A critical analysis of the use of the five literary elements (theme, plot, characterization, setting, structure) in Barbara Kimenye's "The Winner"

Essay by JellyBelly024High School, 10th grade March 2003

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Barbara Kimenye's "The Winner," is an excellent example of a short story that does not necessarily use all five of the literary elements to their fullest potential, but still creates a sense of organic unity. In this analysis, the elements are organized in the order of theme, plot, characterization, setting, and then structure. Each element will be described and then "The Winner" and the events in it will be related to the elements.

The purpose of the theme of a story is to provide insight to the reader about the author's point-of-view on the topic they chose to write about. Theme can be communicated in two ways, both of which Ms. Kimenye utilized. One is to reveal the theme directly through a statement that a character makes, and the other is to allow the reader to interpret the theme based on the actions and reactions of the characters. She relates money and happiness throughout the story to convey her theme.

Her use of description through the characters stressed her point very clearly. She used the right symbols, such as people, in the proper way to help the reader understand the purpose and meaning of the symbol. Overall, the way she incorporated the theme into the story could be considered to range from good to excellent.

The plot of a story should have an element of suspense and irony in it to make the reader want to continue reading. It should also include at least one major complication, that is, the protagonist or another character is blocked from doing what they want to do. While all of this is going on, the order or events and relationship between events still has to make sense to the reader. There was a great deal of irony presented in the end of the story...