Questions tagged [short-stories]

Questions about stories with a fully developed plot, themes, and characters, but significantly shorter and less detailed than a novel.

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3
votes
0answers
37 views

What is the underlying message of the first story of 听你的 (“Up To You”)?

I read an (untitled) short story: the first chapter of 《听你的》 (full text is here), and I don't feel I fully understand the plot. Here's my summarization: The main character "you" (unnamed) ...
3
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1answer
107 views

Were the footnotes included in the original text of the 1002nd Tale of Scheherazade?

The short story "The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade" by Edgar Allan Poe details a great many wonders of the more modern world being described by Scheherazade to her husband, in ...
-3
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0answers
39 views

“BlackBerry Winter” by Robert Penn Warren [closed]

Could anyone please provide a link to Robert Penn Warren's short story BlackBerry Winter? I couldn't hunt it down on the Internet despite trying hard.
-5
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0answers
49 views

Key points in the short story “The old demon” by Pearl S buck [closed]

http://epathshala.nic.in/QR/books/12Vistas/The_Enemy.pdf Above is the link to the above text. (starts from Page 3) I would like to have the key points like, main characters protogonists and ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Is “Doctor Marigold” the nickname of the cheap-jack, or is “Marigold” his real name?

Doctor Marigold is the titular "cheap-jack" in Dickens' Doctor Marigold. Is "Marigold" his real name, with "Doctor" an addition, or is "Doctor Marigold" a ...
6
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1answer
115 views

Short story about humans that portrays them as savages

I am searching for a short story that my 7th grade social studies teacher told me many years ago, and that I have never forgotten. Below is what I remember from the text. I recall it being written ...
17
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2answers
655 views

Short story about a man condemned to death because he cannot remember the details about a country

I once read a short story about a man (a journalist?) visiting a prison inmate. He was incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, and it was a case of mistaken identity or insufficient alibi. The ...
4
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1answer
99 views

Identification of a Maupassant short story where a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress

In a short story by Maupassant, a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress, a rather paradoxical situation since he came much later after the infidelities (and somehow benefited ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Tragedy About Bear Whose Mom Died

Trigger warning: story deals with death, depression, graphic abuse of animals. I haven't been able to find this short story. I don't recall if I heard it as part of a podcast or read it online. I came ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

What does “perverse madonna” mean?

What is a "perverse madonna"? In the short story "The Boarding House" by James Joyce, Polly is compared to a "perverse madonna". Polly was a slim girl of nineteen; she ...
2
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1answer
94 views

Which Maupassant short stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870?

I read somewhere that Maupassant wrote ten short stories on the 1870 war between France and Prussia. I know "Boule de suif", "Deux amis", "Un duel", "Madame Sauvage&...
5
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2answers
222 views

Why does the narrator in Tagore's story call the Cabuliwallah's daughter “Parbati”?

In Rabindranath Tagore's "The Cabuliwallah", Rahmun, the eponymous Cabuliwallah, has come to Calcutta to make a living selling nuts and dried fruits from his native Afghanistan. In lieu of a ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Why is the gesture of the rebel noble in “The Man with the Scar”?

In the William Somerset Maugham short story "The Man with the Scar", the general considers the gesture of the rebel as a noble gesture. I don't understand why. He killed his love, the girl ...
1
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0answers
38 views

A man is in court because a company wants his prostheses back

I forgot the title of the short story. It is about a man who is in court because of his prostheses. If I remember correctly he was a famous motorbiker. A company wants all his prostheses back, because ...
6
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0answers
357 views

Is there any evidence that Theremon 762's name was based on a theremin?

In Isaac Asimov's novel and short story (short story later expanded) Nightfall, there's a character named "Theremon 762". The whole novel is about darkness and innate fear, and a theremin, a type ...
10
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1answer
166 views

What does “vamos the ranch” mean in this Mark Twain short story?

What does this sentence from "Double Barrelled Detective Story" by Mark Twain mean? "If I was running this shop I'd make him say something, some time or other, or vamos the ranch."...
3
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1answer
119 views

What do the yellow banners in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Haunted Palace” symbolize?

