The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party
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  • Exposition:  A group of people have gathered together for a dinner party.   Inciting incident: A girl and a colonel are having a conversation/arugument about how men and women handle situations. Also, the hostess and native servant boy show strange expressions.
  • "A women's reaction to every crisis is to scream. Men have more nerve."
  • "Women have grown out of  the -jumping-on-a-chair-at- the-sight-of-a-mouse era."
  • Rising action: During dinner, the American scientist notices that the hostess, Mrs. Wynes, displays a strange expression on her face. She calls for a native boy and he too displays a shocked expression. He sets out a bowl of milk, which the scientist realizes is a snake trap.
  • "Psssssttt. Come here...."
  • (Gasp) "Let's play a game to see who can sit still the longest. The one who moves first forfeits fifty rupees."
  •  Rising Action:The American scientist realizes that there is a cobra inside the room and under the table and starts  a "game" with the guests to see who can hold still the longest. 
  • Setting: India; large, spacious dining room; late evening/night; dinner party at the home of host and hostess: (Mr. and Mrs. Wynnes); early 1900's
  • Climax: The snake leaves the room, the American scientist slams the doors, and everyone realizes that there is a snake and screams. 
  • *Gasps and screams*
  • "You were right, Colonel! A man has just shown a perfect demonstration of self control!"
  • Point of View and Tone: Point of view: 3rd person limited..(The narrator is telling this story without using 1st person pronouns(I, me, etc), but doesn't participate in the story. However, he does put us in the mind of the American a little bit. Tone: casual, calm, tense
  • Falling Action:   The host comments on the way the American scientist reacts to a situation. The American scientist asks the hostess how she knew that a cobra was in the room.
  • Conflict: Character v. character- Girl v. colonel with argument. (Whether women are just as calm as men in a crisis or situation. 
  • Resolution: The hostess states that she knew the cobra was at the door because it crawled across her foot. The hostess disproved the colonel's statement by being more calm and relaxed in a scary situation then them. 
  • The cobra was crawling across my foot!
  • Mrs. Wynnes? How did you know there was  a cobra in the room?"
  • Main Characters: The hostess (Mrs. Wynnes) Round/static -calm, and laid- back The American Scientist- Round/static Mischievous, smart
  • Symbolism: The colonel: The lie people may believe or the idea that all people are the same.
  • Theme: Stereotypes cannot be trusted.  The colonel assumed that ALL women were still weak and scared because this was probably based on all of the ones he'd met.  However, Mrs. Wynnes proves this wrong. The author proves that society should not put others into categories or stereotypes.
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