Mrs. O' Conner
AP English Language and Composition
The Roles of Literature
Literature, throughout the course of mankind has provided insight into human nature and the evolution of human thought and belief over these periods of time. Human nature can be defined as the general psychological characteristics shared between most, if not all, of the human species. A very popular way for authors to provide this insight into human nature would be through the use of short stories. Short stories are stories that are usually three or four pages long and consist of one main protagonist, one main antagonist, are centered around one main and easy to follow plot, have very few or no sub-plots, and usually end with a moral. The ability to add blatant symbolism throughout the course of the story as well as easily being able to express ideas and emotions in a relatively short amount of words is the reason short stories are often prevalent in the type of literature an author may choose to write in.
That, and the knowledge that there is a much greater chance that an author's prose would be read and recognized globally due to being short and not having to take up a large chunk of the reader's time.
Although most short stories are usually clear and concise about their meaning and the struggles of the protagonist, some short stories are not and are rather implicit in representing the theme of the story. A common theme in many popular short stories is that man and nature, no matter the circumstances, are incompatible. A very interesting example of this is in the short story Rain Horse where the author, Ted Hughes, is narrating in the third person style the day of a young man...