Words by Carol Shields

In Words by Carol Shields we have the theme of language, connection, powerlessness, frustration, global warming, love and sacrifice. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Shields may be exploring the theme of language. Prior to falling in love with one another both Ian and Isobel explored one another’s language […]

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A Visit by Anna Kavan

In A Visit by Anna Kavan we have the theme of connection, desire, loneliness, letting go, isolation, contentment, responsibility and companionship. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman the reader realises after reading the story that Kavan may be exploring the theme of connection. There is a sense that rather than being afraid of the leopard when he […]

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The Tower by Marghanita Laski

In The Tower by Marghanita Laski we have the theme of fear, control, freedom, perseverance, independence and change. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Laski may be exploring the theme of fear. Through the setting Laski manages to highlight to the reader the fear that Caroline feels while she […]

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The Black Ball by Ralph Ellison

In The Black Ball by Ralph Ellison we have the theme of struggle, equality, hope and connection. Narrated in the first person by a man called John the reader realises after reading the story that Ellison may be exploring the theme of struggle. John seems to struggle through life. He is conscious of the fact that he is not treated […]

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Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne

In Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne we have the theme of renewal, vanity, power, greed, lust, wisdom, self-importance, selfishness and ignorance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Hawthorne may be exploring the theme of renewal. Each of the characters who drink the water from the Fountain of Youth. […]

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Death of the Laird’s Jock by Walter Scott

In Death of the Laird’s Jock by Walter Scott we have the theme of conflict, honour, defiance, family and connection. Narrated in the form of a letter (an epistolary narrative) it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that Scott may be exploring the theme of conflict. Both internal and external. The internal conflict within the story is […]

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Nick by Christina Rossetti

In Nick by Christina Rossetti we have the theme of discontent, jealousy, insecurity, redemption and change. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Rossetti may be exploring the theme of discontent. Despite having many comforts Nick appears to be dissatisfied with his life. His dissatisfaction being driven by […]

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The Only American from Our Village by Arun Joshi

In The Only American from Our Village by Arun Joshi we have the theme of pride, guilt, arrogance, materialism, appearance, connection, identity and self-importance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Joshi may be exploring the theme of pride. Kundan Lal is proud of his son Dr Khanna’s achievements. So […]

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The Widow’s Might by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

In The Widow’s Might by Charlotte Perkins Gilman we have the theme of independence, struggle, control, freedom, determination and duty. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Gilman may be exploring the theme of independence. Mrs McPherson since her husband’s illness and eventual death has become more independent in her […]

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And Women Must Weep by Henry Handel Richardson

In And Women Must Weep by Henry Handel Richardson we have the theme of confidence, acceptance, innocence, appearance, insecurity, control, rejection and failure. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Richardson may be exploring the theme of confidence. Dolly prior to going to the ball feels confident within herself. Helped […]

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The Woman’s Rose by Olive Schreiner

In The Woman’s Rose by Olive Schreiner we have the theme of authority, jealousy, appearance, insecurity, control and connection. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman the reader realises after reading the story that Schreiner may be exploring the theme of authority. The narrator has felt bound by the authority of men for most of her life. However […]

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Mrs Sen’s by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Mrs Sen’s by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of culture, change, isolation, independence and identity. Taken from her Interpreter of Maladies collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lahiri may be exploring the theme of culture and just how difficult it can be […]

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The Chinese Statue by Jeffrey Archer

In The Chinese Statue by Jeffrey Archer we have the theme of tradition, selfishness, pride, greed, sacrifice and appearance. Taken from his A Quiver Full of Arrows collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Archer may be exploring the theme of tradition. Sir Heathcote on […]

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The Lady, or the Tiger by Frank R. Stockton

In The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton we have the theme of control, powerlessness, class, uncertainty, love, jealousy, compassion and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Stockton may be exploring the theme of control. The king appears to have complete control over his kingdom and […]

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Mint Tea by Christine Craig

In Mint Tea by Christine Craig we have the theme of pity, charity, anger, loss, connection, happiness, innocence and security. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Craig may be exploring the theme of pity and charity. Florence takes Esmie into her home because she pities her. She cannot understand […]

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The Shroud by Premchand

In The Shroud by Premchand we have the theme of selfishness, tradition, honour, independence, guilt, self-importance, gender roles and responsibility. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Premchand may be exploring the theme of selfishness. Both Ghisu and Madhav appear to be more concerned about their own well-being than they are […]

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The Voice of God by Khushwant Singh

In The Voice of God by Khushwant Singh we have the theme of social order, corruption, connection, control and change. Taken from his Collected 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 Singh may be exploring the theme of social order. Those in […]

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You Were Perfectly Fine by Dorothy Parker

In You Were Perfectly Fine by Dorothy Parker we have the theme of insecurity, guilt, alcoholism, escape, change, love, regret and commitment. Taken from her Complete Stories collection the reader realises after reading the story that Parker may be exploring the theme of insecurity. Peter has absolutely no memory of what has happened the night before due to him being […]

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Companions by Raja Rao

In Companions by Raja Rao we have the theme of sacrifice, torment, acceptance, control, struggle, respect and happiness. Taken from his Collected Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Rao may be exploring the theme of sacrifice. Moti endures a life of pain while […]

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The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

In The Open Boat by Stephen Crane we have the theme of optimism, desperation, determination, disappointment, acceptance and gratitude. The story itself is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and the reader realises after reading the story that Crane may be exploring the theme of optimism. Though some of the men in the boat feel withdrawn and […]

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The Son’s Veto by Thomas Hardy

In The Son’s Veto by Thomas Hardy we have the theme of freedom, class, appearance, insecurity, acceptance and powerlessness. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Hardy may be exploring the theme of freedom. Sophy does not have the freedom to marry Sam. Though she wishes to do so Randolph […]

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The Custody of the Pumpkin by P.G. Wodehouse

In The Custody of the Pumpkin by P.G. Wodehouse we have the theme of control, class, selfishness, arrogance, prejudice, pride and change. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Wodehouse may be exploring the theme of control. Emsworth does not like the fact that Freddie is courting Niagara who may […]

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B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul

In B. Wordsworth by V. S. Naipaul we have the theme of admiration, identity, curiosity, friendship, control, freedom, uncertainty and coming of age. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed male the story is a memory piece and after reading the story the reader realises that Naipaul may be exploring the theme of admiration. If anything the narrator appears […]

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Report on the Threatened City by Doris Lessing

In Report on the Threatened City by Doris Lessing we have the theme of control, power, acceptance, disillusion, change and failure. Taken from her Stories collection the story is narrated in the form of reports and after reading the story the reader realises that Lessing may be exploring the theme of control. The world that the observers/aliens find themselves in […]

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