By plot, we understand the sequence of events that make up a story. Traditional plots can be broken down into several elements: exposition, inciting action, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. However, not all stories follow this structure.

“The Moose and the Sparrow” by Hugh Garner is constructed following a classical plot line, with particular attention given to the rising action, increasing the tension in the story. Here are the plot elements discussed in this chapter:

  • Exposition
  • Inciting action
  • Rising action
  • Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Resolution


Readers are introduced to the main characters: Moose, who is the antagonist and Cecil, who is the protagonist. Hints about the setting are also given, though not in a clear manner: “One evening as a few of us sat outside the bunkhouse shooting the guff, Moose said, ”Hey, Cecil dear, what do you do over on the mainland?”” (p. 209, ll. 1-2)

Notice that, in your textbook, the story starts abruptly, with dialogue. However, you sh...

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