“My Polish Teacher’s Tie” by Helen Dunmore is structured according to a traditional plot line. By plot we refer to the sequence of events that make up a story: exposition, inciting action (intrigue), rising action, climax, falling action and dénouement (resolution).

The plot can be summarised as follows. A half-Polish catering assistant at a British school starts corresponding with a Polish teacher, leading him to believe she is a teacher as well. When she finds out that the Polish teacher is going to visit her school, the woman panics and stops corresponding with him. In the end, she decides go up to the teacher and present herself. Here is how you can divide the story according to plot sequences:

Exposition. We are introduced to the setting, the protagonist, Carla, and some of the other characters. The story is pretty straightforward; there is no mystery about where the action takes place or the protagonist’s background: “I wear a uniform, blue overall and white cap with the school log...

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