A narrative motif can be created through the use of
Narratives may include multiple motifs of varying types. In
In a narrative, a motif establishes a pattern of ideas that may serve different conceptual purposes in different works.
Any number of narrative elements with symbolic significance can be classified as motifs—whether they are images, spoken or written phrases, structural or stylistic devices, or other elements like sound, physical movement, or visual components in dramatic narratives. While it may appear interchangeable with the related concept theme, a general rule is that a theme is abstract and a motif is concrete. A theme is usually defined as a message, statement, or idea, while a motif is simply a detail repeated for larger symbolic meaning. In other words, a narrative motif—a detail repeated in a pattern of meaning—can produce a theme; but it can also create other narrative aspects. Nevertheless, the distinction between the two terms remains difficult to pinpoint. For instance, the term "