Resolution: Literary Definition & Examples

Resolution, in literature, refers to the final part of a story where the denouement of the plot is presented. This literary device comes after other four stages, and aims to solve the conflict, by answering all questions that could have appeared to the reader during the story. It gives clear explanation to every controversial moment, event, and character behavior, whose motifs are covered in uncertainty. A good resolution is able to transform a poorly written story into a literary masterpiece, if rendered in a witty, unusual, and completely unacceptable to the reader way.

The Function of Resolution

Since it is the closing part of a story, the main function of the resolution is to tell the readers how and why it all happened, leaving no stone unturned in their questioning minds. Clarity is of foremost importance in providing clear explanations, and putting everything in a logical order, so as the reading party experiences no difficulty in getting the denouement right. A confusing, and lacking in details resolution that leaves even more questions to the audience, destroys the entire story, equating the author’s effort to zero.

Examples of Resolution

The denouement comes after a breath-taking climax that keeps in hair-raising suspense. It aims to remove the suspense, by telling how the conflict was solved. In “Romeo and Juliet”, the final dialogue between Lord Capulet, and Lord Montague reveals the regret of both fathers towards the death of their children. They agree on ending the hostility between the two families. In the novel “The Catcher In the Rye”, the resolving scene takes place when Holden retells, from the psychiatric hospital, what and why happened to him. He reveals the reasons of some of his behaviors, and why he thinks certain situations brought him in the health facility, meant for mentally ill. Holden states, eventually, his intention to move back home, and build strong relationships with his parents and little sister.

In “Crime and Punishment” by Fedor Dostoyevsky, the main character’s confession of murder, takes all the climax pressure away, signalizing of a new chapter in the life of the spiritually relieved protagonist. The resolution is announced by Dostoevsky, who declares straight of the end of the story.

The Importance of Resolution

Resolution literary definition describes the direct function, of presenting the solution to the conflict, in a clear way. However, there is an emotionally related function of a denouement. The author needs to rid the readers of any pressure, by offering a pleasing sense of release, and spiritual satisfaction. A successful resolution is considered the one that delivers a happy ending of the story.