I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys

In I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys we have the theme of struggle, connection, freedom, change, acceptance and loneliness. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Rhys may be exploring the theme of struggle. As the narrator is describing the stepping stones that the woman once walked […]

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Number Fifty-Six by Stephen Leacock

In Number Fifty-Six by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of appearance, identity, perception, dedication, connection, empathy and friendship. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of appearance. Ah-Yen throughout the story describes a customer to the narrator who in fact is the narrator. […]

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Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

In Girl by Jamaica Kincaid we have the theme of powerlessness, domesticity, independence, identity, inequality, sexuality, freedom, tradition and control. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator (mother) the reader realises after reading the story that Kincaid may be exploring the theme of powerlessness. There is a sense that the narrator’s daughter is powerless when it comes to […]

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My Lost Dollar by Stephen Leacock

In My Lost Dollar by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of honesty, hypocrisy, appearance, letting go, frustration and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed man the reader realises after reading the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of letting go. The narrator appears to be unable to let go of the fact that Todd owes […]

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Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

In Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing we have the theme of connection, isolation, determination, failure, independence, conflict and coming of age. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Lessing may be exploring the theme of connection. Jerry longs for the older boys in the bay to appreciate him. It […]

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The Waltz by Dorothy Parker

In The Waltz by Dorothy Parker we have the theme of struggle, identity, independence, endurance, tolerance, choice, honesty and conformity. Taken from her Complete Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed woman and after reading the story the reader realises that Parker may be exploring the struggles that some women have when it comes […]

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The Beautiful Suit by H.G. Wells

In The Beautiful Suit by H.G. Wells we have the theme of desire, happiness, control, suppression, hope and freedom. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Wells may be exploring the theme of desire. The little man (or boy) longs to wear his suit as often as he can. The […]

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Señor Payroll by William E. Barrett

In Señor Payroll by William E. Barrett we have the theme of control, power, determination, connection and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed man the reader realises after reading the story that Barrett may be exploring the theme of control. The Main Office of the company seems to want to rein in the Mexican workers and stop […]

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My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock

In My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of anxiety, fear, trust, confusion, identity and conflict. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of anxiety. The narrator is physically ‘rattling’ as he enters the bank. It is as though […]

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The Will of Allah by David Owoyele

In The Will of Allah by David Owoyele we have the theme of acceptance, trust, appearance, violence, guilt and selfishness. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Owoyele may be exploring the theme of acceptance. Sule is quite content to be a thief. Something that is noticeable while he is […]

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The Apprentice by Odun Balogun

In The Apprentice by Odun Balogun we have the theme of independence, loss, change, acceptance, tradition, connection, freedom, conflict and struggle. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that Balogun may be exploring the theme of independence. Ogunmola by refusing to go to school is displaying an element […]

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The Coffee-Cart Girl by Ezekiel Mphahlele

In The Coffee-Cart Girl by Ezekiel Mphahlele we have the theme of conflict, jealousy, equality, pity, struggle, kindness, acceptance, independence and strength. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Mphahlele may be exploring the theme of conflict. Not only is there conflict between the workers and the police outside the […]

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With the Photographer by Stephen Leacock

In With the Photographer by Stephen Leacock we have the theme of insecurity, anger, appearance, confidence, acceptance and control. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed forty year old man the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Leacock may be exploring the theme of insecurity. The narrator while sitting in the photographer’s studio begins to read […]

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The False Prophet by Sembene Ousmane

In The False Prophet by Sembene Ousmane we have the theme of identity, selfishness, self-importance, dishonesty, generosity, faith, justice and conflict. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Ousmane may be exploring the theme of identity. Mahmoud changes his name in order to begin living a life that […]

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Examination Day by Henry Slesar

examination day henry seslar

In Examination Day by Henry Slesar we have the theme of fear, suppression, control, freedom and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Slesar may be exploring the theme of fear. Dickie’s mother is anxious. She knows how important the Government test is and knows that Dickie […]

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The Son from America by Isaac Bashevis Singer

the son from america isaac bashevis singer

In The Son from America by Isaac Bashevis Singer we have the theme of contentment, independence, tradition, appearance, faith, humility, change and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Singer may be exploring the theme of contentment. Berl and Berlcha do not have a lot when it comes to […]

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Georgia Hall by Maeve Binchy

georgia hall maeve binchy

In Georgia Hall by Maeve Binchy we have the theme of jealousy, insecurity, confidence, pride, fear, selflessness and image. Taken from her A Few of the Girls collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young woman called Margaret (Moggie) and after reading the story the reader realises that Binchy may be exploring the theme of jealousy. […]

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Two Kinds by Amy Tan

two kinds amy tan

In Two Kinds by Amy Tan we have the theme of hope, identity, rebellion, responsibility, blame, independence and acceptance. Narrated in the first person by a woman called Jing-mei Woo the story is a memory piece and after reading the story the reader realises that Tan may be exploring the theme of hope. Jing-mei’s mother has hopes for her daughter. […]

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The Taste of Metal by John Updike

the taste of metal john updike

In The Taste of Metal by John Updike we have the theme of infidelity, control, dominance, loneliness and selfishness. Taken from his The Early Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Updike may be exploring the theme of infidelity. Not only has Eleanor’s husband […]

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Death of a Son by Njabulo Ndebele

death of a son 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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War by Luigi Pirandello

war 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 Gramophone by Herman Charles Bosman

the gramophone 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 Invalid’s Story by Mark Twain

the invalids story 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

kid playboy 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

unto dust 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 exploring the theme of mortality. There are several deaths in the story and each one leaves the narrator thinking differently about […]

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