The story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe contains a poem, "The Haunted Palace", which starts like this: In the greenest of our valleys,     By good angels ...
2
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0answers
55 views

Short story - man obsessed with news, then lives solitary life, then goes on killing rampage

I remember reading a short story about a married couple where a man was always obsessed with the news (I think it was on the radio) until his wife was so exasperated with him she nagged him and drove ...
5
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0answers
67 views

Identify a story about a group of white men stuck at sea without water and a black guide that they ignore

I think I read this short story more than 20 years ago. The premise is: a group of men (who are white) hire a boat (or raft?) with a guide (who is black) to take them on a trip across a sea. The men ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story in which notorious safe-cracker retires but has to use old tools to save girl's life

I remember reading a short story, many years ago, about a notorious safe-cracker in the old west, who managed to accrue a nice fortune by utilizing his skills. I cannot remember the title or author, ...
1
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2answers
64 views

In The Blue Cross, what is the mailbag trick?

From the Father Brown story "The Blue Cross": It was he who had kept up an unaccountable and close correspondence with a young lady whose whole letter-bag was intercepted, by the ...
4
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0answers
75 views

Why the title “Agunot” for S. Y. Agnon's short story?

S. Y. Agnon's first influential story is "Agunot" - in fact, his chosen name "Agnon" comes from the same word. The word "Agunot" is the plural form of the word "Agunah", which is the term for a woman ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Short story: an executioner, uncaring to convicts, discovers a watch that he gifted to his son

I remember reading this English (could be a translation) short story ~20 years ago in my school. There was an executioner who executed convicts on an electric chair. He never cared about (or looked ...
4
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1answer
296 views

What are nuts and super-nuts in Saki's “Beasts and Super-Beasts”?

In Saki's Beasts and Super-Beasts (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/269/269-h/269-h.htm) he refers to "Nuts" and "Super-Nuts". For example, we have “You are not going to be what ...
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0answers
44 views

In “The Third Level”, does the third level really exist or is it a mere hallucination?

In the short story "The Third Level" by Jack Finney, does the third level in the Grand Central Station really exist or, is it just in Charley's imagination? Does Sam Wiener really go to 1894,...
3
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1answer
63 views

Does “trampling” mean “violence” or “attack” in “The Touchstone”?

In "The Touchstone" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Thorndyke went to an old disused chalk-pit, where a dead man found after he fall from above path, the edges of which ...
3
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1answer
112 views

1950s - 1960s short story about two pals trapped on top of an oil tank

This is a 1950s - 1960s short story about two pals trapped on top of an oil tank. Two guys are killing time messing around in an abandoned oil storage tank farm. They climb up a rusty ladder (or at ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story “The End”?

"The End" is a very short story, not much over 1000 words, in Borges's collection Fictions. It describes a paralysed man, Recabarren, who observes an unnamed black guitar player avenge himself on ...
2
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1answer
159 views

Is there a relationship between Edward VI and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?

In my office there is a guy named "Ed". When he is not around, some of the other guys say to those who ask for him that "We are Ed-less". It sounds like an Irish accent saying &...
4
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1answer
108 views

What did G. K. Chesterton mean by these two paragraphs from the first chapter of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'?

'Jenkins,' he repeated. 'Surely you don't mean Jefferson Jenkins, the social reformer? I mean the man who's fighting for the new cottage-estate scheme. It would be as interesting to meet him as any ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What is the point hidden behind Kahlil Gibran's poem “The Three Ants”?

I read this story from Kahlil Gibran's The Madman: His Parables and Poems, but for some reason, I can't get to the point of understanding of the wisdom behind it: Three ants met on the nose of a man ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Does Neil Gaiman's “Mouse” criticise abortion?

