What is the Resolution of a Story? Definition, Examples Resolutions in Literature

Resolution literary definition: The resolution can be defined as the ending of a story.

What is a Resolution in Literature?

The resolution of a story is the ending. It is the part of the plot in Freytag’s pyramid that follows the falling action where the story’s conflict is resolved.

Example of Resolution

In Disney’s Cinderella, Cinderella is faced with the conflict of being treated like a servant by her stepmother and stepsisters after her father’s death.

The whole city is invited to a ball at the palace so that Prince Charming can attempt to find a young bride. Cinderella does everything in her power to receive permission from her stepmother to attend the ball to no avail. Luckily, she is aided by the Fairy Godmother and is able to secretly attend.

While there, Prince Charming falls in love with her, but he is unable to attain her name because she races off to be home on time. All he is left with is her slipper. He searches all over for the young woman whose foot will fit the shoe, and the story resolves when he slips it on Cinderella’s foot. The shoe fits, and they get married and live happily ever after.

The Function of Resolution

Resolutions are important components to stories. This point in the plot offers a solution to the central conflict introduced in the beginning of the story. While not all resolutions are uplifting, they do tend to add closure for the reader.

Modern Examples of Resolution

In the popular children’s story Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, the character Sam is trying to get his friend to try green eggs and ham, but his friend continues to refuse to try them. At the climax of this story, he tries the food, and in the resolution, he reveals that he does indeed like green eggs and ham. The resolution brings closure to the conflict.

In the family movie Home Alone, the protagonist, Kevin McCallister, faces the conflict of being accidently left home alone while his family takes a trip to Paris, France. The conflict becomes increasingly complicated, for Kevin must protect his residence from burglars who are aware of his situation. This conflict is brought to its climax when the burglars make their way into Kevin’s home and fights to protect his residence. The movie’s resolution occurs when the burglars get arrested and Kevin’s family finally makes their way back to their son.

Examples of Resolution in Literature

In the drama Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the resolution occurs in the final act. In this drama the resolution is the catastrophic suicides of the young lovers Romeo and Juliet who struggled against fate to be with one another.

In the novella Anthem by Ayn Rand, the protagonist, Equality, struggles against the ways of his dystopian society that rejects intellectualism and individuality. This conflict resolves itself in the end where he escapes this society with his lover to begin a new society that embraces knowledge and uniqueness.

Summary: What is Resolution?

Define resolution in literature: The resolution is the part of the plot in which the conflict is solved. While the solution does not always result in a happy ending, an effective resolution will offer some closure for the reader.

Final Example:

In the short story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, the protagonist murders an old man because the old man’s cataracts torment him. These evil eyes have driven him mad, so he murders the man and places his dismembered body under the floorboards of the house.

When the police arrive, he attempts to maintain his calm composure until he believes he hears the old man’s heart beating beneath the floor. He no longer remains calm, and the story’s resolution occurs when he confesses his crime to the police officers.