Guide to Literary Terms

Start Free Trial

What is narrative?

Narrative is the set of methods by which an author tells a story and encompasses considerations of plot and narration.

Narrative

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on February 25, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 95

Narrative - a form of discourse which relates an event or series of events. Narratives need a narrator to communicate with the reader or hearer. The term is usually applied to anecdotes, exemplums, fables, fabliaux, fairy tales, incidents, legends, novels, novelettes, short stories, and tales. The primary and basic appeal of narration is to the emotions of the reader or hearer.

Writing an essay?
Get a custom outline

Our Essay Lab can help you tackle any essay assignment within seconds, whether you’re studying Macbeth or the American Revolution. Try it today!

Start an Essay

The term is from the Latin gnarus, which means “knowing.”

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

A novel/autobiography such as Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is considered a narrative.

Homework Help

Latest answer posted June 20, 2010, 3:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

see: fiction, plot


Explore all literary terms.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Previous

Myth

Next

Novel