Structure

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Beginning

The Gift” by Karen Phillips begins in medias res, in the middle of events, as the narrator finds out her ex-husband is getting married: “ ‘Hi, Mum. Dad’s getting married.’ Elly runs through the back door, swings herself up onto the bench.” (ll. 1-2). This grabs the readers’ attention. This beginning is also similar to a climax, because the announcement of this news is the key moment in the story, after which the narrative goes back to describe past events that led up to it.

Characters are then introduced through dialogue (Elly, the mother) and through short flashbacks (Ron, Amelia, Ben).

An inner conflict is also suggested by the narrator scolding her daughter for sitting on the bench or not liking her soup. These are external manifestations of the narrator processing the news about the …

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Middle

The middle of the short story is constructed using flashbacks that the narrator has of past events such as finding out about…

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