Appreciating Literature


  1. Story Structure and Elements
  2. The Importance of Reading
  3. Resources

All stories have a particular structure. Its structure is its literary elements and are presented to the reader, listener, viewer in a particular way.

Story Structure and Elements

The narrative text structures are the plot and the setting. The plot is the sequence of events that are linked. The plot is similar to the story-line where the story events are organised in a particular manner.

The plot shows the cause-and-effect relationship between the events in a story. Observe the events for the Cinderella story:

Thus, with close examination, a narrative is divided into five parts: an exposition (introduction), the rising action, the climax, the falling action and the denouement (conclusion)

The exposition introduces the characters, especially the main character, the protagonist. it shows how the characters relate to one another,

The rising action starts with a conflict. A conflict could be the death of a character, the loss of something, . The rising actions builds up the events which causes the protagonist to go into motion and to take action. At the climax, the protagonist has goals, but is small problems interferes with the protagonist who has to overcome the problems.

Climax is the turning point, the highest point of the story. This is when the protagonist make a big decision that defines what could happen next and show the protagonist character developing. The climax occupies the middle of the story. At this phrase the audience sees the protagonist and antagonist come in conflict.

Falling action consists of events that lead to the ending. The characters are given the upper hand in resolving their problems

Denouement (or conclusion) is the time when both the antagonist and protagonist have to solve the problems they have.

Below is a narrative organizer for you to use for your exercises. Copy it in your book and use it for the comprehension exercise.

Comprehension Exercise:

Draw and complete an analysis of the story structure and elements of the story: The Frogs Desires a King. Make sure you read the story carefully before you begin the exercise.


In literature, the theme is the main idea of a writing, a novel, short story, or literary work. It is sometimes defined as the moral of a story, though not all stories have a moral. The theme of a story is expressed using characters, setting, dialogue, plot or a combination of all these elements.

Some common themes in literature are:
Good vs. evil, love, redemption, courage and perseverance, coming of age, and revenge.

Below are some short stories with some of these common themes.

Animal Farm: Good vs. Evil

Enemy Pie: Coming of age

Winnie the Pooh: friendship

Robin Hood: Characters strive to right wrong

Guji Guji: Revenge