story and the poetry forms of literature are quite less when compared to the novels.
When it comes to the issue on the length, a short story may be a bit lengthier than poetry but in many occasions, the length of a short story and poetry will be dependent on the witter of the story or the poem.
Novels are written in such a way that they include features such as chapters, something which may not be found in poetry and short story. This means that, a novel is quite longer when compared to the short story and the poems. This makes the novel one of the longest genre of the narrative prose, and is followed by novella and the short story. A short story may have a short, abrupt or no ending at all, depending on the preferences of the writer of the short story. The same case may apply to poetry whereby the writer has the free will of putting an ending to the poem or simply leaving it hanging.
When a novel is compared to the short story and the poetry, a significant difference is noted since, a novel in many occasions contain an ending. Although this ending will be dependent on the writer, a novel must have an ending to give a complete flow to the story. Last but not least, a short story may only contain the setup and the actual resolution of a particular situation, when compared to a novel which will involve an exploration of the characters that is quite detailed.
This means that, a novel, when compared to the short story and the poetry contains a lot of details apart from having a setup and the actual resolution of a particular situation that makes up the plot of the novel.
Similarities between Novel and Short Story
The short stories and the novel also share some similarities even though they have various differences. Short stories are similar to novels since they fall under the same category of writing. The form of prose writing that a novel and a short story are found in is the narrative form of writing. A short story and a novel share same elements that are involved in narrative writing such as the plot, characters, the theme and they both contain a particular theme. The form of narrative structure that a novel and a short story share is similar since both of them have three phases.
These three phases include a beginning, the middle or the body and finally, the end. Another similarity that is shared between a novel and the short story is the theme. For a very long time, the novel and the short story have been used to give a representation of the social problems of many people in the society, without any restrictions to a particular class of people or background.
The novel and the short story both have a central theme, which in many occasions is clearly stated, and touches a wider audience of people. The theme in a novel or a short story always helps in putting across a moral message to the audience which helps to enhance the purpose of the novel or the short story. The last similarity that can be identified between a novel and short story is the inclusion of conflict. Conflict makes up a crucial part of the plot in a novel and short story, since it acts as a force that helps to create a connection between events, hence providing a reason as to why everything is happening.
In turn, this helps to develop a plot in a novel or short story, since without a plot, there cannot be any story. A conflict is needed in both a novel and a short story to help create obstacles and raise actions that will help give a lead to the characters and the readers of the short story and the novel to a climax. In addition, a conflict in both the novel and the short story will bring out the turning point in the story and finally help to bring a resolution to the conflict that has helped create the plot of the novel or the shirt story.
Short stories are more like poems than novels in their representation of the intensity of experience.
When a comparison is done between poems and short stories, it can be realized that the short stories and the poems have a lot of similarities in terms of representation of the intensity of experience than when short stories are compared to the novel. The similarities between short stories and poems which help to portray the representation of the intensity of experience when compared to the novel are features such as the theme in a short story and a poem. Short stories are written in such a way that they describe one particular event or incident, as per the preference of the writer.
This is the similar case when it comes to the writing of poems; where by a particular incident is described in a poem.
This means that the representation of intensity of experience through short stories and the poems is much narrower as compared to the representation of the intensity of experience through the novel which is quite broader. The main theme of the short story is always the same from the start of the story to the end of the story. When compared to poems, the theme portrayed in a poem is also in many occasions the same throughout the poem, from the start to the beginning.
A novel, when compared to the short stories and the poems, may contain quite a number of themes since the plot of the story is divided into chapters, which can be quite lengthy. Therefore, the representation of intensity of the experience is quite limited since only one theme is normally applied in short stories and poems making them similar when compared to the novel. The other way in which short stories are similar to poems than novels in the representation of the intensity of experience is the use of symbolism in short stories and poems. Symbolism is a common feature in poems and in the short stories when it comes to the representation of the intensity of experience.
This is not the case when it comes to the representation of the intensity of experience in a novel. Short stories are in many instances not lengthy when compared to the novel. This means that, in a short story very limited details will be written, the same thing applying to poems.
The focus of a short story and a poem are always on one particular issue. This does not allow any expanded representation of the intensity of experience, unlike in a novel where a wide representation of the intensity of experience can be given. When a comparison is done between poems and the short stories, it is to be noted that in both the genres of literature, there is the beginning, the middle or the body and finally, the end of the short story or the poem. The beginning, body and the end of a poem and a short story are not as expounded compared to the beginning, body and end of a novel.
This means that both a short story and a poem are similar in the sense that they give a lesser representation of the intensity of experience compared to the representation in a novel. There are some stories which can be used to show that short stories are more like poems than novels in their representation of the intensity of experience. These short stories that have been chosen include, The Overcoat written by Gogol, Bartleby by Melville, Hunters in the Snow by Wolff, and The Lady with the Toy Dog by Checkhov. The Overcoat, by Gogol, is a short story that portrays a civil servant who is denied justice after humiliation and the character ends up dying because of an overcoat (Illán, 334).
Later on the, the dead character returns as a ghost to haunt those who had contributed to the killing and its suffering by stealing their coats (Pursglove, 1165). In this story, social realism is the main theme that is portrayed throughout, giving people an insight in to the real issues of life depending on the social class of people (Tomlinson, 3). In a short story and a poem, there is always a theme that is portrayed although its expansion is limited since the length of a poem and a short story are quite short compared to a novel.
