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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13
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the point of the hen in Juan Rulfo's “They Gave Us the Land”?

The short story "Nos han dado la tierra" ("They Gave Us the Land") is a dismal portrayal of the Mexican government's land reform in the mid-20th century. A group of men are given ...
13
votes
2answers
614 views

What inspired the writing of Sredni Vashtar?

Of the many short stories by Saki, I found Sredni Vashtar to be one of the darkest. While many of his stories are morbid, Sredni Vashtar has a young boy praying for the death of his guardian to ...
28
votes
1answer
6k views

Why did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle decide to kill off this character?

In the short story "The Final Problem", Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made the decision to kill off Sherlock Holmes (although he did bring him back again in the story of "The Empty House"). This was met with ...
17
votes
1answer
12k views

What is the bananafish? What does it represent?

In J.D. Salinger's A Perfect Day For Bananafish, Seymour, the main character, talks about a bananafish. He tells a little girl about the bananafish. The little girl says she sees the fish. What is ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

Do any of J. D. Salinger's short stories share locations or characters?

J. D. Salinger is a well-known 20th century author, most notably of Catcher in the Rye. He was fairly prolific, writing many stories. Do any of these stories share the same universe?
11
votes
2answers
4k views

In The Bet, why does the lawyer willingly stay fifteen years instead of five years for no extra reward?

In The Bet by Anton Chekhov, the lawyer voluntarily accepts to stay in prison for 15 years, instead of the original agreed upon 5 years. Here's the relevant passage: "The death sentence and the ...
11
votes
1answer
846 views

In de Maupassant's Two Friends, why does the colonel allow the two men to go into a warzone?

In Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant, the two men wish to go fishing in a warzone and are allowed to do so by the colonel who controls the checkpoint between the safety of Paris and the warzone outside ...
12
votes
1answer
392 views

How did Madeline Usher survive without food or water?

In The Fall of the House of Usher, Madeline Usher is put in the vault for a week, without food or water, in a coffin. This is in addition to the fact that she had been sick, and so wasn't at her ...

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