How do the elements of fiction work together?How do the elements of fiction work together?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In certain narratives, the elements of fiction are inextricably tied together. In fact, it is nearly impossible to discuss one of the elements without including others. For, often the setting affects the attitudes and mores of the characters, the characters' actions affect the plot and theme, with its moral truth, and the point of view from which the narrative is told determines the readers' interpretation of the characters and the theme.

For instance, with an author such as Edgar Allan Poe, the interweaving of these elements is intrinsic to his narrative.  That the story, "The Masque of the Red Death" is set at the time of a plague is absolutely essential to the development of character and theme. Prince Espero attempts to defy the Red Death by gathering the royalty into his home and locking others out.  The revelers celebrate, believing that they have defeated death; however, the sinister Red Death yet looms over the characters until the Prince himself challenges the spectre of Death.  When the Red Death embraces the prince, ending his lfie, the reader understands that no money can exempt anyone from the death of the plague.  As "one by one dropped...and died each in the despairing posture of his fall," the theme that wealth cannot escape death is underscored  as "Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."  

All the elements of fiction work together to enhance the understanding of the reader, a reader whose apprehension of the human experience increases.

kc4u | Student

Whatever happens in a work of fiction, must happen somewhere, and that 'somewhere' constitutes the setting. Characters are rooted in the setting, and the setting does have a bearing on whatever they do. As characters grow/develope & relate to/contradict one another, the plot progresses through complications to climax. Since a work of fiction is a kind of telling, there must be a point-of-view:a narrative mode unfolding the 'telling'. All these elements of fiction cohere in terms of language & structure to build up the narrative whole.