Please use this questions as a guide to answer after reading the stories.

PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES. Respond to each story seperately thanks.

  ask more questions and share your views about the stories.

    • What are the main points the author is trying to convey to the reader?
    • What is the significance of the title?
    • What is the tone of this work and why is this particularly important?
    • How is the memoir format of this work appealing?

Questions for a literary analysis


The relationships and patterns of events. Even a poem has a plot, such as a change in mood from bitterness to resignation.

What actions happen?

What conflicts occur?

How do the events connect to each other and to the whole?


The people the author creates, including the narrator of a story or the speaker of a poem.

Who are the principal people in the work?

How do they interact?

What do their actions, words, and thoughts reveal about their personalities and the

  personalities of others?

Do the characters stay the same, or do they change? Why?

Point of view

The perspective or attitude of the speaker in a poem or the voice who tells a story. The point of view may be first person (a participant, using I ) or third person (an outsider, using he, she, it, they). A first-person narrator may be a major or a minor character in the narrative and may be reliable or unreliable (unable to report events wholly or accurately). A third-person narrator may be omniscient (knows what goes on in all characters’ minds), limited (knows what goes on in the mind of only one or two characters), or objective (knows only what is external to the characters).

Who is the narrator (or the speaker of a poem)?

How does the narrator’s point of view affect the narrative?


The narrator’s or speaker’s attitude, perceived through the words (for instance, joyful, bitter, or confident).

What tone (or tones) do you hear? If there is a change, how do you account for it?

Is there an ironic contrast between the narrator’s tone (for instance, confidence) and what

  you take to be the author’s attitude (for instance, pity for human overconfidence)?


Word pictures or details involving the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste.

What images does the writer use? What senses do they draw on?

What patterns are evident in the images (for instance, religious or commercial images)?

What is the significance of the imagery?


Concrete things standing for larger and more abstract ideas. For instance, the American flag may symbolize freedom, a tweeting bird may symbolize happiness, or a dead flower may symbolize mortality.

What symbols does the author use? What do they seem to signify?

How does the symbolism relate to the other elements of the work, such as character or



The place where the action happens.

What does the locale contribute to the work?

Are scene shifts significant?


The shape or structure of the work.

What is the form? (For example, a story might divide sharply in the middle, moving from

  happiness to sorrow.)

What parts of the work does the form emphasize, and why?


The central idea, a conception of human experience suggested by the work as a whole. Theme is neither plot (what happens) nor subject (such as mourning or marriage). Rather it is what the author says with that plot about that subject.

Can you state the theme in a sentence? For instance, you might state the following about

  Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”: Happiness depends partly on freedom.

Do certain words, passages of dialog or description, or situations seem to represent the

  theme most clearly?

How do the work’s elements combine to develop the theme?


The degree to which the work pleases you.

What do you especially like or dislike about the work?

Do you think your responses are unique, or would they be common to most readers?


Copy these questions for each work you read, and answer the questions in writing.


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