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Structure

  • Nicholas Marsh
Chapter
Part of the How to Study Literature book series

Abstract

Structure is shape. Writers give shape to the texts they produce by fitting characters, places and events into a story which is satisfying and complete. Life itself has no shape: it does not focus on important subjects, but is bitty, cluttered and messy. We could not read about real life because it is so cluttered up and never gets anywhere definite. A literary text, on the other hand, has to be satisfying, complete in itself, and have a clear strong shape. So the author creates an imagined world which has a beginning and an end; important crises bring about important changes, making people and ideas develop. In literature, problems are resolved and a conclusion, an ‘end’, is reached.

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Copyright information

© Nicholas Marsh 1995

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  • Nicholas Marsh

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