Mountain Victory by William Faulkner

In Mountain Victory by William Faulkner we have the theme of war, tradition, trust, power, prejudice, letting go, destruction, escape and loyalty. 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 Faulkner may be exploring the theme of war and […]

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A Society by Virginia Woolf

In A Society by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of oppression, dominance, control, determination, equality and change. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the first person by a woman called Cassandra and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Woolf may be exploring the theme of control or dominance, particularly […]

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The Little Girl by Katherine Mansfield

In The Little Girl by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of fear, control, freedom, independence, acceptance, compassion and change. Taken from her Something Childish 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 Mansfield may be exploring the theme of control. […]

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The Sea Change by Ernest Hemingway

In The Sea Change by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of pride, acceptance, forgiveness, independence, sexuality and conflict. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator though for the main the story is a conversational piece. One of the most striking things about the story is that […]

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Oil of Dog by Ambrose Bierce

In Oil of Dog by Ambrose Bierce we have the theme of greed, corruption, responsibility, unity and isolation. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a man called Boffer Bings and after reading the story the reader realises that Bierce may be exploring the theme of greed and corruption. Both […]

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Departure by Sherwood Anderson

In Departure by Sherwood Anderson we have the theme of growth, paralysis, change and hope. Taken from his Winesburg, Ohio collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Anderson may be exploring the theme of growth. By describing the young tree leaves as ‘just coming […]

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The Teacher by Sherwood Anderson

In The Teacher by Sherwood Anderson we have the theme of confusion, passion, change, escape, loneliness, conflict, control and paralysis. Taken from his Winesburg, Ohio collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Anderson may be exploring the theme of confusion and passion. George is unable […]

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Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty

In Why I Live at the P.O. by Eudora Welty we have the theme of jealousy, conflict, independence, escape, isolation and honesty. Taken from her A Curtain of Green and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young unnamed woman and from the beginning of the story Welty appears to be exploring the theme of […]

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I Bought a Little City by Donald Barthelme

In I Bought a Little City by Donald Barthelme we have the theme of aspiration, independence, freedom, control and reality. Taken from his Amateurs collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Barthelme may be exploring the theme of control. Throughout the story there is a sense […]

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The Lie by Raymond Carver

In The Lie by Raymond Carver we have the theme of conflict, confusion, uncertainty, honesty, trust and control. Taken from his Fires collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Carver may be exploring the theme of conflict. There is a sense that […]

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A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather

In A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather we have the theme of hardship, struggle, isolation, loss, gratitude and connection. Taken from her The Troll Garden collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young man called Clark and after reading the story the reader realises that Cather may be exploring the theme of hardship. Throughout the story […]

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The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry

In The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry we have the theme of freedom, determination, class, change and hope. Set at the turn of the Twentieth Century 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 freedom. Throughout the story […]

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Boxes by Raymond Carver

In Boxes by Raymond Carver we have the theme of connection, worry, powerlessness, mortality and apprehension. Taken from his Elephant and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and tells the story of the narrator’s mother moving back to California from Longview, Washington. The setting of the story may also be important particularly the name […]

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Dreams by Raymond Carver

In Dreams by Raymond Carver we have the theme of identity, ignorance, awareness, paralysis, love and loss. Taken from his Call If You Need Me collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and it may be significant that the narrator is unnamed as Carver may be playing on the idea of identity. It may also be important that Mary Rice […]

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Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding by Katherine Mansfield

In Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of gender roles, domination, submission, control, struggle, identity and tradition. Taken from her In a German Pension collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Mansfield may be exploring the theme of control. Throughout […]

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Pictures by Katherine Mansfield

In Pictures by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of paralysis, desperation, dedication, determination, rejection and escape. Taken from her Bliss 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 Mansfield may be using the setting of the story to explore the theme of […]

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The Prison by Bernard Malamud

In The Prison by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of freedom, regret, connection, helplessness, control, escape, paralysis and hope. 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 freedom. Throughout the story there […]

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Vandals by Raymond Carver

In Vandals by Raymond Carver we have the theme of friendship, loyalty, responsibility, acceptance, letting go and paralysis. Taken from his Call If You Need Me collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Carver may be exploring the theme or idea of friendship, what friendship may mean and what constitutes a […]

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Indian Camp by Ernest Hemingway

In Indian Camp by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of innocence, brutality, mortality, control (or dominance) and connection. 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 Hemingway may be exploring the theme of innocence. Throughout the story there is a […]

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Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway

In Soldier’s Home by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of fear, connection, experience, isolation, simplicity, faith and conformity. 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 Hemingway may be exploring the theme of conformity. In the […]

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The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

In The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry we have the theme of poverty, frustration, connection, struggle, love, sacrifice, anxiety and commitment. Set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Henry may be […]

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Kindling by Raymond Carver

In Kindling by Raymond Carver we have the theme of alcoholism, belief, revival, discovery, recovery and change. Taken from his Call If You Need Me collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and some readers may recognize the main character Myers from two other Carver short stories (Put Yourself in My Shoes and The Compartment). If Carver is indeed referencing […]

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Adventure by Sherwood Anderson

In Adventure by Sherwood Anderson we have the theme of aspirations, innocence, loneliness, isolation, letting go, paralysis and connection. Taken from his Winesburg, Ohio collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises how symbolically important Anderson’s physical description of Alice is. By describing Alice’s head as being […]

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Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway

In Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway we have the theme of discontent, struggle, selfishness, helplessness, loneliness, conflict and insecurity. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and one of the most interesting things about the story is how Hemingway shifts from calling the wife, the […]

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He by Katherine Anne Porter

In He by Katherine Anne Porter we have the theme of appearance, struggle, guilt, resentment and denial. Taken from her Flowering Judas 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 Porter may be exploring the theme of appearance. At the beginning of the […]

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