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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Fellow-Feeling by R.K. Narayan

In Fellow-Feeling by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of conflict, class, tension, bravery, bitterness and disbelief. 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 of conflict. Rajam Iyer while sitting in […]

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Five-Twenty by Patrick White

In Five-Twenty by Patrick White we have the theme of confidence, freedom, guilt, identity, control, isolation and escape. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that White may be exploring the theme of confidence. Ella lacks any sort of confidence. Her life appears to be revolved around every […]

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An Englishman’s Home by Evelyn Waugh

In An Englishman’s Home by Evelyn Waugh we have the theme of identity, class, connection, control and pride. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader from the beginning of the story that Waugh may be exploring the theme of identity. Metcalfe though he is new to the village considers himself to be […]

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Georgia Hall by Maeve Binchy

In Georgia Hall by Maeve Binchy we have the theme of jealousy, insecurity, confidence, pride, fear, selflessness and image. Taken from her A Few of the Girls collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young woman called Margaret (Moggie) and after reading the story the reader realises that Binchy may be exploring the theme of jealousy. […]

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Journey by Patricia Grace

In Journey by Patricia Grace we have the theme of change, powerlessness, frustration, responsibility and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Grace may be exploring the theme of change. The old man can remember travelling into the city by steam train. Also when he is on the train […]

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Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy

In Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy we have the theme of wisdom, knowledge, awareness, kindness, forgiveness and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Tolstoy may be exploring the theme of wisdom. The King longs to know the answer to three questions which will help enlighten him. He is […]

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Mayhew by W. Somerset Maugham

In Mayhew by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of freedom, change, independence, bravery, confidence, isolation, conflict and individualism. Taken from his The 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 freedom. Mayhew lives his […]

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The Taste of Watermelon by Borden Deal

In The Taste of Watermelon by Borden Deal we have the theme of guilt, connection, acceptance, honesty and bravery. The story itself is a memory piece and is narrated through the eyes of a sixteen year old boy and after reading the story it becomes clear to the reader that Deal may be exploring the theme of guilt. Though the […]

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Home by W. Somerset Maugham

In Home by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of letting go, respect, connection, doubt and honesty. Taken from his The 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 letting go. George despite so many […]

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An Avenger by Anton Chekhov

In An Avenger by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of infidelity, trust, revenge, shame and pride Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story it becomes clear to the reader that Chekhov may be exploring the theme of infidelity. Sigaev’s […]

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Two Kinds by Amy Tan

In Two Kinds by Amy Tan we have the theme of hope, identity, rebellion, responsibility, blame, independence and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by a woman called Jing-mei Woo the story is a memory piece and after reading the story the reader realises that Tan may be exploring the theme of hope. Jing-mei’s mother has hopes for her daughter. […]

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Dreams by Anton Chekhov

In Dreams by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of appearance, identity, struggle, freedom, hopes and aspirations. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story it becomes clear to the reader that Chekhov may be exploring the theme of appearance. The […]

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My Greatest Ambition by Morris Lurie

In My Greatest Ambition by Morris Lurie we have the theme of hope, aspiration, disappointment, rejection and disillusion. Narrated in the first person by a man called Lurie (assumed to be the author) the story is a memory piece and the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Lurie may be exploring the theme of hope and aspiration. […]

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The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes

In The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes we have the theme of disappointment, connection, struggle, control, fear and change. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Hughes may be exploring the theme of disappointment. The protagonist on reaching his destination looks around and is disappointed by what he […]

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There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury

In There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury we have the theme of suffering, dependency, empathy and nature. Taken from his The Martian Chronicles collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Bradbury may be exploring the theme of suffering. It is left to the […]

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The Taste of Metal by John Updike

In The Taste of Metal by John Updike we have the theme of infidelity, control, dominance, loneliness and selfishness. Taken from his The Early Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Updike may be exploring the theme of infidelity. Not only has Eleanor’s husband […]

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A Day’s Wait by Ernest Hemingway

In A Day’s Wait by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of fear, courage, responsibility, isolation, confusion, acceptance and control. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed man (father) and after reading the story the reader realises that Hemingway may be exploring the theme of fear. Schatz fears […]

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Engine Trouble by R.K. Narayan

In Engine Trouble by R.K Narayan we have the theme of practicality, hope, luck, responsibility and authority. 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 practicality. The narrator has no use for a road […]

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