Under the Banyan Tree by R.K. Narayan

In Under the Banyan Tree by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of story-telling, isolation, hardship, escape, fear, failure, loyalty and selfishness. 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 […]

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Too Dear! by Leo Tolstoy

In Too Dear! by Leo Tolstoy we have the theme of governance, justice, morality and power. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Tolstoy may be exploring the theme of governance. Every time that the King encounters a problem with the prisoner he calls upon his Council of State. Who […]

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The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner

In The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner we have the theme of greed, conflict, cruelty, sensationalism, responsibility and control. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Warner may be exploring the theme of greed. Poldero’s main function is to make money. When he purchases the phoenix he sees that he […]

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At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald

In At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald we have the theme of prosperity, aspirations, struggle, love and contentment. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Fitzgerald may be exploring the theme of prosperity. Both Tanner and Kitty (Tanner’s wife) have started out fresh in life after they have gotten married and […]

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Journey by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

In Journey by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim we have the theme of responsibility, powerlessness, coming of age, tradition, fear and innocence. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Lim may be exploring the theme of responsibility. The unnamed female protagonist is responsible for getting her mother’s medication. Though she has to […]

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Ten Indians by Ernest Hemingway

In Ten Indians by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of love, rejection, heartbreak, innocence, loss, hope, acceptance and conformity. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by any unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Hemingway may be exploring the theme of love and rejection. Nick […]

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The Three-Day Blow by Ernest Hemingway

In Three-Day Blow by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of friendship, respect, commitment, change, loss and letting go. Taken from this The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator after reading the story the reader realises that Hemingway may be exploring the theme of friendship. Both Bill and Nick are […]

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In Another Country by Ernest Hemingway

In Another Country by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of insecurity, alienation, struggle and connection. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator though many critics do believe that the narrator is Nick Adams. A character found in some of Hemingway’s other stories. What is also interesting […]

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Minds in Ferment by Anton Chekhov

In Minds in Ferment by Anton Chekhov we have the theme of curiosity, control, independence, change, corruption and authority. 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 Chekhov may be exploring the theme of curiosity. Each individual who looks […]

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Rebecca by Donald Barthelme

In Rebecca by Donald Barthelme we have the theme of acceptance, appearance, identity, love, insecurity and jealousy. Taken from his Sixty Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Barthelme may be exploring the theme of acceptance. Rebecca cannot accept the fact that her surname […]

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The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

In The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of uncertainty, religion, change, trust and gender roles. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed female narrator and Woolf appears to be using stream of consciousness. Just as an individual while in thought might jump […]

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The Devoted Friend by Oscar Wilde

In The Devoted Friend by Oscar Wilde we have the theme of selfishness, innocence, trust, friendship and self-importance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Wilde may be exploring the theme of innocence. It seems to be a case that Little Hans is easily hoodwinked by Hugh the Miller. He […]

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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 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 Chekhov may be exploring the theme of anger. Throughout the story there is a […]

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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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