Action and Events


The sequence of events and actions in a literary work


The pattern formed by the events and actions in a literary work

  • Introduction: The beginning of a work, which usually suggests the setting (time and place) and shows on or more of the main characters.
  • Complications: Events or actions that establish the conflict in a literary work.
  • Climax: The turning point, often signified by a character’s making a significant decision or taking action to resolve a conflict.
  • Conclusion: The ending of a work, which often shows the effects of the climactic action or decision.


A struggle between internal and/or external forces in a literary work.

Irony of Situation

A discrepancy between what is said and what is done or between what is expected and what actually happens.


Adapted from:

Stanford, Judith. Responding to Literature: Stories, Poems, Plays, and Essays. 4th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 2003.

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