16 characteristics of the fable

What are the characteristics of a fable?

The fable is a literary genre that consists of a short narrative with a didactic or moralizing intention, whose characters, almost always animals or humanized things, develop actions and behaviors whose consequences embody a lesson.

Let's get to know one by one what are the main characteristics of the fable to better understand this important genre.

1. It is a genre of popular character

Fable illustration The Fox and the Crow of Aesop.

The fable is a popular genre, which means that it is related to the structure of values ​​and interests of society as a whole. For the same reason, it is usually orally transmitted, although since ancient times it was incorporated into the educational plans of the young generations according to the customs of the time.

2. It is short

Fables are short stories, so that they focus the reader's attention on a few lines, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the message.

3. It can be told in prose or verse

Fables can be found written in both verse and prose. Everything will depend on the choice of the writer based on his style, use or objective.

4. The narrative structure is simple

The narrative structure of the fable is usually simple, and is divided into the following parts:

  • Initial situation,
  • conflict,
  • outcome or resolution,
  • moral.

5. The story is linear

Due to the brevity and purpose of the fable, the story is linear. This means that the story is told from beginning to end without time jumps that could jeopardize the understanding of the message. In this sense, the fables are straightforward.

6. Has a third person narrator

The fable is told by a third-person narrator, who, in addition to telling the story and knowing everything the characters do, acts as a sanctioner who directs the interpretation of the facts.

7. Has a moralizing or didactic character

The fable always sanctions the characters who incur vice or sin, that is, it always deals with giving them an exemplary punishment that serves to teach correlative virtue.

Fables seek to highlight the consequences of certain actions or behaviors, in order to extract from them a moral or ethical teaching. For this reason, fables are usually aimed at children.

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