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 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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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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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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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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War by Luigi Pirandello

In War by Luigi Pirandello we have the theme of patriotism, acceptance, grief, connection, fear and loss. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Pirandello may be exploring the theme of patriotism. The old man appears to be able to accept the fact that his son gave his life for […]

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The Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson

In the Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson we have the theme of fear, struggle, hardship, control and perseverance. Taken from his Joe Wilson and His Mates collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson through humour may be exploring the theme of fear. There is […]

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In a Dry Season by Henry Lawson

In In a Dry Season by Henry Lawson we have the theme of struggle, hardship, isolation, resilience and perseverance. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of hardship. Everything in the railway […]

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The Drover’s Wife by Henry Lawson

In The Drover’s Wife by Henry Lawson we have the theme of struggle, hardship, identity, resilience, isolation, vulnerability, responsibility, aspirations and unity. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of struggle and […]

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The Bush Undertaker by Henry Lawson

In The Bush Undertaker by Henry Lawson we have the theme of isolation, connection, friendship, curiosity, happiness, survival and control. Taken from his While the Billy Boils collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lawson may be exploring the theme of isolation. The old man […]

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The Gramophone by Herman Charles Bosman

In The Gramophone by Herman Charles Bosman we have the theme of control, fear, anger and violence. Taken from his Mafeking Road and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a man called Oom Schalk Lourens and after reading the story the reader realises that Bosman may be exploring the theme of control. Krisjan Lemmer […]

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The Model by Bernard Malamud

In The Model by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of identity, insecurity, loneliness, connection, loss and paralysis. 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 loneliness. Mr Elihu lives on his own. […]

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The Invalid’s Story by Mark Twain

In The Invalid’s Story by Mark Twain we have the theme of responsibility, imagination, inexperience, innocence, confusion and appearance. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Twain may be exploring the theme of confusion. The narrator for the […]

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Kid Playboy by Casey Motsisi

In Kid Playboy by Casey Motsisi we have the theme of appearance, loss, suffering, responsibility, trust, fear, selfishness and anger. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Motsisi may be exploring the theme of loss. Several of the characters in the story have lost something. The narrator has lost his […]

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Unto Dust by Herman Charles Bosman

In Unto Dust by Herman Charles Bosman we have the theme of mortality, war, equality, meaning and loyalty. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader soon realises after reading the story that Bosman may be exploiting the theme of mortality. There are several deaths in the story and each one leaves the narrator thinking differently about […]

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The Love Potion by Herman Charles Bosman

In The Love Potion by Herman Charles Bosman we have the theme of tradition, love, hope, happiness and fear. Taken from his Mafeking Road and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a male narrator called Oom Schalk Lourens and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Bosman may be exploring the […]

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Mr Know-All by W. Somerset Maugham

In Mr Know-All by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of contempt, control, honour, change, ego, appearance and honesty. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed male and from the beginning of the story it becomes clear to the reader that Maugham may be exploring the theme of […]

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Smile of Fortune by Gaele Sobott-Mogwe

In Smile of Fortune by Gaele Sobott-Mogwe we have the theme of appearance, infidelity, suffering, selfishness, corruption, honesty, trust and justice. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Sobott-Mogwe may be exploring the theme of appearance. Khumo likes to stay on the right side of people. He doesn’t […]

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The Test by Njabulo Ndebele

In The Test by Njabulo Ndebele we have the theme of isolation, independence, connection, insecurity, confusion, tension, control and identity. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Ndebele may be exploring the theme of isolation. Thoba doesn’t follow the lead of the other boys when he is playing […]

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The New Tribe by Buchi Emecheta

In The New Tribe by Buchi Emecheta we have the theme of change, love, insecurity, identity and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Emecheta may be exploring the theme of change and love. Life changes dramatically for the Arlingtons when Julia arrives at their doorstep. Ginny […]

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The Far and the Near by Thomas Wolfe

In The Far and the Near by Thomas Wolfe we have the theme of isolation, experience, paralysis, connection, perception and regret. 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 it becomes clear to the reader that Wolfe may be exploring the […]

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