The overcoat story simply revolves around an overcoat (Stein, 1) and does not expand into any other theme hence portraying a lesser representation of the intensity of experience as compared to representation in a novel. Bartleby, written by Melville, is another short story that revolves around Bartleby who is employed as a copyist or a scrivener (Melville, 2). The character Bartleby brings out the theme of silence throughout his work. This due to the reason that he does not give any more answers to anything except using the expression he would prefer not to whenever asked to attend to an issue (Vila-Matas, Enrique, & Jonathan, 5).
The theme of silence is the main repeated theme throughout the story which is quite similar when compared to poems where same theme is applied throughout a poem (McCall, 155). The representation of the intensity of experience is quite minimal in this story when compared to a representation that could have been obtained in a novel. “Hunters in the Snow” is another story that can be used to examine the representation of the intensity of experience within a story (Oates, 671).
This story involves three guys who go hunting but in the process fail to accomplish their mission since one of them gets to injure the other (Huff, 2). The theme of relationship and trust between people is mainly portrayed in this story since the three partners must trust one another and have a common bond of friendship hence forming a strong relationship that will enable them to survive in their hunting escapade (Callison, 1). Poems and short stories in many instances are similar since they have a lesser representation of the intensity of experience due to their length and the theme applied, which has to concentrate on one particular incident.
The final story that can be used to examine the representation of the intensity of experience in a short story and a poem when compared to a novel is The Lady with the Toy Dog (Chekhov, 1). This is a short story about a lady who meets a man on their vacation but end up falling for each other. This makes the lady to cheat on her husband whom she had left behind, hence portraying a picture of infidelity (Chekhov, Anton, & Max Bollinger, 2). The love they share brings out the picture of romance although she is a married woman (Chekhov, Anton & Koteliansky, 1).
Therefore, the main theme that is portrayed in this short story is love and romance between two strangers who met on vacation but fell in love with each other (Bates, 2). The story does not give an elaborate representation of the intensity of experience of the two people that are involved in love (Chekhov, Anton, & Constance Garnett, 2). This is because short stories stick to one particular incident and the main theme is maintained throughout the story leaving no room for expansion into other themes that may relate to the theme of the story.
In this case, it is notable that a poem and a short story both maintain one theme to the end unlike a novel which may contain more than one theme when it comes to the representation of the intensity of experience in a story. When the four selected stories above are given a consideration, it can be noted that all the four stories have a particular theme that is portrayed throughout the story. There is no deviation from the main theme and the flow of the story is built on that one particular theme to the end.
This application of one theme throughout a particular short story is the similar feature that is applied in the writing of poems. The theme that has been selected for a poem is the same from the start to the end of the poem and there is no deviation. This does not mean that the theme has been expounded on completely, therefore, the representation of the intensity of experience that is portrayed in short stories and poems is quite minimal as compared to the representation in a novel which is wider and expanded. In addition, the length of the four selected stories that have been revisited above is quite less although not as the length of poems.
This means that a greater representation of the intensity of experience is denied in both short stories and poems while this same representation is greater in novels since novels have a greater length. In addition, the number of characters that have been used in the four stories that have been revisited is quite small, an aspect that is quite similar to a poem. This means that the representation of the intensity of experience is minimal in a short story and a poem as compared to a representation in a novel.
This is due to the reason that in a novel, a wide number of characters can be used to give a better and greater representation of the intensity of experience as compared to the short stories and poems where the number of characters is limited and small. When the four stories are considered and compared to a poem, they are similar in representation of the intensity of experience due to the reason that some of them have an abrupt ending which is not very elaborate just like in a poem. Novels would have a better representation of the intensity of experience when compared to short stories and poems since novels have a clear, elaborate and systematic endings.
Therefore, with regard to the above discussion, using the four stories, on the issue of representation of the intensity of experience in short stories and poems as compared to novels, it is agreeable to say that short stories are more like poems than novels when it comes to the representation of the intensity of experience. This simply means that novels have a better representation of the intensity of experience more than the short stories and poems which have quite a lot of characteristics in common, that inhibit them from giving a greater representation.
Poems, novella, short stories and novels share some features in common since they are all genres of literature. In many instances they vary from one another depending on the issues such culture and also the author will affect the way a poem, novella, short story or a novel will be written. Authors make the decision and choice on how they want their work to appear to their intended audience and the kind of message they want to relay to the audience. Therefore, literature still has a lot of opportunities for expansion in terms of poem writing, short story writing and even novel writing since there is still a wide range of themes that have not been explored by human beings. Finally, it is advisable for one to read extensively and make discoveries relating to literature since each new day brings new developments in literature.
- Bates, Evan. Best-loved Short Stories. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications, 2004. Print.
- Callison, Helen V. “Hunters in the Snow (Book).” Studies In Short Fiction 16.4 (1979): 363. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 6 Jan. 2014.
- Chekhov, Anton P, and Constance Garnett. The Lady with the Dog: And Other Stories. Fairfield, IA: 1st world Library Liteary Society, 2005. Print.