5 Short Story Summaries

Aristotelian Structure:

Exposition: The story takes place in 1940 in Britain, during the time of the bombings of Britain by Germany. The main characters are introduced: George, Andrew, Winston, their father John Parker and their mother Abigail. George is 17 years old and wants to join the war, Andrew is 15, Winston is 14. The father works in a factory and the mother does not work. The family is coping with the death of Jacob, George’s youngest brother who drowned when George was supposed to watch him.

Rising Action: The story progresses and the family is dealing with the pressure of the war, the bombings, and the guilt and responsibility of Jacob’s death. The father is pushing George to enlist and the mother is dealing with her own emotions and fear of the war. George is struggling with his own feelings and decisions.

Climax: The climax of the story takes place when the family’s house is destroyed by a German bomb. This event is a significant turning point for George, as it makes the war and the danger more personal and immediate for him. He may feel a strong sense of responsibility to protect his family and country, as well as a sense of urgency to act.

Falling Action: George joins the war, leaving his family behind. The family is dealing with the aftermath of the event and the absence of George. They may experience a shift in their relationships and emotions.

Resolution: The resolution of the story is the tragic death of George, who died in the war a year later, shot in the back on accident by his own fellow soldier. The family is distraught, the father realizes he pushed George to enlist and feels guilty. The mother is in denial about her role in George’s death. The story could also explore how the family copes with their loss, the father’s guilt, and the mother’s denial. It could also explore the impact of George’s death on the rest of the family, particularly his brothers, as they grieve the loss of their brother and navigate their own feelings of guilt and responsibility. The story could also explore the themes of grief, loss, and the impact of war on families and individuals.


Kishōtenketsu Structure: 


The year is 1946, and Bob just got out of the second world war. His girlfriend, Nancy, has been waiting for him to come home ever since he joined in 1943. Bob, although a bit shaken from his time fighting, is happy to be home. He and Nancy get married that year, with both of their families traveling to Georgia where they just bought a new house. 

2 years later, Nancy is expecting a child, and is due in a few weeks. Bob is nervous, but very excited. They are going through their list of things they need to get done before the baby is there, like baby proofing the house and getting the baby’s room ready. The baby is a beautiful boy, and everyone is very happy. Bob also gets a good job around this time and buys a new car/more expensive things.

4 years later, a letter is sent to the house from a French woman addressed to Bob, but Nancy opens it before Bob finds it. The woman addresses Bob as if she knows him, and explains how he has a 7 year old son, and about how hard it was to find him. She asks if he would return to France and see his son. Nancy confronts Bob about it, and he tells the truth, about how he had slept with a woman in France and that this boy is probably his son. He tells her that he has to go, and he leaves. A week later, bob is back and apolagizies to Nancy, telling her that he wants to stay with her and their son, and that his other son would be well taken care of. 

Bob and Nancy live the rest of their lives together, and see their son grow up to be a smart young man. Bob, having still been of fighting age, did serve and live through the Korean war as well. He has many scars at the end of his life, but is content and passes away at the age of 89. Nancy lives on a few more years and gets to see her son have kids, and then watch her grandkids have kids as well before she passes.

Episodic Structure:

Episode 1: A group of five people wake up on an island, with no one remembering how they got there. They are freaked out and are trying to adjust to the new people in their lives. They start out in search of food and drinkable water, and to find a place to sleep. The next weeks are tough, and the characters are pushed to their limits.
They notice that the birds on this island are none they have ever seen, and the only other animals are small, unrecognizable rodents. Tensions are building between the group members. 

Episode 2: A similar structure to the first episode. 10 people wake up on an island with no memories about how they got there. There are crates of food next to them, an assortment of tools, and one gun with a few bullets. This group has a much better time getting on, and often have parties on the beach after they are comfortable on the island. They don’t notice weird birds or rodents, and think this is a normal island. At the end of this episode, we see the original group after they’ve eaten a dinner of rodents. They seem to be sweaty, and acting strangely. They don’t seem to be bothered by the weird twitching movements their arms are making. Eventually we see their eyes go glassy and they all pass out. 

Episode 3: Back at the first group, they are exploring more of the island. A single member finds a stream where they start washing themself. We hear crunching behind her as a few members of the second group lunge at her, and start biting and eating her. This prompts the first group, once they realize they are gone, to go search for the group member. Eventually the 4 remaining members come into contact with the members of group 2. They have a hard battle with very few weapons. Another group 1 member dies, but once the last member of group 2 is dead, fireworks shoot everywhere. It was a show, and they all won. A helicopter type vehicle comes and picks them up and they are paraded through a futuristic type city, although they feel terrible for their friends. They come to find out they volunteered for this contest, and had their minds wiped.

Surreal or Fantastic Mode:

Once upon a time, in a peaceful land long ago, a human girl named Lily lived in a small village that overlooked a beautiful valley. She loved her parents, and often spent time in their garden that bordered the edge of the village. The people of this village lived a quiet life, and everyone was committed to helping each-other. 

One day, Lily was playing near the edge of the garden, when suddenly she was face to face with a small, bright green goblin. They both seemed surprised at first, Lily having heard stories of the goblins in the mountains, but never seen one. They eventually calm down, with Lily asking the first question. They talk for a while, and eventually Lily somewhat trusts him.

What Lily did not know was that goblins age differently, and what looked like a goblin child was actually an adult spy, and he intended to gain her trust so she could aid in the invasion of the village. There is a main gate, and it would need to be opened from the inside. Lily is skeptical about what the goblin wants her to do, but still carries out the task. Goblins rush in, taking the village by surprise. Her father defends their home well with the men who were left, but they are going to be overtaken. Lily, who ran away crying, see’s that she can save the men by opening the irrigation door and flooding the goblins away. 

Lily learned an important lesson, but overall the village still loves her for saving them. Without the presence of goblins, the village had another long time of peace.

Personal Anecdote:

One weekend, my mom, brother, and I went to Diamond lake with my grandpa to go fishing. The weather was beautiful, and we had rented a nice, little cabin. After we had set up our stuff, my grandpa offered to take us on a walk if we wanted to go with him. I said yes, as I didn’t get to spend much time with him. My brother, who was about 7, was indecisive, but told us he didn’t want to come.

My grandpa and I set off on our walk, looking at the beautiful trees and the lake as we went. We talked about a lot of things, and he told me where we would be fishing the next day. We walked for quite a while, until the path wrapped around and pointed us back towards the cabin. The sun was starting to set, and we were both getting hungry, so we decided to head back.

Upon approaching the cabin, my mom saw us and was obviously upset. She told us she couldn’t find my brother, Luke, and that he had been gone for a good couple of minutes. We looked around the immediate area, and my mom even went up to other cabins in search for him. Eventually, my grandpa got on this bike and rode the trail we walked on. He found my brother and put him on the handlebars of his bike, riding all the way back to our cabin.

My mom was very relieved to have luke home, and was also pretty stern with him about how she felt about him walking off like that. Apparently he had changed his mind about wanting to come on a walk with us, and he decided to try and catch up with us. When asked if he had learned a lesson, Luke replied with, “Well, I learned a lot about squirrels.” We all laughed that one off, and proceeded to have a great weekend at Diamond lake.






Leave a Reply