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the author advanced the development of the short story yet another step by introducing local color. Local color means the peculiar customs, scenery, or surroundings of any kind, which mark off one place from another. In a literary sense he discovered California of the days of the early rush for gold. Furthermore, he made the story more definite. He confined it to one situation and one effect, thus approaching more to what may be considered the normal form.
With the form of the short-story fairly worked out, the next development is to be noted in the tone and subject matter. Local color became particularly evident, humor became constantly more prominent, and then the analysis of the working of the human mind, psychologic analysis, held the interest of some foremost writers. Stories of these various kinds came to the front about the third quarter of the last century. “ Mark Twain" (Sainuel Langhorne Clemens), Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and Frank R. Stockton preëminently and admirably present the humor so peculiarly an American trait. Local color had its exponents in George W. Cable, who presented Louisiana ; “Charles Egbert Craddock” (Miss M. N. Murfree), who wrote of Tennessee; Thomas Nelson Page, who gave us Virginia ; and Miss M. E. Wilkins (Mrs. Charles M. Freeman), who wrote of New England, to mention only the most notable. With psychologic analysis the name of Henry James is indissolubly linked. The Passionate Pilgrim (1875) may be taken as an excellent example of his work.
By this time the American short-story had crossed to England and found in Robert Louis Stevenson an artist who could handle it with consummate skill. He passed it on a more finished and polished article than when he
received it, because by a long course of self-training he had become a master in the use of words. His stories remind one of Hawthorne because there is generally in them some underlying moral question, some question of human action, something concerning right and wrong. But they also have another characteristic which is more obvious to the average reader
their frank romance. By romance is meant happenings either out of the usual course of events, such as the climax of Lochinvar, or events that cannot
occur. The latest stage in the development of the short story is due to Rudyard Kipling, who has made it generally(more terse, has filled it with interest in the highest degree, has found new local color, chiefly in India, and has given it virility and power. His subject matter is, in the main, interesting to all kinds of readers. His stories likewise fulfill all the requirements of the definition. · Being a living genius he is constantly showing new sides of his ability, his later stories being psychologic. His writings fall into numerous groups — soldier tales ; tales of machinery; of animals; of the supernatural; of native Indian life ; of history; of adventure ; — the list could be prolonged. Sometimes they are frankly tracts, sometimes acute analyses of the working of the human mind.
So in the course of a little less than a century there has grown to maturity a new kind of short narrative identified with American Literature and the American people, exhibiting the foremost traits of the American character, and written by a large number of authors of different rank whose work, of a surprisingly high average of technical excellence, appears chiefly in the magazines.
Though the short-story has achieved a normal or general form of straightforward narrative, as in Kipling's An Habitation Enforced or Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews' Amici, yet it exhibits many variations in presentation. Sometimes it is a series of letters as in James' A Bundle of Letters; sometimes a group of narrative, letters, and telegrams as in Thomas Bailey Aldrich's Marjorie Daw; again, a letter and a paragraph as in Henry Cuyler Bun. ner's A Letter and a Paragraph; or a gathering of letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings, and advertisements as Bunner and Matthews' Documents in the Case. Again it
may be told in the first person as in Stevenson's Pavilion on the Links; or in the third person as in Kipling's The Bridge Builders. Yet again it may be a conundrum as Stockton's famous The Lady or the Tiger?
But besides the forms due to the manner of presentation there are other forms due to the emphasis placed on one of the three elements of a narrative - action, character, and setting. Consequently using this principle of classification we have three forms which may be exemplified by Kipling's William the Conqueror, wherein action is emph; sized; his Tomb of His Ancestors, wherein character in emphasized ; and his An Error in the Fourth Dimensio; wherein setting is emphasized.
Using yet another principle of classification -- mater
we obtain: stories of dramatic interest, that is, of soin striking happening that would hold the audience of a plu in a highly excited state, as Stevenson’s Sire de Malétroit Door; of love, as Bunner's Love in Old Cloathes; of roman
tic adventure, as Kipling's Man Who Would Be King ; of terror, as Poe's Pit and the Pendulum ; of the supernatural, as Crawford's. The Upper Berth; of humor, as Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews' A Good Samaritan; of animals, as Kipling's Rikki-tikki-tavi; of psychological analysis, as James' Madonna of the Future; and so on.
THE SHORT-STORY AS NARRATION All the previous discussion must not obscure the fact that the short story is a form of narration and subject to all that pertains thereto. Now what is narration and what does it imply?
Narration is that form of discourse which presents a series of events in the order of time. Events or action presuppose actors, or characters as they are generally called, and a place where the action may take place; likewise time and circumstances within which the actors act. These three, which may be conveniently spoken of as actors, action, and environment, are three of the elements of narration. But there is a fourth. To make an interesting story there must be something for the chief character, technically called the protagonist, to overcome, such as an adversary, a situation, or an idea, which thing is called the obstacle. Furthermore, there must be something in We e sio y near the beginning which brings the protagonist
to contact with the obstacle. Often this conflict, techni
ly the collision, is brought about by another character. **: it may be sme happening. Whatever it is, it is "called the complicating force. Then again, toward the tai of the story, there is something else which either helps epictagonist to overcome the obstacle, or the obstacle to
overcome the protagonist. This is called the resolving force.
As these two forces work in different parts of the story, the action is conveniently divided into parts to which names have been attached. First comes the introduction or proposition, wherein the time, place, circumstances, and protagonistare presented; then the entanglement, wherein the protagonist is brought into collision with the obstacle by the complicating force, and the interest begins to deepen. Next we have the climax, in which the struggle, and consequently the interest, are at their height; and this in turn is followed by the resolution, where the resolving force works and the knot begins to be untied. Finally there is the dénouement or conclusion.
The career of each character may be conveniently spoken of as a line of interest. When the lines of interest become entangled we have the plot.
The following diagram illustrates to the eye the development of a story. Of course it must be distinctly under