What is narrative? Narrative is an account of a sequence of events, usually in chronological order. Relating to kinds of text, which student has to complete studying in high school, narrative is a text which retells the story or previous experiences. The purpose of the text is to entertain or amuse readers or listeners about the story.
Narrative is basically story and within this, story telling, there are many kinds of narrative – comedy, mystery, romance, horror are some of the commoner types. A poem can also be a narrative if it tells a story rather than just describing something.
According to L. Spencer, in A Step-by-Step Guide to Narrative Writing. Rosen, 2005, In writing a narrative, an author has a chance to make his or her mark on the world by relating a story that only he or she can tell. Whether it comes from a personal experience or is one that the writer has imagined, the point of a narrative is to bring one’s subject to life. By using sensory details, the five Ws and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how), and basic story structure, any subject can be made exciting
Common forms of narrative text which are studied in junior/high school are:
What is legend? A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history. Typically, a legend is a short, traditional and historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode. Some define legend as folktale. The example of legend in narrative text are
- Malin Kundang
- The legend of Tangkuban Perahu
- The story of Toba lake
What is fabel? A fabel is a short allegorical narrative making a moral point, traditionally by means of animal characters who speak and act like human beings. The example of fable in narrative text are:
- Mousedeer and crocodile.
- The Ants and the Grasshopper
- The smartest parrot
- The story of monkey and crocodile
What is fairy tale? According to Wikipedia, fairy tale is an English language term for a type of short narrative corresponding to the French phrase “conte de fée”. A fairy tale typically features such folkloric characters as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. The example of fairy tale in narrative text are:
- Snow white
- Beauty and the beast
- The story of Rapunzel
What is science fiction? According to Basil Davenport. 1955, Science fiction is fiction based upon some imagined development of science, or upon the extrapolation of a tendency in society. Science fiction is that class of prose narrative treating of a situation that could not arise in the world we know. Some examples of science fiction are:
- To the Moon from the Earth by Jules Verne
- Starship Trooper by Robert Heinlein
- A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
Example of Narrative Text “The Story of Lake Toba”
Once upon a time, there was a man who was living in north Sumatra. He lived in a simple hut in a farming field. The did some gardening and fishing for his daily life.
One day, while the man was do fishing, he caught a big golden fish in his trap. It was the biggest catch which he ever had in his life. Surprisingly, this fish turned into a beautiful princess. He felt in love with her and proposed her to be his wife. She said; “Yes, but you have to promise not to tell anyone about the secret that I was once a fish, otherwise there will be a huge disaster”. The man made the deal and they got married, lived happily and had a daughter.
Few years later, this daughter would help bringing lunch to her father out in the fields. One day, his daughter was so hungry and she ate his father’s lunch. Unfortunately, he found out and got furious, and shouted; “You damned daughter of a fish”. The daughter ran home and asked her mother. The mother started crying, felt sad that her husband had broke his promise.
Then she told her daughter to run up the hills because a huge disaster was about to come. When her daughter left, she prayed. Soon there was a big earthquake followed by non-stop pouring rain. The whole area got flooded and became Toba Lake. She turned into a fish again and the man became the island of Samosir.