Short stories

The Themes of Friendship and Loyalty in O’Henry’s “After Twenty Years”

O'Henry is arguably the master of twist endings. Each of his plot twist catches the reader more off guard than the previous. Whether it is Della and Jim finding out they have sold their most prized possessions to buy each other nearly useless gifts in "The Gift of Magi" or the drawing of a leaf… Continue reading The Themes of Friendship and Loyalty in O’Henry’s “After Twenty Years”

the yellow wallpaper short story cover
Short stories

Mental Health and Self-Agency: Themes In ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story about a woman's descent into madness because her doctor husband downplays her mental illness. The story is also an ideal illustration of the 19th century society’s view of mental illness, and clear criticism of the rest cure that was often administered to patients… Continue reading Mental Health and Self-Agency: Themes In ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

a jury of her peers feminist short story
Short stories

“A Jury of her Peers” by Susan Glaspell Feminist Analysis

In A Jury of Her Peers (1917) by Susan Glaspell, two women find crucial evidence that could convict a fellow woman for murder but choose to conceal it from the male authorities because they “understand” why she did it. This story is based on true events of the 1901 Hossack Murder Case which Glaspell covered… Continue reading “A Jury of her Peers” by Susan Glaspell Feminist Analysis

Poems

“Good Bones” by Maggie Smith Poem Analysis: Exploring the Theme of Realism

How do you tell your children about life and all its realities? How do you explain the fact that life is as evil as it is good? In Maggie Smith’s 2016 viral poem “Good Bones” the speaker resolves to keep the terrible part from her children and offer hope of making the world beautiful instead. The poem is a parent’s reflection of the real world and how they wish their children could perceive it. Taking a closer look, the poem is also the speaker’s effort to convince herself too that maybe the world could be beautiful; that she could make the world beautiful.

Poems

“Work Without Hope” Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Using Contrast to Emphasize Lack of Hope

The 1825 Romantic era poem "Work Without Hope" by Samuel Taylor is a lamentation of a man who lacks an object to place his hope and thus, wonders aimlessly and directionless amid nature. While slightly unconventional for a sonnet, the poem begins with the speaker romanticizing nature and how it seems busy going on with… Continue reading “Work Without Hope” Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Using Contrast to Emphasize Lack of Hope

Short stories

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

Summary Kate Chopin’s (1850-1904) short story “The 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… Continue reading “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin Literary Analysis: Plot, Themes, Characters, Setting, and Symbolism

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

War and its Irrationality as Themes 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… Continue reading War and its Irrationality as Themes in Thomas Hardy’s Poem“The Man He Killed”

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

The effect that this mere form of communication has on the two characters’ relationship is what makes it hard to ignore the tapes as symbolism, and as a reflection of each character's traits in the story. 

wine barrels low lit
Short stories

Montressor as a Keen Observer of Human Behavior and Psychology: “The Cask Of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe.

If you’ve read more of Edgar Allan Poe, then you’ll not be surprised by the horror that is the short story “The Cask of Amontillado.” Other short stories that he had published earlier, such as “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” set a precedent to this Gothic style of writing. … Continue reading Montressor as a Keen Observer of Human Behavior and Psychology: “The Cask Of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Stone Mattress
Books, Short stories

Layers and Layers of Experience: “Stone Mattress” by Margaret Atwood

Eventually, our life experiences shape who we become. As it is with human nature, some of these experiences we can control, while others we can’t, so we react. However, the ways we choose to react with love, hurt, or forgive are all our choices. "Stone Mattress" is Margaret Atwood’s latest collection of short fiction that… Continue reading Layers and Layers of Experience: “Stone Mattress” by Margaret Atwood