The Short Story and the Novel

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ASSIGNMENT 1. “The short story and the novel share the same medium but not the same artistic methods.” Discuss this statement with reference to any story from “Summer Lightning and other stories” and any novels you have read. First off, what is a novel and what is a short story? Well, a novel may be defined as the longest of the prose narratives as it is extensive in word length. According to Edgar Poem, “a novel is revisited many times before the reading is fully completed”. The length of the novel provides the writer to create rounded (well-developed) characters and numerous plots. These further provide meticulous descriptions of setting and also an extended exploration of characters and their ideas or motives. Developed too, are the elements of prose fiction such as symbols, plot and characterisation. Whereas, a short story varies from a few hundred to about 15,000 words and according to Edgar Poem, “ a short story is to be read at a single setting”. Subsequently, the novel expands, whereas the short story compresses and the similarities in medium and the distinction between artistic methods in the novel and the short story, can be indicated in any of the prior mentioned. In “Love Orange” written by Olive Senior, language is used economically and yet, tells a complete tale. Limited in perspective (with the use of first person narration and short length of words), Senior’s main concern was the symbolism. The orange represents love and what it meant to the little girl in the story and this is evident through the phrase, “ Love, I thought, was like an orange, a fixed and sharply defined amount, limited, finite. Each person had this amount of love to distribute as he may.” On the other hand, the doll somehow symbolises the “Angel of Death” since it reappeared every time someone was about to die; a friend of her grandparents, her neighbour’s son and then, her
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