|Children's Author Steven Kellogg|
How do the literary elements bring “an existence” to stories?
In Steven Kellogg’s Jack and the Beanstalk, many of the literary elements come into play to bring the story alive. First off, the illustrations are absolutely amazing but there is more depth than just the illustrations that bring Jack and his adventure alive. The story is told in third person limited. The reader only gets an insight to Jack and his feelings. This is really captured when Jack is sent to bed without any supper. “So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, and sad and sorry he was to be sure, as much for his mother’s sake as for the loss of is supper”. The story is already formulating through the narrator and letting the reader have an insight to Jack’s feelings. The plot is also important to the story as well.
Plot is what makes the story move along and progress. In Jack and the Beanstalk the progression of the plot is vital to the story. Jack adventures between his life on the farm and the dreamland where he encounters the ogres. He goes in between worlds moving the story along as we keeps going back to take objects out of the ogre’s house until he is caught, which is the climax of the story. The plot creates a sense of tension as well. The reader feels apprehension not knowing whether or not Jack is going to get caught by the fierce ogre, suspense is felt up until that moment when he finally is.
A final literary element that comes into play to help bring the story alive and give a sense of existence is symbol or extended metaphor. Jack and the Beanstalk is more than just a story being told, there is a deeper meaning that the reader is supposed to understand and take away after finishing the book. The story has a few underlying themes and the first one being courage by defeating the large ogre in the end. Jack is obviously outsized by the ogre but seizes to conquer him anyways. The background of the story is that the ogre had taken all of his prized possessions from Jack’s father. Knowing this, the idea of right versus wrong and karma are emphasized. It is wrong to steal from other people making the ogre the bad person and Jack the good person, or hero, to recover his father’s possessions and in the end Jack gets what he wants and him and his mother live a life of wealth.
All of these elements tie together to make Jack and the Beanstalk more than just words on a page; they have meaning and form a well-designed story.