Plot and chronotope in the fiction the fiction text

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Plot and chronotope in the fiction the fiction text


In literary theory and philosophy of language, the chronotope is how configurations of time and space are represented in language and discourse. The term was taken up by Russian literary scholar M.M. Bakhtin who used it as a central element in his theory of meaning in language and literature.[1] The term itself comes from the Russian xронотоп, which in turn is derived from the Greek χρόνος ('time') and τόπος ('space'); it thus can be literally translated as "time-space." Bakhtin developed the term in his 1937 essay "Формы времени и хронотопа в романе", published in English as "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel." Here Bakhtin showed how different Greek literary genres operated with different configurations of time and space, which gave each genre its particular narrative character. For example, the chronotopic frame of the epic differed from that of the hero adventure or the comedy

A term taken over by Mikhail Bakhtin from 1920s science to describe the manner in which literature represents time and space. In different kinds of writing there are differing chronotopes, by which changing historical conceptions of time and space are realised. Thus the ancient Greek novel is dominated by “adventure time”, in which the adventures of hero and heroine occur but which has no developmental impact upon their characters; like the space in which their adventures happen, it is effectively empty. By contrast, the time and space of the chivalric romance, though it retains elements of this adventure time, is dominated by the irruptions of the miraculous, which manifest themselves in narrative terms by the presence of “

Fiction is the classification for any story created by the imagination,[1][2] rather than based strictly on history or fact.[3][note 1]Fiction can be expressed in a variety of formats, including writings, live performances, films, television programs, video games, and role-playing games, though the term originally and most commonly refers to the major narrative forms ofliterature (see literary fiction),[4] including the novel, novella, short story, and play. Fiction constitutes an act of creative invention, so that faithfulness to reality is not typically assumed;[5] in other words, fiction is not expected to present onlycharacters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true. The context of fiction is generally open tointerpretation, due to fiction's freedom from any necessary embedding in reality;[6] however, some fictional works are claimed to be, or marketed as, historically or factually accurate, complicating the traditional distinction between fiction and non-fiction.[7] Fiction is a classification or category, rather than a specific mode or genre, unless used in a narrower sense as asynonym for a particular literary fiction form

Traditionally, fiction includes novels, short stories, fables, legends, myths, fairy tales, epic and narrative poetry, plays, (including opera, and various kinds of theatrical dancing), but it also encompasses comic books, and many films, video games, radio programs, television programs (comedies and dramas) etc.

The Internet has had a major impact on the creation and distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure royalties are paid to copyright holders.[14] Also, digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg make public domain texts more readily available. The combination of inexpensive home computers, the Internet and the creativity of its users has also led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics. Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. The Internet is also used for the development of blog fiction, where a story is delivered through a blog either as flash fiction or serial blog, and collaborative fiction, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki.

Types of literary fiction in prose:[15]

• Short story: A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words (5–25 pages). The boundary between a long short story and a novella is vague.[16]

• Novella: A work of at least 17,500 words but under 50,000 words.(60–170 pages). Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) is an example of a novella.[17]

• Novel: A work of 50,000 words or more (about 170+ pages).


Plot refers to the sequence of events inside a story which affect other events through the principle of cause and effect. The causal events of a plot can be thought of as a series of sentences linked by "and so." Plots can vary from simple structures such as in a traditional ballad to complex interwoven structures sometimes referred to as an imbroglio. The term plot can serve as a verb and refer to a character planning future actions in the story.

In the narrative sense, the term highlights the important points which have important consequences within the story, according to Ansen Dibell.[1] The term is similar in meaning to the term storyline.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, writing in the fourth century BCE in his classic book The Poetics, considered plot or mythos as the most important element of drama, even more important than character. Aristotle wrote that a tragedy, a type of plot, could be divided into three parts: a beginning, where the plot is set up; a middle, where the plot reaches its climax; and an end, where the plot is resolved. He also believed that the events of the plot must causally relate to one another as being either necessary or probable. Of the utmost importance is the plot's ability to arouse emotion in the psyche of the audience, he thought.

Today screenwriters generally combine plot with plot structure into what is called a treatment, sometimes referred to as the three-act structure, in which a film is divided into three acts: the set-up, the confrontation and the resolution. Acts are connected by two plot points or turning points, with the first turning point connecting Act I to Act II, and the second connecting Act II to Act III. The conception of the three-act structure has been attributed to American screenwriter Syd Field who described plot structure in this tripartite way for film analysis.

In 1863, Gustav Freytag, a German writer, advocated a model based upon Aristotle's theory of tragedy. This is now called "Freytag's pyramid," which divides a drama into five parts, and provides function to each part. These parts are: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement.


The first phase in Freytag's pyramid is the exposition. The exposition introduces the main characters of the story, especially the main character, also known as the protagonist. It shows how the characters relate to one another, their goals and motivations, as well as their moral character. During the exposition, the protagonist learns their main goal and what is at stake.


Freytag’s definition of conflict must not be confused with Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch's definition of conflict. Quiller-Couch uses the term to categorize plots into types (for example, man vs. society). The main difference is that according to Quiller-Couch's mode of analysis, an entire story can be discussed in terms of its conflict. Freytag's definition of conflict refers to the second act in a five-act play, a point of time in which all of the major characters have been introduced, their motives and allegiances have been made clear, and they have begun to struggle against one another.

