Short Stories: Point of View & Setting and Atmosphere Analysis

1. A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner

This is an omniscient point of view. The narrator is not a character in the story. The narrator gives detailed information about the main character in a single sentence. For instance”… a small, fat woman in black with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing to her belt…” The narrator goes ahead to give a detailed description of Emily’s relationship with her father.

The story is set in an unnamed town. The environment in which Miss Emily Grierson had spent considerable time in her life. The setting and the atmosphere are appropriate since Emily’s story cannot be effectively narrated without referencing her environment and in this case her home town.

2. “The Chrysanthemums” by Steinbeck

The story’s point of view is dramatic. The reader is able to draw plenty of details regarding the characters through conversations that they have an amongst themselves. Through this information, we are able to draw judgments and conclusions. The narrator only gives minor scenic details and descriptions.
The setting of the story is in the Salinas Valley during winter. This presents a farming environment. The setting is quite appropriate since the story of Elisa and her husband who is both farmers can be effectively told in their farming environment. The winter paints a chill in the valleys as farmers tend to their ranches.

3. “I Stand Here Ironing” by Olsen

The story’s point of view can be described as the first-person narrator. The narrator presents free-flowing unstructured thoughts throughout the story. The narrator identifies herself throughout the story as “I” and speaks directly to the reader. She narrates her story honestly with a few traces of deception including the narrator recollection of being a teenage mother. The story that she tells is one that she has been involved in as a mother. She narrates things her girl child had to go through in her way to teenage years.
The story setting is the narrators home. The narrator is ironing clothes while at the same time talking unnamed individual most likely a teacher over the phone. The work environment is symbolic of the challenges that she had to go through to bring up her family. To the mother, the back-and-forth motion of the iron is likened to the mental process as she considers the cautionary assertions made by the person she is talking to. The home setting is significant as it portrays the rocky childhood and hopes that Emily had and the hopes of a better life ahead.

4. “A&P” by Updike

The point of view in this story is the first-person narrator. This can be identified through the opening lines of the story where the narrator, Sammy, says that “… I’m in the third check-out slot.” Alternatively, the point of view can be described as of unreliable narrator, one whose opinion has to be analyzed rather than endorsed. For instance, Sammy says, ” once you begin a gesture it’s fatal not to go through with it.”
The setting is an A&P grocery store located in the center of a small New England town. Although the store is nowhere near a beach where the girl’s mode of dressing would be more appropriate, the town setting is quite significant in the sense that the writer is able to venture in the dynamics of sexual attraction which is evident throughout the story and how the store workers perceive them. The store serves as a to portray Sammy lack of touch with reality when he quit his job to protest how the girls are treated.

5. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Carver

The stories point of view can be described as objective. At some point, the narrator disappears and leaves the story to develop through the numerous conversations lines that the characters are having. The narrator only gives some minor scenic details like the barking of the dog and the sun brightening the kitchen.
The story sets a kitchen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The kitchen table atmosphere is relaxed and we can see the characters freely discussing their personal experience on love.

6. “The Lesson” by Bambara

The point of view is the first-person narrator who is a young black girl. She identifies herself through the story as I for instance when she says, “I am really hating this nappy bitch and her college degree”
The setting is Harlem, New York. Using the setting the writer is able to paint the hard life experienced by the black community especially the black woman in contrast to their white counterparts. The setting shows the oppressed neighborhood that black children had to go through as they grow old.

7. “The Red Convertible” by Erdrich

The story point of view is a first-person narrative. This is evident by the opening line in which the narrator refers to himself as the first person to drive the convertible.
This story setting is on a Chippewa reservation in North Dakota. The setting provides a free environment where the brothers can live freely driving throughout entire North America before Henry could join the military and is sent overseas for duty.

 

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