“The Whale” begins by introducing readers to the setting and main character:  “He sits, this old kaumatua, in the darkness of the meeting house. He has come to this place because it is the only thing remaining in his dying world.” We find out the story follows an old man in a meeting house–a cultural centre and sacred meeting place for a Maori community. The Maori word ‘kaumatua’ which means ‘elder’ is a foreshadowing element that the story is set in New Zealand and explores Maori culture.

At the same time, the reference to a ‘dying world’ functions as a narrative hook, getting readers’ attention. The phrase also hints at the theme of the story: the dying of Maori culture. At the same time, it can be considered a foreshadowing element as the story ends with another death, that of the stranded whale.

The story then develops the exposition which gives readers more details about the character and the setting. For example, the meeting…

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