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Word Count: 406
Plot is usually defined as the sequence of major events upon which the story is based Laurence perrine in Literature Structure Sound and Sense in details deals with the nature of plot and its constituents In fact plot resembles a map which leads us only to the location of the places we want to visit but it does not show what these places contain We also learn that the plot is mostly concerned with What happens in the story To write a plot summary we have to avoid the temptation to include everything which is said or done but we should be selective and determine which events are major and essential to the skeleton of the story without which the story would collapse Sometimes even what is said may form a major episode of the story Perrine then deals with different kinds of conflict and with suspense mystery dilemma surprise and organic unity the repetition of which here will be redundant In this way Perrine provides the students with a sound theory of the plot of the story However in practice when the students are asked to apply the same theoretical information to the story in order to present a plot summary they are bewildered not being certain what details they should include in and which to exclude from their plot summaries Experience shows that they usually sacrifice the essential events for very minute and unnecessary details which are by no means of primary importance for the plot summary The outcome is even more unsatisfactory when the stories are based on character revelation and mental actions of the characters rather than on their physical and exciting adventures In such cases the students plot summaries often turn out to be dull and defective because students need to understand why a character feels or thinks the way he does and because there is less of What than Why they need to grasp the motivations of the characters
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