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


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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© Nicholas Marsh 1995

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  • Nicholas Marsh

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