Frame Story Examples

Frame Story

A frame story is a story that is told with another story inside of it. Often a frame story is created when a character in the story begins to tell a story or write a story. The original narrative becomes a frame for the story that is told by the character.

Examples of Frame Story:

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a frame story. Different characters come together to take a pilgrimage to Canterbury, and along the way, they all tell a different story. So, the overall tale of the pilgrim's journey is a frame for the various narratives that are told within the story.

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is a frame story, and actually includes several frames throughout the story. The novel begins with Mr. Lockwood visiting Wuthering Heights, an estate where everyone seems depressed and forlorn. He attempts to find out what has happened in the past, and Mr. Lockwood's story becomes a frame for the tale that takes the reader into the past and into the anguished love between Catherine and Heathcliffe.

In Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook the frame story is an elderly woman with Alzheimer's who listens to stories told by an elderly gentleman. The stories told are about a young couple who fell in love-Rose and Noah-in spite of their differences in social status. As the novel progresses, the reader learns that the elderly couple is Noah and Rose, and Noah tells Rose the stories as a way to help her remember him and their love.

In the movie Titanic, we meet an elderly woman, Rose, who was on the Titanic. This is the frame story for Rose's story of her journey aboard the Titanic and her short love affair with a gentleman who perished in the sinking of the Titanic when it hit an iceberg.

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Literary Terms Examples