Write a 750-1000 word essay which demonstrates how your novel follows the steps of narrative structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution/denouement). 

  • Include an outline and Works Cited page where you will list the novel you are discussing.
  • You must use MLA format, but you are not to use outside sources for this paper; this is your own analysis.
  • Cite examples from your text in support of your argument, either as direction quotations or paraphrases.
  • This is not simply a summary of the story. Instead, you should identify how each part of the narrative structure develops in the story.

Do not confuse this essay with your research paper. This essay is totally your own thinking from studying the steps of narrative structure and reading the novel. Your research paper reflects the conclusions you draw from information gleaned in your research and is on a selected topic other than narrative structure.

The Freytag Pyramid

Understanding the plot on a deeper level can help you interpret a work as well. Many stories (including movies, television shows, drama, and narratives) follow the below organization, otherwise known as The Freytag Pyramid. Although understanding these terms can help you break down a work, you generally should not discuss the pyramid in an essay, for this focus is on the plot. Always remember: your reader knows the plot. Your goal is always to discover a deeper meaning of a work of literature.


This functions as an introduction. It brings readers into the world of the story and introduces them to the main character. The exposition will often give background information and any necessary information about the setting as well.

Rising action

The rising action is where the story gains a direction, changing from providing information to getting into the meat of the story by introducing a problem or conflict that must be resolved. The rising action brings readers into the main body of the story and gets the action going.


The climax is where the increasing tension caused by the problem/conflict comes to a head and must be directly confronted. Often, in this part of the narrative, the main character or protagonist will face an important choice, and often the response to this choice dictates how the rest of the story will go. Note that during this part of the narrative, the confrontation between protagonist and antagonist (the character or object most directly in opposition to the protagonist’s goals and desires) begins but is not resolved.

Falling action

The falling action continues the confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist. At this point, we will find elements such as the ritual death, which is the part of a story in which everything seems to be going wrong for the protagonist, and the antagonist seems to be about to win. During the falling action, readers will often find themselves wondering how things could possibly work out for the protagonist.


Finally, after increasing tension and conflict, the narrative will hit a tipping point, and either the protagonist or antagonist will triumph, and the plot will move from its main body into its conclusion. Resolution here refers to the resolution of dramatic tension as the story takes us one way or another, and events are wrapped up, though not necessarily in a satisfying manner. Don’t ignore the concluding sentences of short fiction; there are often important ideas included there that can strongly shape how you read the rest of the story.

Book – Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 

Heart of Darkness Download Free at Planet eBook 

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