Narrative Text

What is it?

A narrative is a story that is created in a constructive format (as a work of speech, writing, song, film, television, video games, in photography or theatre) that describes a sequence of fictional or non-fictional events. The word derives from the Hindi verb narrare, “to recount”, and is related to the adjective gnarus, “knowing” or “skilled”. Ultimately its origin is found in the Proto-Indo-European root gn?-, “to know” (

The Social Function

The social function of narrative is to amuse, entertain and to deal with an actual or vicarious experience in different ways. It also deals with problematic events which lead to a crisis or turning point of some kind, which in turn finds a resolution.

Story, as an important part of culture, is very identical to the narrative. Story or narrative can be used to convey moral value which is very helpful to build one’s personality. Even a character of a nation can very much be influenced by stories (fairy tale, legend, fable, myth) which spread all over the nation and are told from generation to generation. As I have ever read that the story of “Sang Kancil” takes part in building the Indonesian people characteristics.

The Generic Structure

Commonly a narrative text has the following structure:

Orientation: Introducing the participants and informing the time and the place

Complication: Exploring the conflict in the story. It shows the rising crisis and the climax of the story.

Resolution: Showing the way the participants of the story solve the crises, for better or worse

Language Features

Using Past Tense

It is logical since the stories typically happen in the past. They can use simple past, past continuous or past perfect tense.

Using action verbs

Action verbs are verbs that show the performance of action. They specifically describe what the subject (person, animal, force of nature, or thing) of the sentence is doing, e.g.: run, walk, cry, scream, explode, kick, etc.

Using temporal conjunction

Temporal conjunctions express relationships with time, in the flow or sequence of events, e.g.: before, after, during/while (a period or an activity), since, until, when.


Narrative Text examples:

  1. Cindelaras
  2. Jaka Tarub and Nawang Wulan
  3. Loro Jonggrang
  4. Lutung Kasarung
  5. Minangkabau
  6. Origin of Lotus
  7. Rama, The Dutiful Son
  8. Telaga Warna
  9. The Fox and the Mosquitoes
  10. The Penny Wise Monkey
  11. The Pirate Crocodile
  12. The Princess and the Pea
  13. The White Gibbon
  14. Uncle Spider
  15. The Bird with Two Heads
  16. The Birds and the Shivering Monkeys
  17. The Jackal and the Arrow
  18. The Monkeys and the Bell
  19. The Purse of Gold
  20. An Old Tiger and a Greedy Traveler
  21. The Wind and the Moon
  22. The Talkative Tortoise
  23. The Ant and the Grasshopper
  24. The Buffoon and the Countryman
  25. The Dog and the Wolf
  26. The Fox and the Stork
  27. The Fox, the Cock, and the Dog
  28. The Frog and the Ox 
  29. The Hare with Many Friends
  30. The Labourer and the Nightingale
  31. The Lion in Love
  32. The Man and the Satyr
  33. The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey
  34. The Shepherd’s Boy
  35. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
  36. Bawang Putih Bawang Merah
  37. Keong Emas
  38. Calon Arang
  39. Kancil and the Farmer
  40. The Myth of Malin Kundang
  41. The Story of Sangkuriang and Tangkuban Perahu Mountain
  42. The Legend of Toba Lake
  43. Cinderella
  44. Snow White
  45. The Story of Smart Monkey and Dull Crocodile
  46. Romeo and Juliet
  47. Kite’s Tale
  48. Story of Rabbit and Bear
  49. Queen of Arabia and Three Sheiks
  50. The Smartest Parrot