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, reliance, 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 […]

Read more

Village People by Bessie Head

In Village People by Bessie Head we have the theme of poverty, conflict, kindness, acceptance, struggle, desperation and connection. Taken from her Tales of Tenderness and Power collection the story is narrated in the first person by a man called Lorato and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Head may be exploring the theme of poverty and […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce

In The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce we have the theme of isolation, loneliness, hope, grief, failure and guilt. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the setting of the story the reader realises that Bierce may be exploring the theme of isolation. Murlock is […]

Read more

The Drunkard by Frank O’Connor

In The Drunkard by Frank O’Connor we have the theme of apprehension, fear, pride, gossip, control, temptation, curiosity, helplessness, alcoholism and trust. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young boy called Larry Delaney and after reading the story the reader realises that O’Connor may be exploring the theme of apprehension […]

Read more

First Confession by Frank O’Connor

In First Confession by Frank O’Connor we have the theme of conflict, appearance, division, connection, fear, innocence and honesty. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is a memory piece and is narrated in the first person by a man called Jackie. What is interesting about the beginning of the story is that O’Connor may be exploring the theme […]

Read more

The Man of the House by Frank O’Connor

In The Man of the House by Frank O’Connor we have the theme of innocence, temptation, guilt, responsibility, control, resilience, redemption and acceptance. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a man called Gus Sullivan who is looking back at an incident in his life when he was ten years old. It is […]

Read more

A Summer’s Reading by Bernard Malamud

In A Summer’s Reading by Bernard Malamud we have the theme of appearance, change, loneliness, escape, fear, paralysis, compassion 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 Malamud may be exploring the theme of appearance. George likes the […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more
1 2