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Aspects of Narrative | Guide to Narrative: Narrative Frameworks

Steve Campsall | Monday October 10, 2011



Guide Navigation

  1. Introduction
  2. A Critical Vocabulary
  3. Tips for Improving Exam Grades
  4. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Frameworks
  5. Guide to Narrative: Narrative Concepts
  6. Focalisation and Diegesis
  7. Mimesis
  8. Narrative Forms and Structures
  9. Help with Exam Revision
  10. Analysis of Cousin Kate, poem by Christina Rossetti

If your exam board is AQA, you will have been introduced to various ways of analysing narratives using analytical ‘frameworks’. Whilst these are specific to AQA, they are useful to all analysis of narrative. Some teachers call these ‘the building blocks of narrative’, and they do offer you a way to break down and discuss a novel, short-story, play or poem. However, they do not use the generally accepted technical terms, and it is these instead that are used in this guide. They are not at all necessary for you to use in your exam answers and, in fact, often have other more useful technical names but, if you find them useful, here they are:

Scenes & Places

For a reader to be able to understand a story, whether one you tell from your life, or a fictional one, he or she needs ‘a sense of place’ to locate mentally where the events are occurring.

‘Scenes and places’ refer to the fictional places writers create. In this guide, the more common technical term ‘setting’ is used – although this term has a far wider application in the sense that it covers time and context, too – both local context and cultural context.

In fiction, the choice and naming of place can be important and even symbolic; also writers often use their description of setting to help them create a sense of mood and atmosphere, one that will help the reader enter their fiction story world.

Time and Sequence

Time is constant in the real world – an hour takes 60 minutes to pass by; but never in a story. A key question for you to consider is how time is handled in the story – that is, what is the chronology of events, the sequencing of the narrative...

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