The Middle Years by Henry James

In The Middle Years by Henry James we have the theme of desire, writing, admiration, loyalty, insecurity, confidence and fear. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story the James may be exploring the theme of desire. Despite the successes that Dencombe has had he longs for more success. It is as […]

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Them Others by Stacy Aumonier

In Them Others by Stacy Aumonier we have the theme of loss, connection, hope, suffering and struggle. Narrated using a frame narrative the reader realises after reading the story that Aumonier may be exploring the theme of loss. Mrs Ward fells the loss of Ernie who is missing in action. Her life changes in such a way that she doesn’t […]

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A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James

In A Warning to the Curious by M.R. James we have the theme of curiosity, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, greed and connection. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that James may be exploring the theme of curiosity. Paxton’s downfall appears to be based solely on the curiosity he felt with regard […]

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In the Mountains by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

In In the Mountains by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala we have the theme of connection, contentment, loyalty, acceptance, freedom and independence. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Jhabvala may be exploring the theme of connection. Pritam though she has decided upon isolating herself from city life and life in general […]

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The Shrinking Shoe by Walter Besant

In The Shrinking Shoe by Walter Besant we have the theme of ambition, promise, love, loyalty, uncertainty, hope and commitment. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator that reader realises after reading the story that Besant may be exploring the theme of ambition. Geoffrey though still very young has wasted the last five years of his life seeking […]

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Death in the Woods by Sherwood Anderson

In Death in the Woods by Sherwood Anderson we have the theme of endurance, struggle, poverty, connection, isolation, conflict, selfishness and suffering. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator the reader realises after reading the story that the narrator may not necessarily be reliable. He relates events in his own life and equates them to the life […]

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Stability by Philip K. Dick

In Stability by Philip K. Dick we have the theme of fear, stability, control, power and freedom. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Dick may be exploring the theme of fear. The main priority for the Controller is to ensure that the stability that exists in the world remains. […]

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The Reservoir by Janet Frame

In The Reservoir by Janet Frame we have the theme of innocence, curiosity, fear, connection, freedom and coming of age. Narrated in the first person by a young unnamed girl the reader realises after reading the story that Frame may be exploring the theme of innocence. The narrator and her friends though afraid of the reservoir are somewhat innocent. They […]

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A Walk to the Jetty by Jamaica Kincaid

In A Walk to the Jetty by Jamaica Kincaid we have the theme of discontent, conflict, fear, separation, independence, memories and honesty. Narrated in the first person by a young seventeen year old girl called Annie John the reader realises after reading the story that Kincaid may be exploring the theme of discontent. Annie is discontent in life. She does […]

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Promenade by Henrietta Rose-Innes

In Promenade by Henrietta Rose-Innes we have the theme of connection, responsibility, guilt, mortality, loneliness and communication. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Rose-Innes may be exploring the theme of connection. Though the narrator does not know the boxer by name. He still feels a connection with him when […]

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The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

In The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu we have the theme of resentment, connection, culture, identity, prejudice, acceptance, struggle and love. Narrated in the first person by a man called Jack the reader realises after reading the story that Liu may be exploring the theme of resentment. Jack though he has had a happy childhood longs to be like other […]

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Mrs Mahmood by Segun Afolabi

In Mrs Mahmood by Segun Afolabi we have the theme of fear, regret, insecurity, discontent, love, connection and escape. Narrated in the first person by a man called Mr Mahmood the reader realises after reading the story that Afolabi may be exploring the theme of fear. Mr Mahmood though living a comfortable life has fears and regrets from his past. […]

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The Plantation by Ovo Adagha

In The Plantation by Ovo Adagha we have the theme of tradition, modernity, greed, poverty and corruption. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reader the story that Adagha may be exploring the theme of tradition. Namidi spends his day working on his plantation. Something which would be considered a traditional way to earn […]

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Fluke by Romesh Gunesekera

In Fluke by Romesh Gunesekera we have the theme of trust, privacy, conflict, independence and prosperity. Narrated in the first person by a man called Vasabtha the reader realises after reading the story that Gunesekera may be exploring the theme of conflict. Throughout Mr Weerakoon’s journey to the conference centre and when he is in the conference centre there is […]

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When it Happens by Margaret Atwood

In When it Happens by Margaret Atwood we have the theme of fear, isolation, connection, control, conflict and struggle. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Atwood may be exploring the theme of fear. Mrs Burridge appears to live her life in fear. She is isolated from the word and […]

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Showing the Flag by Jane Gardam

In Showing the Flag by Jane Gardam we have the theme of abandonment, resilience, love, insecurity and trust. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Gardam may be exploring the theme of abandonment. Philip feels as though he has been abandoned by his mother. Something that is triggered when Philip […]

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The Axe by Penelope Fitzgerald

In The Axe by Penelope Fitzgerald we have the theme of dedication, fear, injustice, acceptance, responsibility and guilt. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Fitzgerald may be exploring the theme of dedication. The narrator though he has been forced to dismiss Singlebury still feels some attachment to him. Attached […]

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Haywards Heath by Aminatta Forna

In Haywards Heath by Aminatta Forna we have the theme of connection, commitment, letting go, happiness, acceptance and loss. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Forna may be exploring the theme of connection. Attila despite the passing of time has never forgotten about Rosie or what she means to […]

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Words by Carol Shields

In Words by Carol Shields we have the theme of language, connection, powerlessness, frustration, global warming, love and sacrifice. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Shields may be exploring the theme of language. Prior to falling in love with one another both Ian and Isobel explored one another’s language […]

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