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The exposition is an important aspect of a story or novel. The more you know about the characters and the events that have happened prior to the beginning of the story, the more you will understand their motives and responses. The background information in and of itself is important, such as where and when the story takes place. For example, if a story takes place in the middle of a desert or in the year 1899 a character will not have access to certain things they might have in 2011 (cell phone, automobile, ect). Beyond that, what happens to a character, such as being abandoned as a child or living in poverty, may impact decisions and responses that a character has throughout the novel you are reading.
In the novel, The Hunger Games, the exposition is critical in understanding the path the novel takes. This includes, but is not limited to the main character and her family, how they interact, what happened in their past and what is approaching; how will this impact them as individuals and as family. The time and place, in the future after a devasting war, is also critical information. These things further impact the characters choices and explain not only what they do but why they do it.
Sometimes it is a good idea to look at more than one source when you are trying to define a new term and later practice what you have learned on familiar literature. Then you can proceed with newer content, both contemporary and classic. Be sure to visit the links cited below, as well as references throughout the enotes site. For example: Choose a familiar piece of literature within the enotes site and review the plot information, keeping in mind what the exposition is. Then try to create the exposition of the piece of literature you are working with. I like using Romeo and Juliet. In the enotes Literature sections not only is there a list of characters, the list includes information about the relationships of the characters, the history of the time period and the people involved, and information needed to come into the literature with some background. An example is including the human emotions of love and anger to connect the dots.
Exposition is one of four rhetorical modes of discourse, along with argumentation, description, and narration. It is also used for speeches. The purpose of exposition is to provide some background and inform the readers about the plot, character, setting, and theme of the essay/story or motion picture.
As quoted from wikipedia.
Exposition, or the art of making information known to further and inform a story, is used in many different ways in The Hunger Games. Since the story is told entirely from the first-person point-of-view of Katniss, the reader sees the entire world through her eyes. She informs the reader about history and past events through her memories, through association with current events, and through conversation with other characters. Katniss has a specific view of the world, and so when she remembers events, they are told through her perspective; the reader does not see things from any other perspective, and so the exposition is informed by her opinions. There are no "infodumps," or long passages of text that serve only for exposition; instead, every memory Katniss recalls comes from her view of something happening, or as connected to another memory.
The exposition provides the background information needed to properly understand the story, such as the protagonist, the antagonist, the basic conflict, and the setting. The exposition ends with the inciting moment, which is the incident without which there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the remainder of the story in motion beginning with the second act, the rising action
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