Theme and Elements of a Story

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Theme and Elements of a Short Story

Joe Smith
ENG 125
Matthew Minicucci
Oct 6, 2011

Theme and Elements of a Short Story
Many stories are written to serve the purpose of entertaining the readers. They also contain themes. These themes can sometimes be a lesson or be something for the reader to take away and remember. Authors often times use symbols within the story to help tell the story and reinforce what the theme of the story is intended to suggest. A short story that was provided within the book, “Journey into Literature” really did a wonderful job providing a theme and using symbols to drive home a certain theme. The story was called, “Used to Live Here Once” which is a short story that intended to make the reader easily identify the theme. Within this story the author uses many elements as symbols. The author uses the setting very effectively as the main element to reinforce the theme. The story, “Used to Live Here Once” is a very intense short story. The story can be summed up as a story of a woman or girl who recently died. She does not know she is dead. She roams around her home and the area surrounding it. Where she lived was very well known to her. She notices subtle differences in what she now sees and what she remembers. These differences lead up to her walking up to children playing in front of her house. She attempts to speak to them while they are unaware of her presence. The story ends with a child saying “Hasn’t it gone cold all of a sudden. D’you notice? Let’s go in.” (Journey into Literature, 2010, section 7.5). This leads to her discovering her fate. The story does a very good job of describing the surroundings as an element to begin a feeling of how a ghost would see the world in an afterlife type environment. The main character notices that the sky had a different feel to it. It is described as “a glassy look that she...
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