Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon by Gabriel García Márquez

In Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon by Gabriel García Márquez we have the theme of conflict, humility, greed, generosity and pride. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Márquez may be exploring the theme of conflict. Balthazar is a poor man who […]

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The Barber’s Trade Union by Mulk Raj Anand

In The Barber’s Trade Union by Mulk Raj Anand we have the theme of class, appearance, alienation, arrogance, ingenuity, independence, admiration, respect, control and freedom. Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young unnamed boy and after reading the story the reader realises that Anand may be exploring the theme […]

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A Pair of Mustachios by Mulk Raj Anand

In A Pair of Mustachios by Mulk Raj Anand we have the theme of pride, class, conformity, acceptance, tradition and freedom. Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Anand may be exploring the theme of pride. Khan though not […]

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Idiots First by Bernard Malamud

In Idiots First by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of desperation, selflessness, acceptance, connection, determination, kindness and mortality. 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 desperation. Mendel urgently needs to get […]

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The Cow of the Barricades by Raja Rao

In The Cow of the Barricades by Raja Rao we have the theme of conflict, independence, struggle, control, sacrifice, peace and freedom. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Rao may be exploring the theme of conflict.  There are two […]

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A Real Durwan by Jhumpa Lahiri

In A Real Durwan by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of struggle, conflict, responsibility, jealousy, aspirations and resilience. Taken from her Interpreter of Maladies collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Lahiri may be exploring the theme of struggle. Boori Ma as […]

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The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri

In The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of change, connection, control, identity and struggle. Taken from her Interpreter of Maladies collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lahiri may be exploring the theme of connection. The narrator while […]

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Pink Bow Tie by Paul Jennings

In Pink Bow Tie by Paul Jennings we have the theme of honesty, appearance, desire, opportunity, fear, discontent, acceptance, change and curiosity. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed fourteen year old boy the reader realises after reading the story that Jennings may be exploring the theme of honesty. If the narrator is to be believed then it would […]

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I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys

In I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys we have the theme of struggle, connection, freedom, change, acceptance and loneliness. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Rhys may be exploring the theme of struggle. As the narrator is describing the stepping stones that the woman once walked […]

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Karma by Khushwant Singh

In Karma by Khushwant Singh we have the theme of self-importance, heritage, control, insecurity, shame, identity and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Singh may be exploring the theme of self-importance. Sir Mohan Lal considers himself to be better than others. Particularly other Indians. It is as though […]

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The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

In The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand we have the theme of desire, materialism, connection, kindness, desperation, acceptance and security. Taken from his Selected Short 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 Anand may be exploring the theme of desire. The young […]

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Susanna’s Seven Husbands by Ruskin Bond

In Susanna’s Seven Husbands by Ruskin Bond we have the theme of happiness, tradition, love, loneliness, insecurity and jealousy. 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 Bond may be exploring the theme of happiness. Susanna despite being married seven […]

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Number Fifty-Six by Stephen Leacock

In Number Fifty-Six by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of appearance, identity, perception, dedication, connection, empathy and friendship. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of appearance. Ah-Yen throughout the story describes a customer to the narrator who in fact is the narrator. […]

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A Young Turkish Catastrophe by Saki

In A Young Turkish Catastrophe by Saki we have the theme of governance, inequality, power, self-importance, loyalty, control and freedom. 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 the reader realises that Saki may be exploring the theme of governance. At […]

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Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

In Girl by Jamaica Kincaid we have the theme of powerlessness, domesticity, independence, identity, inequality, sexuality, freedom, tradition and control. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator (mother) the reader realises after reading the story that Kincaid may be exploring the theme of powerlessness. There is a sense that the narrator’s daughter is powerless when it comes to […]

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The Renunciation by Rabindranath Tagore

In The Renunciation by Rabindranath Tagore we have the theme of class, prejudice, shame, revenge, letting go, love, bravery and tradition. Taken from his The Hungry Stones 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 Tagore may be exploring the theme of class. […]

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Of White Hairs and Cricket by Rohinton Mistry

In Of White Hairs and Cricket by Rohinton Mistry we have the theme of loyalty, connection, escape, freedom, guilt, fear, conflict and coming of age. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed fourteen year old boy the reader realises after reading the story that Mistry may be exploring the theme of loyalty. Every Sunday the narrator plucks the white […]

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Tyres by Adam Thorpe

In Tyres by Adam Thorpe we have the theme of responsibility, tradition, love, pride, helplessness, guilt, control and grief. Narrated in the first person by a Frenchman called Raoul Paulhan the story is a memory piece and after reading the story the reader realises that Thorpe may be exploring the theme of responsibility. Both Raoul and his father take great […]

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A Friend in Need by W. Somerset Maugham

In A Friend in Need by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of appearance, hopelessness, friendship, desperation and connection. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Maugham may be exploring the theme of appearance. The narrator […]

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My Lost Dollar by Stephen Leacock

In My Lost Dollar by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of honesty, hypocrisy, appearance, letting go, frustration and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed man the reader realises after reading the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of letting go. The narrator appears to be unable to let go of the fact that Todd owes […]

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Fruition at Forty by R.K. Narayan

In Fruition at Forty by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of conflict, doubt, anxiety, disappointment, responsibility, control and acceptance. Taken from his Under the Banyan Tree 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 Narayana may be exploring the theme of doubt. […]

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Crime and Punishment by R.K. Narayan

In Crime and Punishment by R.K. Narayan we have the theme of fear, control, conflict and blackmail. Taken from his Under the Banyan Tree 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 of fear. The teacher is […]

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Esmé by Saki

In Esmé by Saki we have the theme of connection, pleasure, class, arrogance, selfishness, control and morality. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is a frame narrative and after reading the story the reader realises that Saki may be exploring the theme of arrogance. At no stage in the story do the Baroness or Constance attempt […]

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Mrs Packletide’s Tiger by Saki

In Mrs Packletide’s Tiger by Saki we have the theme of jealousy, appearance, pride, insecurity, control, selfishness and blackmail. 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 the reader realises that Saki may be exploring the theme of jealousy. Mrs Packletide […]

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