Sandpiper by Ahdaf Soueif

In Sandpiper by Ahdaf Soueif we have the theme of loneliness, separation, paralysis, identity, isolation, control, connection, helplessness and loss. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman the reader realises after reading the story that Soueif may be exploring the theme of loneliness. There is a sense that the narrator is lonely. She participates in none of the […]

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The Remarkable Rocket by Oscar Wilde

In The Remarkable Rocket by Oscar Wilde we have the theme of self-importance, loneliness, failure, ego and delusion. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Wilde may be exploring the theme of self-importance. The rocket considers himself to […]

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The Bath by Janet Frame

In The Bath by Janet Frame we have the theme of loneliness, control, reliance, loss, struggle, mortality and connection. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Frame may be exploring the theme of loneliness. The old woman throughout the story is alone. When she gets stuck in the bath despite […]

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Death of a Son by Njabulo Ndebele

In Death of a Son by Njabulo Ndebele we have the theme of grief, resilience, loss, doubt, acceptance, responsibility and renewal. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman (mother) the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Ndebele may be exploring the theme of grief. The narrator and her husband Buntu have yet to grieve the […]

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A Snake in the Grass by R.K. Narayan

In A Snake in the Grass by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of responsibility, honesty, trust, fear, control and tradition. Taken from his An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories 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 […]

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The Fly in the Ointment by V.S. Pritchett

In The Fly in the Ointment by V.S. Pritchett we have the theme of greed, trust, corruption, loyalty, selfishness, discontent and identity. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Pritchett may be exploring the theme of greed. Harold’s father tells his son that he no longer wishes to have or […]

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The Lemon Orchard by Alex la Guma

In The Lemon Orchard by Alex la Guma we have the theme of racism, discrimination, hierarchy and injustice. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that la Guma may be exploring the theme of racism and discrimination. The coloured man who is described by his captor’s as being a ‘hotnot’ (coloured […]

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How it Happened by Arthur Conan Doyle

In How it Happened by Arthur Conan Doyle we have the theme of impulse, arrogance, control, class, loyalty and spiritualism. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that the narrator is driven by impulse. There is a sense that though he knows it might be better for Perkins to […]

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The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection by Virginia Woolf

In The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of materialism, perception, conflict, identity, appearance, honesty and loneliness. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Woolf may be exploring the […]

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Secrets by Bernard MacLaverty

In Secrets by Bernard MacLaverty we have the theme of curiosity, letting go, guilt, love, innocence and forgiveness. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that MacLaverty may be exploring the theme of curiosity. Though the boy (doing his ‘A’ levels) knows that he is not allowed to read his Aunt’s […]

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The Enemy by V.S. Naipaul

In The Enemy by V.S. Naipaul we have the theme of fear, love, jealousy, faith, power, conflict and change. Narrated in the first person by a young unnamed boy the reader realises after reading the story that Naipaul may be exploring the theme of fear. Not only does the narrator live in fear of his mother but the narrator’s father […]

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The Post by Anton Chekhov

In The Post by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of anger, fear, control, adventure and innocence. Taken from his Complete 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 anger. Throughout the story there is a sense […]

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Games at Twilight by Anita Desai

In Games at Twilight by Anita Desai we have the theme of childhood, disillusion, rivalry, pride, self-esteem, self-importance and innocence. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Desai may be exploring the theme of childhood and the joy and sorrow that comes with childhood. All the children in the story wish […]

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War by Luigi Pirandello

In War by Luigi Pirandello we have the theme of patriotism, acceptance, grief, connection, fear and loss. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Pirandello may be exploring the theme of patriotism. The old man appears to be able to accept the fact that his son gave his life for […]

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The Model by Guy de Maupassant

In The Model by Guy de Maupassant we have the theme of guilt, remorse, regret, pity, letting go, honour and love. Taken from his Selected Short Stories 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 de Maupassant may be exploring the theme of […]

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The Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson

In the Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson we have the theme of fear, struggle, hardship, control and perseverance. Taken from his Joe Wilson and His Mates collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson through humour may be exploring the theme of fear. There is […]

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In a Dry Season by Henry Lawson

In In a Dry Season by Henry Lawson we have the theme of struggle, hardship, isolation, resilience and perseverance. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of hardship. Everything in the railway […]

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The Drover’s Wife by Henry Lawson

In The Drover’s Wife by Henry Lawson we have the theme of struggle, hardship, identity, resilience, isolation, vulnerability, responsibility, aspirations and unity. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of struggle and […]

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The Bush Undertaker by Henry Lawson

In The Bush Undertaker by Henry Lawson we have the theme of isolation, connection, friendship, curiosity, happiness, survival and control. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of isolation. The old man […]

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The Gramophone by Herman Charles Bosman

In The Gramophone by Herman Charles Bosman we have the theme of control, fear, anger and violence. Taken from his Mafeking Road and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a man called Oom Schalk Lourens and after reading the story the reader realises that Bosman may be exploring the theme of control. Krisjan Lemmer […]

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The Huntsman by Anton Chekhov

In The Huntsman by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of love, confidence, independence, sadness, letting go and regret. Taken from his Complete 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 love. There is very little doubting […]

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The Canary by Katherine Mansfield

In The Canary by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of loneliness, sadness, letting go, hope and love. Taken from her The Doves’ Nest collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman and after reading the story the reader realises that Mansfield may be exploring the theme of letting go. The narrator feels so attached […]

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Hearts and Hands by O. Henry

In Hearts and Hands by O. Henry we have the theme of appearance, freedom, imitation, honesty, identity and paralysis. Taken from his Selected Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Henry may be exploring the theme of appearance. Easton is not who he seems […]

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The Model by Bernard Malamud

In The Model by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of identity, insecurity, loneliness, connection, loss and paralysis. Taken from his The Complete Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Malamud may be exploring the theme of loneliness. Mr Elihu lives on his own. […]

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The Doctor’s Word by R.K. Narayan

In The Doctor’s Word by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of honesty, friendship, uncertainty, letting go, fear, connection, trust, compassion and conflict. Taken from his An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories 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 […]

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