An Introduction to Imaginative Literature

Literary – Part I

1.Fable
a) Definition – A fable is a short narrative that makes use of animal characters to bring out a moral statement by making them speak like human beings.
b) Example – Aesop’s Fable titled “The Ant and the Grasshopper.
c) Explanation – In this story, the ant is a hard worker who toils each day to save grain for the rainy days, while the grasshopper wastes his time singing all day. Even though the ant warns him, he pays no heed. Finally, the grasshopper learns a bitter lesson when he has to go without food for many days due to a terrible storm.

2. Legend
a) Definition– A legend is a traditional tale from history that has a mixture of both fact and fiction.
b) Example – King Arthur
c) Explanation – King Arthur is believed to be the legendary leader who was British and had led them in defense against the Saxons who came to invade them. Modern historians still debate his historical existence because the story of King Arthur comprises of folklore that has both fact and fiction.

3. Myth
a) Definition – A Myth is something that is imaginary or fictitious usually involving superhuman beings, deities and religious and social customs explaining a phenomenon or belief
b) Example – Story of Hercules
c) Explanation – The adventures of Hercules portray him as more than a life-sized figure who braved and battled the underworld and killed the demons he came across.

4. Omniscient narrator
a) Definition – An Omniscient narrator is one who serves to chronicle an account in a most accurate, complete impartial manner.
b) Example – Bleak House by Charles Dickens
c) Explanation – This story is filled with conflicting thoughts and ideas causing havoc among many families. The plot of the story is so complicated that those who read it are always in disagreement with each other.

5. Parable
a) Definition – A short story that offers us a lesson or a principle to follow.
b) Example – The Prodigal Son from the New Testament.
c) Explanation – The son demands his share of the property, squanders the same and returns to his father after having learned a bitter lesson.

6. Paradox
a) Definition – A statement that is contradictory even though it has a valid and acceptable premise.
b) Example – Death is a paradox.
c) Explanation – Death is considered to be the end of life and at the same time it is the beginning of a new life.

7. Unreliable narrator
a) Definition – An unreliable narrator is one who cannot be trusted as he is biased in his work, either from self- interest or sheer ignorance.
b) Example – Gulliver Travels by Jonathan Swift
c) Explanation – Many authors who write fiction uses this as a tool to portray authenticity in their work. In the fictional story, Gulliver is shown to be a huge figure who gets trapped by small people.

Literary – Part II

1. “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron is a very interesting and endearing poem filled with Romanticism.
The character used to depict the poet’s thoughts and ideas of romance is a beautiful lady that he describes. In verse I, the speaker compares the lady to dark but beautiful things like the ‘night’ and ‘starry skies’. In the second verse makes use of a lot of contrast to portray her beauty. Here he describes her beautiful ‘raven tresses with shades of light and dark In this stanza we also come to know of her sweetness and grace and one whose thoughts are pure. In verse III, the poet describes her smile as ‘smiles that win’. He sums up her character as one who is soft and calm and who has a peaceful and loving heart which is so innocent.

2. Which of the characteristics of the courtly love tradition are evident in Giovanni Boccaccio’s short story “Fiametta’s Story”?
The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta by Giovanni Boccaccio is considered to be a milestone in the realm of feminist literature. Some of the courtly love traditions evident in this story are brought out through this outspoken feminist character Fiammetta, who falls passionately in love with Panfilo, her lover even though she was married. She is abandoned by her lover who is unable to keep his promise because he had to return to his native place to look after his ailing father. Going against the normal tradition, Fiammetta lies and convinces her husband to accompany her in her search. When she fails, she even tries to end her life by committing suicide.

 

References
Fable – Definition
www.urbanlegends.about.com/od/glossary/g/fable.htm
Myth Definition
www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/myth
Omniscient Narrator – Narrative
www.narrative.georgetown.edu/wiki/index.php/Omniscient_narrator
Parable – Definition and examples
www.grammar.about.com
She Walks in Beauty
http://www.bartleby.com/106/173.html

The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta
www.books.google.com
Unreliable Narrator
www.fictionwriting.about.com

You Might Also Like