The House on the Border by Aziz Nesin

In The House on the Border by Aziz Nesin we have the theme of responsibility, powerlessness, fear, guilt, independence and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that Nesin may be using the house that the narrator lives in as symbolism for a country. With each […]

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The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty

In The Sniper by Liam O’Flaherty we have the theme of war and the effects war can have on an individual. Set during the Irish Civil War the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises just how difficult war can be with brother fighting and killing brother. Where […]

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The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara

In The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara we have the theme of appearance, class, equality, shame and education. Narrated in the first person by a young African American girl called Sylvia the reader soon realises from the beginning of the story that Bambara may be exploring the theme of appearance. Miss Moore out of all the characters in the story […]

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Transforming Moments by Gcina Mhlophe

In Transforming Moments by Gcina Mhlophe we have the theme of insecurity, confidence, isolation independence, acceptance and change. Narrated in the first person it becomes clear to the reader from the beginning of the story that Mhlophe may be exploring the theme of insecurity and confidence. The narrator is worried about her self-image even going as far as describing her […]

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The Last Breath by Sam Kahiga

In The Last Breath by Sam Kahiga we have the theme of conflict, control, selflessness, sacrifice, love, gratitude and change. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Kahiga might be exploring the theme of conflict and love. The narrator is very much in love with Eva however his […]

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The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

In The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde we have theme of love, sacrifice, selflessness, pity, materialism and gratitude. 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 the young boy is very much in love with […]

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The Ant and the Grasshopper by W. Somerset Maugham

In The Ant and the Grasshopper by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of justice, trust, fear, morality, embarrassment, happiness and struggle. 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 Maugham may be exploring the theme of justice or […]

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The Fur Coat by Sean O’Faolain

In The Fur Coat by Sean O’Faolain we have the theme of desire, aspiration, appearance, change and identity. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that O’Faolain may be exploring the theme of desire. Molly strongly wants to get the fur coat. She believes that she will be properly dressed should […]

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The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

In The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde we have the theme of dedication, compassion, generosity, struggle, appearance, sacrifice, selflessness and corruption. 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 sacrifice and compassion. […]

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A Humble Drama by Guy de Maupassant

In A Humble Drama by Guy de Maupassant we have the theme of escape, connection, loneliness, paralysis, desperation and hope. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader senses very early on in the story that de Maupassant is exploring the theme of escape. The narrator recalls how he feels when he sees someone that he might […]

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Next Door by Kurt Vonnegut

In Next Door by Kurt Vonnegut we have the theme of conflict, appearance, guilt, innocence and coming of age. Taken from his Welcome to the Monkey House collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Vonnegut may be exploring the theme of conflict. Paul’s […]

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Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes

In Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes we have the theme of kindness, dignity, trust, forgiveness and choice. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Hughes may be exploring the theme of kindness. Mrs Jones rather than looking for vengeance against Roger helps him to understand life a little better […]

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A Chip of Glass Ruby by Nadine Gordimer

In A Chip of Glass Ruby by Nadine Gordimer we have the theme of sacrifice, prejudice, selfishness, justice, commitment and apartheid. Set in South Africa the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Gordimer may be exploring the theme of sacrifice. Mrs Bamjee throughout the story is […]

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A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker

In A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker we have the theme of desperation, insecurity, uncertainty, independence, paralysis, control, dependency, change and identity. Taken from her Complete Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman and from the beginning of the the story the reader realises that Parker may be exploring the theme of desperation. By introducing […]

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Village People by Bessie Head

In Village People by Bessie Head we have the theme of poverty, conflict, kindness, struggle, acceptance, desperation and connection. Taken from her Tales of Tenderness and Power collection the story is narrated by several different narrators and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Head may be exploring the theme of poverty and acceptance. It is obvious that the […]

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The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

In The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant we have the theme of materialism, insecurity, discontent, happiness, sacrifice, selflessness, desperation and humility. 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 de Maupassant may be exploring the theme of materialism. Mme […]

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The Confession by Guy de Maupassant

In The Confession by Guy de Maupassant we have the theme of commitment, regret, guilt, jealousy, loss, grief, forgiveness and acceptance. Taken from his The Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that de Maupassant may be exploring the theme of commitment. For over […]

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Certain Winds from the South by Ama Ata Aidoo

In Certain Winds from the South by Ama Ata Aidoo we have the theme of struggle, hardship, strength, unity, silence, choice, resilience and perseverance. Taken from her No Sweetness and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person though for the majority of the story it is a conversational piece. What is also interesting about the narrative style […]

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Paul’s Case by Willa Cather

In Paul’s Case by Willa Cather we have the theme of hostility, respect, freedom, escape, corruption, determination and commitment. Taken from her The Troll Garden collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Cather may be exploring the theme of hostility. Paul’s attitude towards […]

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The Village Saint by Bessie Head

In The Village Saint by Bessie Head we have the theme of control, image, secrecy, power, selfishness and materialism. Taken from her The Collector of Treasures collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Head may be exploring the theme of control.  Mma-Mompati is in control […]

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Heaven is not Closed by Bessie Head

In Heaven is not Closed by Bessie Head we have the theme of faith, acceptance, fear, power, alienation, ignorance, love, tradition and contentment. Taken from her The Collector of Treasures collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Head may be exploring the theme […]

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The Pheasant by Raymond Carver

In The Pheasant by Raymond Carver we have the theme of paralysis, connection, struggle, conflict, identity, change and control. Taken from his Fires 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 of paralysis. There is a sense that both characters […]

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The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

In The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe we have the theme of guilt, paralysis, madness, paranoia and identity. Set in the 1840s the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Poe may be exploring the theme of guilt. The narrator after he kills the old man […]

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Snapshots of a Wedding by Bessie Head

In Snapshots of a Wedding by Bessie Head we have the theme of marriage, arrogance, responsibility, tradition, status, ego and love. Taken from her The Collector of Treasures collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Head may be exploring the theme of marriage and the reasons […]

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Next Door by Tobias Wolff

In Next Door by Tobias Wolff we have the theme of fear, conflict, violence, peace and harmony. Taken from his In The Garden of The North American Martyrs and Other 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 Wolff may be exploring the […]

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