The short story “Every Good Boy” by David Nicholls is structured around an episode in the life of the child-narrator when he tried learning to play the piano.

The author has organised the narrative respecting most of the elements of a classical plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. However, the action itself is not very dense, and the story is rather humorous and lightly written.




The short story begins directly in the middle of events (in media res) with dialogue, hooking readers’ attention:



The middle of the short story develops the rising action up to the climactic moment. The story continues to present the boy’s efforts to teach himself how to play the piano and his failing. Then, the boy is sent to take private lessons with a neighbour, an old widow named Patricia Chin.



The ending of the short story includes the falling action and the resolution.

In the falling action, the boy narrator decides to act as if he had left Mrs Chin alive, arranging her body and then going home, acting like nothing is wrong.


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