The short story "Mouse", collected among other places in Smoke and Mirrors, is about a man who is buying a trap to get rid of the mouse in his house. He doesn't want to kill the mouse, so he buys a ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Short story, 19th century: French country priest and devil exchange subjectivities

I am looking for a 19th century short story. I thought it was written by Guy de Maupassant, but didn't find it. A French country priest starts having vivid dreams that he is a diabolical courtier in ...
8
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0answers
78 views

Short (possibly children's) story set in Norfolk glorifying the English Countryside

I have been trying to recall a short story for a while now, one which I read in 2009-2010 but is possibly older (it was part of a children's story collection whose name I cannot recollect, although I ...
8
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1answer
96 views

Sci-fi short story about not getting into cars with strangers

I read this story in English in the 2000s (although it was probably much older), in a collection or anthology of several short stories by different authors; I think the collections may have been ...
1
vote
2answers
259 views

What literary device is used in from “one thing to another”?

The extract is Then, from one thing to another, M. Hamel went on to talk of the French language, saying that it was the most beautiful language in the world — the clearest, the most logical; that we ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Mystery short story where the owner of a dog is accidentally murdered via strychnine

I solved this one in the process of asking the question, so I'm self-answering. I remember it as being part of an Alfred Hitchcock anthology. The protagonists get pulled into investigating the ...
2
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1answer
51 views

In the short story “The Last Lesson” by Alphonse Daudet, what do the following signify?

"The Last Lesson" is a short story by Alphonse Daudet (link to the English translation). What is the significance/symbolism/meaning of the following aspects of the story? The watcher's ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

What's the significance of leap years in Poe's “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade”?

Edgar Allan Poe's story “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade” (link to full text) has this curious sentence. This is about Scheherazade volunteering to marry the king, despite knowing that ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

What's going on in Charlotte Riddell's Old House in Vauxhall Walk?

Maybe I'm looking too hard for meanings that aren't there, but can someone explain to me what's going on in Charlotte Riddell's Old House in Vauxhall Walk? How was the second burglar caught? What was ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What is the meaning of “broads” in Hemingway's short story Fifty Grand?

What is the meaning of "broads" in Hemingway's short story Fifty Grand? Here's the context: The three of us, Jack Brennan, Soldier Bartlett, and I were in Hanley’s. There were a couple of ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

What is the “dark star” in Fritz Leiber's “The Pail of Air”?

Fritz Leiber's short story "A Pail of Air" (available to read online at Project Gutenberg) is set in a post-apocalyptic world, with a family who believe they are the only survivors after the ...
1
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0answers
74 views

Where did the name Nimitseahpah come from?

In the January 2004 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, they ran a story called "Nimitseahpah", by Nancy Etchemendy. 'Nimitseahpah' is the name of the Paiute statue that's part of ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

How is black being portrayed in “Black, Their Regalia” by Darcie Little Badger?

Black features fairly prominently in "Black, Their Regalia" by Darcie Little Badger - it's in the title, and black is fairly prominent throughout the story. The Apparently Siblings play neoclassical ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Robot Beings who are hunted for fuel who say “Toot Toot” to each other

I remember a short story but can't remember the name of the story or author. It is about alien/robotic beings that have been hunted to the edge of extinction because they are an exceptional fuel ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the term used for a story's narrator becoming self-aware?

I was reading a short-story titled "A Face in the Dark" by Ruskin Bond. There's this passage in it: "It had no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It was just a round smooth head — with a ...
1
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1answer
23 views

Meaning of “seldom anything but”

These old folks, you must know, were quite poor, and had to work pretty hard for a living. Old Philemon toiled diligently in his garden, while Baucis was always busy with her distaff, or making a ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Understanding the last lines from Oscar Wilde’s The Model Millionaire

The Model Millionaire is a short story about a young man, named Hughie Erskin, who although does not have much money himself, is moved to pity by the sight of an elderly beggar who is posing as model ...
0
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1answer
16 views

What does “who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt” mean?

I was reading A.G. Gardiner’s On Umbrella Morals and in the second paragraph occurs these lines In fact he is a thoroughly honest man who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt. I want an ...
2
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1answer
84 views

A fable in which pigs with human heads are born because the swineherds had no women with them

I am trying to find a fable I read a long time ago (some 40 years ago, maybe), probably in a collection of short stories / fables, probably in Spanish. From what I have been searching so far, it seems ...

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