“Borders” by Thomas King analysis

Thomas King’s “Borders”, written in 1993, is a short fiction story showing an indirect characterization about Mother. The story allows the reader to understand the difficulties Mother encounters, of not disclosing the citizenship of the country she belongs to. However, taking the pride, of showcasing the cultural identity as ‘Blackfoot’. Identically overcomes the various difficulties … Read more

The Ugly in Sandra Cisneros’ “Bien Pretty”

“Bien Pretty,” as the title implies, is a story that invests in appearance. Throughout the story, prettiness is used as a proxy for authenticity and confidence in one’s identity, while ugliness is a stand-in for performed identity. Flavio’s appearance initially attracts Lupe because he physically calls to mind ancient Aztec imagery. She finds him pretty, … Read more

Questioning of Traditional Gender Roles in The Company of Wolves

“Little Red Riding Hood” can be viewed as one of the most popular and famous bedtime fairytales. Based on the original counterpart, Angela Carter remolds this story by adding sexual elements through her work “The Company of Wolves”, in which the narrator describes the red of the heroine’s cape, which resembles “blood on snow” and … Read more

Motifs of Light in The Stone Boy

Gina Berriault’s “The Stone Boy” follows the story of a young boy facing the aftermath of a terrible accident and trying to understand his responsibility in the matter. When Arnold does not respond emotionally, the adults’ false assumptions isolate Arnold. In “The Stone Boy”, Berriault uses the motifs of light to represent knowledge and truth … Read more

Free Fruit for Young Widows

Nathan Englander’s “Free Fruit for Young Widows” is strong story full of morality. In the center of the story is Professor Tendler, who escaped from the concentration camp during the Holocaust to get back to his family home. He finds his babysitter with her family there in his house who were a part of their … Read more

Female Liberation and Power in Boccaccio’s “The Decameron”

Introduction Giovanni Boccaccio’s medieval masterpiece “The Decameron” is a collection of stories, chronicled over ten days, which highlights the best and worst of human nature. Boccaccio’s tales deal with themes such as adultery, love, premarital sex, devotion, trickery, and manipulation, among others. Yet this work is historically significant as a result of its brutal and … Read more

The Overcoat: Symbolism in “The Overcoat”

In his short tale “The Overcoat,” Nikolai Gogol has unfolded tragedies as well as satirical jokes by imagining a wide range of roles an overcoat can fulfill within an oppressive, bureaucratic, and heavily materialistic society. Without loss of humor, he has shown his reader different perceptions of an overcoat as a simple necessity for decent … Read more

The Gift Of The Magi

The Gift of the Magi is a short story written by O. Henry is a story about a wife and her husband buying Christmas gifts for each other with just a little money that they have. I greatly admire the character, Della. Della is a very devoted housewife and Della has given Jim everything she … Read more

The Trials and Tribulations of Love

Junot Diaz’s book This Is How You Lose Her provides an insightful look into love and loss, mostly through the eyes of its narrator, Yunior. Within this collection are stories of Yunior’s infidelity and the relationships of those around him; this includes tales of his family’s struggles with their respective partnerships. There is a subtle … Read more

Everything That Rises Must Converge: Breaking Down the Inner Conflicts

In “Everything that Rises must Converge” Flannery O’ Connor compares the robustness of different methods of maintaining identity. The two identity schemas being compared are those of Julian, the highly individualistic, cerebral main character and his mother, a condescending Southern woman clinging to her fading social status. By focusing on the ongoing clash between these … Read more

Postcolonial Criticism of Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek

Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek is rife with elements of postcolonial ideologies that insert themselves into the story and create tension for the protagonist by “othering” her and her family through a form of orientalism that stereotypes Mexicans and portrays them as helpless, savage, substandard versions of Americans. Furthermore, the story simultaneously shows the mimicry … Read more

Unorthodox Gender Roles in “Boys and Girls” and “The Yellow Wall-paper”

Judith Fetterly coined the term “immasculation” in her 1978 book “The Resisting Reader,” using it to define the process by which “women are taught […] to identify with a male point of view and to accept as normal and legitimate a male system of values” (3). In the short stories “Boys and Girls,” by Alice … Read more

Essay on Nine Lives by Ursula K. Le Guin

Have students ever thought of what makes a short sci-fi/fantasy story so extradentary to read? “Nine Lives” by Ursula K. Le Guin “is a novelette that was first published in Playboy magazine in 1968.At the time of the story’s magazine publication, Playboy requested that she publish the work under her initials U. K. Le Guin … Read more

Abstractionism in The Bloody Chamber and The Erl-King

Angela Carter’s work in the short story collection “The Bloody Chamber,” makes frequent use of concrete objects as expressions of abstract concepts, among them freedom, bondage, and death in multiple forms, not only physical. In the short story “The Bloody Chamber,” the world the protagonist lives in is archaic. Although timeless in technicality, the reader … Read more

“Identical Seeming Skins:” Identity and the Short Story in The Beggar Maid

In an oft-cited review of Alice Munro’s fourth published collection, critic John Gardner asks a pertinent question regarding “whether The Beggar Maid is a collection of stories or a new kind of novel.” While this question is not only germane, but even imperative to interpretation of Munro’s work, Gardner’s treatment of it is careless. He … Read more

Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tales of Terror” as Tragic Drama

The literary compositions of Edgar Allan Poe, especially his short stories of terror based on supernatural or psychological manifestations, continue to be highly praised by a select group of readers who relish the dark, nightmarish worlds of human existence with their roots firmly established in the ancient past. Edgar Poe’s uncanny ability to transcend reality … Read more

Sherwood Anderson’s Critique of Modernity in Winesburg, Ohio

In his collection of short stories about a simple American country town, Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson offers a critique of the emerging modern society of the early 20th century. Anderson establishes his disillusionment toward modernity by presenting the contemporary times in a materialistic and somewhat mournful fashion. He uses literary devices, specific characters, and plot … Read more

The Role of Daily Sacrifice in the Rain Came

People must make sacrifices every single day. Whether such sacrifice serves to benefit them, those around them, or society in general, people find that decisions to give up aspects of their lives are prevalent in human nature. Both spectrums of this theme are thoroughly explored in Grace Ogot’s The Rain Came. Often, in tribal cultures … Read more