Short stories

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin Literary Analysis: Plot, Themes, Characters, Setting, and Symbolism


Kate Chopin’s (1850-1904) short storyThe Story of an Hour” narrates events that happen within an hour. 

Louise Mallard is a young, calm, and frail woman who suffers from a heart disease. On this day, Louise learns from her sister Josephine and a family friend, Richards, that her husband, Brently Mallard, has died. She briefly weeps in Josephine’s arms and then heads to her room alone. 

Continue Reading
theme of irrationality of war in the man he killed by thomas hardy

War and its Irrationality in Thomas Hardy’s Poem“The Man He Killed”

Thomas Hardy’s (1840-1928) poem The Man He Killed is a lyrical monologue of a soldier who has returned from war. He’s speaking about the war to his friends and native villagers in a pub. In its 1902 original publication in Harper’s Weekly magazine, the poem’s setting is a scene inside the Foxx Inn pub.

Hardy moved a lot between London and Dorset in his life, finally settling in Dorchester. These areas were popular for their antiwar stances on the ongoing second Boer War in South Africa, which lasted from 1899 to 1902. The Man He Killed is just one of the antiwar poems the poet wrote to show the senselessness and negative effects of war.

Continue Reading
Symbolism of the audiotapes in Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Short stories

 “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver: Symbolism in the Audio Tapes and What they Reveal about each Character

Raymond Carver’s 1983 short story Cathedral is about awakening and eye-opening experiences that go beyond the physical world. It vividly illustrates the difference between merely looking and seeing; hearing and listening that creates a connection. 

The author portrays this so well through the main theme of blindness and other symbolic elements. And more notably, the narrator’s character development, which goes from shallow and insensitive, to gaining the ability to look within themself and see things through another’s perspective. 

Continue Reading
Short stories

Hints of Evil: How Shirley Jackson Foreshadows the True Meaning of “The Lottery”

Nearly everyone who reads Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery cannot even begin to fathom the true meaning of the lottery until it has already happened. The shock that we experience at the end on learning that the lottery’s winner becomes a sacrificial lamb to fulfill a tradition that has long lost its meaning catches us off guard.

And I think this is partly the reason this short story is still a success among Jackson’s readers; unknown to the reader, she builds on suspense that we only come to realize in the end. The hints that Jackson provides throughout the story only become evident after the first read. It is then that we go back to the story from the beginning and start seeing these instances of foreshadowing in bolder colors.

Continue reading

Violence During Slavery: Twelves Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup’s memoir ‘Twelves Years a Slave’ has received notable recognition in contemporary media. Among the many themes he explores when narrating accounts of his and other slaves’ experiences in the hands of white slave owners, violence is central.

While it is apparent that violence was part of slavery in America, most slaveholders tried to deny this, masking it with such explanations like the slave tried to escape with every chance they got.

Continue Reading
Short stories

A Thin Veil of Satire- “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Numerous authors have opined Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown“, each with a new perspective or an improvement of their former. While it is not a much explored topic, avid readers of Hawthorne can attest to the author’s regular use of humor and satire to address human follies.

Now, combining this kind of humor and an ironic attack on (Puritanism) religious practices gives us humor as a standalone linguistic device that is both symbolic and thematic in this story.

Continue Reading…