The Stoat by John McGahern

the stoat john mcgahern

In The Stoat by John McGahern we have the theme of selfishness, fear, responsibility, rejection and honesty. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that McGahern may be exploring the theme of selfishness. The protagonist’s father on hearing that Miss McCabe has had a heart attack decides to abandon any notions […]

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The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner

the phoenix sylvia townsend warner

In The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner we have the theme of greed, conflict, cruelty, sensationalism, responsibility and control. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Warner may be exploring the theme of greed. Poldero’s main function is to make money. When he purchases the phoenix he sees that he […]

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At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald

at hiruharama penelope fitzgerald

In At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald we have the theme of prosperity, aspirations, struggle, love and contentment. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Fitzgerald may be exploring the theme of prosperity. Both Tanner and Kitty (Tanner’s wife) have started out fresh in life after they have gotten married and […]

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Journey by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

journey shirley geok lin lim

In Journey by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim we have the theme of responsibility, powerlessness, coming of age, tradition, fear and innocence. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Lim may be exploring the theme of responsibility. The unnamed female protagonist is responsible for getting her mother’s medication. Though she has to […]

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Sandpiper by Ahdaf Soueif

sandpiper 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

the bath 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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The Lemon Orchard by Alex la Guma

the lemon orchard 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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The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection by Virginia Woolf

the lady in the looking glass a reflection virginia woolf

In The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of materialism, perception, conflict, identity, appearance, honesty and loneliness. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Woolf may be exploring the […]

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Secrets by Bernard MacLaverty

secrets bernard mac laverty

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 knows that he is not allowed to read his Aunt’s personal letters he still […]

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The Enemy by V.S. Naipaul

the enemy 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

games at twilight 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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The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

the nightingale and the rose 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 Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

the happy prince 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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Thank You, M’am by Langston Hughes

thank you maam langston hughes

In Thank You, M’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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The Village Saint by Bessie Head

the village saint 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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The Prison by Bernard Malamud

the prison 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 […]

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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

the yellow wallpaper charlotte perkins gilman

In The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman we have the theme of control, freedom and powerlessness. Taken from her collection of the same name the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed female narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Gilman may be exploring the theme of control. Throughout the story the narrator appears to be under […]

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The Doll’s House by Katherine Mansfield

the dolls house katherine mansfield

In The Doll’s House by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of class, prejudice, connection, hope, appearance and equality. Taken from her The Doves’ Nest and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Mansfield may be exploring the theme of class. The Burnell […]

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Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield

her first ball katherine mansfield

In Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield we have the theme of experience, youth, independence, reliance and gender. Taken from her The Garden Party and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story Mansfield appears to be exploring the theme of experience (or rather the lack […]

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Eveline by James Joyce

eveline james joyce

In Eveline by James Joyce we have the theme of memory, responsibility, decisions, conflict, escape, guilt, paralysis and letting go (or rather the inability to let go). Taken from his Dubliners collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unknown narrator and from the opening lines of the story it is apparent that Joyce is delving into […]

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Elephant by Raymond Carver

elephant raymond carver

In Elephant by Raymond Carver we have the theme of acceptance, struggle, security, letting go and dependency. Taken from his Elephant and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story it would appear that Carver is exploring the theme of dependency. The narrator’s brother (Billy) is […]

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