Short Story Commentary

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Short Story Commentary

In my short story I took inspiration from Angela Carter’s ‘The Company of Wolves.’ Carter is renowned for basing her short stories on fairy tales or children’s stories, she once stated ‘My intention was not to do 'versions' or, as the American edition of the book said, horribly, 'adult' fairy tales, but to extract the latent content from the traditional stories.’ Through analysing Carter’s work I decided to base my story around the plot of ‘The Lady and the Tramp.’ My basic plot was a girl meets an unsuitable man who ‘leeches’ off the girl and takes her from childhood to womanhood.

Another decision made through analysing the work of Carter was to have only two characters that don’t have names, by doing this I was able to, in the words of Richard Ford ‘give us something big precious little time and space.’ Using this method, characters can remain ambiguous in their form and in one paragraph, be described with vampire-like qualities and later be described as a leech. By doing this the reader is able to get a wider view of the character as they aren’t just restricted to one form.

One of the main themes in the story is love, shown through the adjective ‘red’ and the connotations of love that it holds. Another way the theme of love is represented is by the semantic field of flowers, shown through the use of the stative verb ‘blossoming’ and the concrete noun ‘petals.’ Blossoming connotes rejuvenation, growing up and new life, this corresponds with the female character’s journey to womanhood. Through references to love within the story the reader can pick up on the style of Carter as this is often a main theme within her writing.

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Another significant theme is deceit; shown by the verbs ‘preying’ ‘confronts’ and ‘grovelling,’ these bring a darker air to the story as they imply animal-like viciousness; mirroring Carter’s style. A more interesting story is created as by putting the theme of deceit parallel to the contrasting theme of love the two emotions seem stronger and the story has more of an impact.

The third main theme within the story is the transition from childhood to womanhood. This is shown throughout by imagery, for example the shawl representing the protective shield of her mother and by shedding this it ...

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