How would you explain the exposition of a novel including characters, settings, and initial conflicts?I am just confused about what they are talking about.  I am trying to help my 14 year old with...

How would you explain the exposition of a novel including characters, settings, and initial conflicts?

I am just confused about what they are talking about.  I am trying to help my 14 year old with his reading assignment and can't explain what is being asked of him

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a basic plot line there are four parts:

  1. Exposition
  2. Rising Action
  3. Climax
  4. Resolution

The exposition of the novel is generally speaking, the introduction to the meat of the story.  It includes any necessary background information (setting, characters names and some info, previous events that will affect the current plot, etc.) and then of course, presents *usually* the main conflict.

So for Great Expectations this is going to include the basic setting of the novel, the characters of Pip, Joe, and Mrs. Joe (and any of the others mentioned who turn out to be major characters), Pip's family background story (orphaned and what not), and then the conflict with the convict.

Read the study guide:
Great Expectations

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