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An event in a narrative is a change or transformation from one state to another.



An event refers to a process rather than a state of being, though this is many times hard to discern in a text, as most sentences seem to refer to processes. However, for an event to occur, some alteration must take place--relying on contextual clues is crucial to determine this change.


"There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself 'Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!'...it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and, burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This is an example of an event because it describes the action of Alice going down the rabbit hole and suggests a metamorphosis in both her outlook and her physical position in the story.

Critical Debates

{is the term contested, challenged, defined differently, etc.?}

Related Terms

{list any terms that are related or usefully connected to this term or concept (e.g., list story under the definition of discourse)}


Bal, Mieke. Introduction to the Theory of Narrative.

Cohan, Steven and Linda M. Shires. Telling Stories.

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