Uncovering motives

A motive is a reason why someone does or says something.

Sometimes a person’s motive is obvious: the reason why my sister bought me a present was because it was my birthday.

But very often, we have to guess a person’s motives based on what we know of the person and the situation.

Did you think of these?

  • Maybe he forgot his key.
  • Maybe he heard a baby crying loudly and no one answered the door when he rang.
  • Maybe he doesn’t want his parents to know what time he came come.
  • Maybe he is a thief who wants to steal something.
  • Without any context we can’t really know but in literature, and in real life, when we know something about a person and want is happening, we can make a fairly good guess about motives.

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