Learn English Language skills through our AI based learning portal with the support of our Academic Experts!

Learn more


The Night the Ghost Got In” is noted for its well-constructed plot. As seen previously in the explanation, the story begins from the end. The readers are given a basic idea as to what happens in the story. Hence, the main purpose of the story is to find “how” the events unfold rather than “what” takes place.
Following the introductory paragraph, the readers are brought to the very beginning of the story. From thereon, the plot moves gradually and steadily. Incidents that are crucial to the plot act like a chain reaction, which ultimately leads to a gratifying end.
So, what is the difference between a story and a plot?
A story or narrative is a connected series of events told through words (written or spoken), imagery (still and moving), body language, performance, music, or any other form of communication. Elements of a story include plot, setting, characters, theme, events, point of view, diction, and style.
A plot is the structure of interrelated actions, consciously selected and arranged by the author. It is the events that make up a story, following the formula arc of beginning, middle, and end.
Incidents / events that make up a story:
There are two kinds of events/incidents in a story. They are,
  1. Those that are connected to the plot (and the story)
  2. Those that are not connected to the plot but are relevant to the story
In the lesson, the following incidents are considered relevant to the plot:
  1. The narrator hearing the footsteps
  2. Him alerting his family
  3. The mother throwing a shoe at the neighbour’s window
  4. The arrival of police
  5. The sound from the attic
  6. The encounter between the police and the grandfather
  7. The grandfather shooting an officer
  8. Police’s retreat
  9. Grandfather’s revelation
These incidents are crucial because they are well connected; one incident leads to another, eventually bringing a resolution to the story. The rest of the incidents, such the one involving Mrs Bodwell or the zither, are included to provide depth to the characters and/or as a comic relief.
Analysing the plot of the lesson, “The Night the Ghost Got In”, based on Freytag’s pyramid.
About Freytag’s pyramid
Freytag’s pyramid is a definitive study of the five-act dramatic structure used and embraced by writers for over millennia. The structure was developed in the \(19\)th century by the German playwright and novelist Gustav Freytag. Under Freytag's pyramid, the plot of a story consists of five parts:
  1. Exposition (introduction)
  2. Rising action
  3. Climax
  4. Falling action
  5. Dénouement (French for “the ending) / catastrophe
*Freytag’s pyramid
Let us correlate the incidents from the lesson and see how they fit into the structure.
1.Exposition:  The author sets the scene and the character’s background. An expository paragraph presents facts, gives directions, defines terms, etc. It should inform readers about a specific subject. It should also contain an incident that leads to a chain of other incidents.
In the lesson: In the 1st paragraph of the story, the author presents the setting (date), subject (ghosts and misunderstandings), and characters. The paragraph serves both as an exposition and a prologue.
The inciting incident in the story is the scene where the narrator hears the footsteps. This incident leads to a series of connecting incidents.

2.Rising Action:  The story moves forward due to the character responding to an incident. Conflicts are brought into the plot, with the character trying to solve them.
In the lesson: The narrator responds to the incident by waking his brother up. Without realising, the brothers wake their mother up. This incident serves as rising action. Her appearance in the story brings many elements, namely, humour, conflicts, tension, and such. It was on his mother’s insistence and efforts that brought in the police.
3.Climax:   The story reaches a point where the tension between the protagonist and his (or her) conflict is greatest. Here, the situation reaches a point where there is no return.
In the lesson: The scene where the police hear a sound from the attic and their encounter with the grandfather serves as the climax.
4. Falling Action: The plot moves towards the end due to events from the climax. The incidents happen quickly in falling action, and the fall is relatively swift.
In the lesson: The story's falling action includes the police getting shot by the grandfather and their retreat.
5. Denouement: The ending or the outcome of the story. The denouement is often happy if it’s a comedy, and it is dark and sad if it’s a tragedy.

In the lesson: The grandfather's revelation is the denouement. The narrator realises that his mistake (of believing that the footsteps belonged to a ghost) led to misunderstandings and unnecessary trouble.