Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story

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Theme and Narrative Elements in the Short Story
Sean M. Czuchaj
Ashford University

The themes of a story are the ideas that are behind the story. The theme of the story makes the underlying ideas of the story come to life (Clugston, R. W. 2010). The theme of the story embodies the main idea that the reader should get from reading a story. There are many literary elements that add to the theme of a story but I think the most important literary elements are the point of view and symbolism. Symbolism can mean one thing while also standing for something else (Clugston, R. W. 2010). Symbolism in a story is significant so that the person who reads the story acquires the implication of the writing beyond what is written in ink. Symbolism takes the story on an altered avenue when you become acquainted with the symbols in the story. A good example is in Jean Rhys “Used to Live Here Once” the story discusses “a blue day” which for a great number of readers could mean a pleasant day with clear skies however; when you look deeper into the implication a “blue day” you begin to understand that it means peacefulness. The story references a river as well; a river can in some instances symbolize the flow of human experiences (Clugston, R. W. (2010). There are some other familiar representations such as a mist or fog which could offer ambiguity to the story. A lion known to be a big cat in Africa would also insinuate power or pride in a person. For example The Young man has character of a lion. It is imperative to be able to distinguish the symbolism in a story so that you may cultivate a better perception of exactly what the writer is depicting in the story. Point of view in the story is important as well as it makes the reader feel closer to the character. The point of view indicates to the reader who tells the story (Clugston, R. W. 2010). Point of view is the story communicated through the eyes of the narrator. The narrator could be someone observing an event...
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