Short Story Analysis Questions
Asked by: J
I will expect a 5-6 sentence paragraph for each answer to the numbered questions. Give details/quotes from the story to support your answers.
1. What can you tell about the narrator in the story? What effect does this narrator have on how we understand what is happening?
2. Choose one of the main characters of this story. What can we learn about this character from the details given in the story? Does the character change from the beginning to end of the story? Is this a positive or negative character—and how do you know this from the story? Give details.
3. What role does the setting play in this story? What can you say about how it furthers the plot or the effect on the reader? What are the details that allow you to “see” one of the scenes in this story?
4. What is the conflict or tension in the story, and how is it resolved by the end? Are all the reader’s questions answered or are we left wondering what happens next?
5. Poe said that short stories were to create an effect. What is the effect of this story and how does the author create it? Be sure to provide supporting details.
Booth, Alison, and Kelly J. Mays, Eds. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Portable 10th ED. New York: Norton, 2011.