The People Before by Maurice Shadbolt

In The People Before by Maurice Shadbolt we have the theme of pride, modernity, control, frustration, tradition, gender roles, connection and selfishness. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator the story is a memory piece and after reading the story the reader realises that Shadbolt may be exploring the theme of pride. Though the narrator’s father finds […]

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Such Perfection by R.K. Narayan

In Such Perfection by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of dedication, faith, fear, pride and guilt. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of dedication. Soma has dedicated five years of his life […]

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Selvi by R.K. Narayan

In Selvi by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of control, appearance, self-importance, selfishness, greed, desperation and freedom. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of control. Mohan has absolute control over Selvi. He […]

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Leela’s Friend by R.K. Narayan

In Leela’s Friend by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of injustice, class, acceptance, innocence, friendship and change. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of injustice. Sidda is wrongly accused of stealing Leela’s […]

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Wife’s Holiday by R.K. Narayan

In Wife’s Holiday by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of trust, desperation, selfishness, greed and control. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story it becomes clear to the reader that Narayan may be exploring the theme trust. Kannan cannot be trusted. So desperate […]

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Lawley Road by R.K. Narayan

In Lawley Road by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of independence, corruption, power, loyalty and identity. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the first person by the Talkative Man and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of independence and the difficulties that can come with independence. […]

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The Axe by R.K. Narayan

In The Axe by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of independence, pride, dedication, prosperity, loss, control, change and acceptance. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of independence. After Velan has been slapped […]

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Iswaran by R.K. Narayan

In Iswaran by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of failure, desire, aspirations, self-doubt, fear and control. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of failure. Iswaran has on several occasions failed […]

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The Snake-Song by R.K. Narayan

In The Snake-Song by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of knowledge, fear, charity, forgiveness, isolation, dedication, tradition, desperation and escape. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator though the narrative voice changes during the story to the voice and experience of the Talkative Man. What is also noticeable […]

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A Shadow by R.K. Narayan

In A Shadow by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of grief, letting go, struggle, connection, loss, acceptance, loneliness and memories. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of letting go. Both Sambu and […]

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Forty-Five a Month by R.K. Narayan

In Forty-Five a Month by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of innocence, dedication, guilt, frustration, selfishness and powerlessness. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of innocence. Shanta has no clue […]

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Father’s Help by R.K. Narayan

In Father’s Help by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of honesty, pity, aggression, imagination, guilt, stubbornness and fear. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of pity. Swami as he is walking to […]

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An Inquiry by Anton Chekhov

In An Inquiry by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of corruption, power, ignorance, arrogance and acceptance. Taken from his The Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Chekhov may be exploring the theme of corruption. To grab the attention of the […]

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A Lady’s Story by Anton Chekhov

In A Lady’s Story by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of love, happiness, social order, appearance, regret, change, loneliness, loss and acceptance. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a woman called Natalya Vladimirovna and after reading the story it becomes clear to the reader that Chekhov may be […]

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Billennium by J.G. Ballard

In Billennium by J. G. Ballard we have the theme of confinement, corruption, paralysis, freedom and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Ballard may be exploring the theme of confinement. The world’s population has reached 20,000 million and there is very little space for people to live in. […]

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Meteor by John Wyndham

In Meteor by John Wyndham we have the theme of hope, connection, destruction, acceptance and loss. Narrated using a dual narrative of both a third person human narrator and a first person alien (Onns) narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Wyndham may be exploring the theme of hope. Onns through his journal writes about the hopes and […]

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The Signalman by Charles Dickens

In The Signalman by Charles Dickens we have the theme of uncertainty, fear, isolation, madness, trust and respect. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that Dickens may be exploring the theme of uncertainty. The narrator unlike the signalman does not believe in ghosts or spectres. He appears […]

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The Taipan by W. Somerset Maugham

In The Taipan by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of wealth, appreciation, loss, racism, bitterness, arrogance and fear. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that the main protagonist doesn’t appreciate the life he lives. He may enjoy […]

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The Destructors by Graham Greene

In The Destructors by Graham Greene we have the theme of control, pride, power, acceptance, change, jealousy and insecurity. Set in the 1950s the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Greene may be exploring the theme of control. When Blackie loses leadership of the gang and […]

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Attila by R.K. Narayan

In Attila by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of trust, faith, loyalty, persuasion and luck. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Narayan may be exploring the theme of trust. Attila cannot be trusted as a guard dog. He […]

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Chike’s School Days by Chinua Achebe

In Chike’s School Days by Chinua Achebe we have the theme of tradition, modernity, religion, change, language and conflict. Taken from his Girls at War and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Achebe may be exploring the theme of tradition. Chike’s mother […]

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A Work of Art by Anton Chekhov

In A Work of Art by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of gratitude, poverty, perception, morality, independence, paralysis and social opinion. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Chekhov may be exploring the theme of gratitude. Sasha […]

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The Promise by W. Somerset Maugham

In The Promise by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of independence, strength, courage, love, honesty, change and acceptance. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the reader realises after reading the story that Maugham may be exploring the theme of independence. Lady Elizabeth though she may have previously been the talk of everybody around her is a strong […]

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The Escape by W. Somerset Maugham

In The Escape by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of pity, dishonesty, escape, selfishness, dignity and freedom. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Maugham may be exploring the theme of pity. Roger appears to feel sorry […]

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The Tiger’s Claw by R.K. Narayan

In The Tiger’s Claw by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of reliability, fear, ego, pride and honesty. Taken from his Malgudi Days collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that the Talkative Man may not be a reliable source of information. Though he holds the […]

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