Rising action[edit]

Rising action is the second phase in Freytag's five-phase structure. It starts with a conflict, for example, the death of a character. The inciting incident is the point of the plot that begins the conflict. It is the event that catalyzes the protagonist to go into motion and to take action. Rising action involves the buildup of events until the climax.

In this phase, the protagonist understands his or her goal and begins to work toward it. Smaller problems thwart their initial success and their progress is directed primarily against these secondary obstacles. This phase demonstrates how the protagonist overcomes these obstacles.


The climax is the turning point or highest point of the story. The protagonist makes the single big decision that defines not only the outcome of the story, but also who they are as a person. Freytag defines the climax as the third of the five dramatic phases which occupies the middle of the story.

At the beginning of this phase, the protagonist finally clears away the preliminary barriers and engages with the adversary. Usually, both the protagonist and the antagonist have a plan to win against the other as they enter this phase. For the first time, the audience sees the pair going against one another in direct or nearly direct conflict.

This struggle usually results in neither character completely winning or losing. In most cases, each character's plan is both partially successful and partially foiled by their adversary. The central struggle between the two characters is unique in that the protagonist makes a decision which shows their moral quality, and ultimately decides their fate. In a tragedy, the protagonist here makes a poor decision or a miscalculation that demonstrates their tragic flaw.

Falling action[edit]

According to Freytag, the falling action phase consists of events that lead to the ending. Character's actions resolve the problem. In the beginning of this phase, the antagonist often has the upper hand. The protagonist has never been further from accomplishing their goal. The outcome depends on which side the protagonist has put themselves on.


In this phase the protagonist and antagonist have solved their problems and either the protagonist or antagonist wins the conflict. The conflict officially ends. Some stories show what happens to the characters after the conflict ends and, or they show what happens to the characters in the future.

dropped the ice-cream because it was dirty."



Coherence in linguistics is what makes a text semantically meaningful. It is especially dealt with in text linguistics. Coherence is achieved through syntactical features such as the use of deictic, anaphoric and cataphoric elements or a logical tense structure, as well as presuppositions and implications connected to general world knowledge. The purely linguistic elements that make a text coherent are subsumed under the term cohesion.

However, those text-based features which provide cohesion in a text do not necessarily help achieve coherence, that is, they do not always contribute to the meaningfulness of a text, be it written or spoken. It has been stated that a text coheres only if the world around is also coherent.

Robert De Beaugrande and Wolfgang U. Dressler define coherence as a “continuity of senses” and “the mutual access and relevance within a configuration of concepts and relations”. Thereby a textual world is created that does not have to comply to the real world. But within this textual world the arguments also have to be connected logically so that the reader/hearer can produce coherence.

"Continuity of senses" implies a link between cohesion and the theory of Schemata initially proposed by Bartlett in 1932 which creates further implications for the notion of a "text". Schemata, subsequently distinguished into Formal and Content Schemata are the ways in which the world is organized in our minds. In other words, they are mental frameworks for the organization of information about the world. It can thus be assumed that a text is not always one because the existence of coherence is not always a given. On the contrary, coherence is relevant because of its dependence upon each individual's content and formal schemata.



Cohesion is the grammatical and lexical linking within a text or sentence that holds a text together and gives it meaning. It is related to the broader concept of coherence.

There are two main types of cohesion: grammatical cohesion which is based on structural content, and lexical cohesion which is based on lexical content and background knowledge. A cohesive text is created in many different ways. In Cohesion in English, M.A.K. Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan identify five general categories of cohesive devices that create coherence in texts: reference, ellipsis, substitution, lexical cohesion and conjunction.

There are two referential devices that can create cohesion:

• Anaphoric reference occurs when the writer refers back to someone or something that has been previously identified, to avoid repetition. Some examples: replacing "the taxi driver" with the pronoun "he" or "two girls" with "they". Another example can be found in formulaic sequences such as "as stated previously" or "the aforementioned".

• Cataphoric reference is the opposite of anaphora: a reference forward as opposed to backward in the discourse. Something is introduced in the abstract before it is identified. For example: "Here he comes, our award-winning host... it's John Doe!" Cataphoric references can also be found in written text.

There is one more referential device, which cannot create cohesion:

• Exophoric reference is used to describe generics or abstracts without ever identifying them (in contrast to anaphora and cataphora, which do identify the entity and thus are forms of endophora): e.g. rather than introduce a concept, the writer refers to it by a generic word such as "everything". The prefix "exo" means "outside", and the persons or events referred to in this manner will never be identified by the writer. Halliday and Hasan considered exophoric reference as not cohesive, since it does not tie two elements together into in text.


Ellipsis is another cohesive device. It happens when, after a more specific mention, words are omitted when the phrase needs to be repeated.

A simple conversational example:

• (A) Where are you going?

• (B) To dance.

The full form of B's reply would be: "I am going to dance".

A simple written example: The younger child was very outgoing, the older much more reserved.

The omitted words from the second clause are "child" and "was".



A word is not omitted, as in ellipsis, but is substituted for another, more general word. For example, "Which ice-cream would you like?" – "I would like the pink one", where "one" is used instead of repeating "ice-cream." This works in a similar way to pronouns, which replace the noun. For example, "ice-cream" is a noun, and its pronoun could be "it", as in, "I




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