Jamena L. Hinton
Introduction to Literature: ENG 125
Professor Richard Schnoll
August 23, 2013
LITERACY THEMES 2
There are many literacy elements that play a role in short stories in order to provide to the larger narrative theme. A narrative called “Used to Live Here Once” by Jean Rhys (1976). The writer demonstrates the significance of how point of view, setting, and symbolism plays the role of contribution for the theme of the story. The theme of this particular short story was described as a woman’s spiritual journey after life. There were details within this short story that described the woman as being deceased, and traveling back to a place of residence where she used to reside, words such as “once, and “that was the first time she knew” (Rhys (1976) p. 7.5). The setting took place where the woman was “standing by the river looking at the stepping stones and remembering each one” (Rhys (1976) p. 7.5). This information lets the reader know a start of where the story is going to take place.
“Standing by the river looking at the stepping stones and remembering each one” (Rhys (1976) p. 7.5) provides feedback that the woman has either lived at the location before or visited the location before. This piece of information is not only a part of the setting, but it draws the reader to the plot, which the reader will discover that the woman is on a familiar path, but comes across some things that may have changed since she last visited the location. “The road was much wider than it used to be” and “The only thing was that the sky had a glassy look that she didn’t remember” (Rhys, (1976) p. 7.5) these such pieces of information let the reader know that it had been a while since the main character had been at this location and some major things have taken place.
The author provides various tones throughout the story as well to arise his reader of what will happen next by using the expression “Hello." Then, "I used to live here once," she said” (Rhys (1976) p. 7.5). The tone within this short story is going to play a very important role as it eventually is going to reveal the meaning of the story and the purpose behind the past tense items that have
LITERACY THEMES 3
been used throughout the story. The woman is trying to reach the children’s attention to inform them about the place that they currently reside in is a place that the exact place where she used to reside some time ago, only they do not take notice that she exists.
The literacy terms selected affect the narrative theme because they draw the reader closer to the story on a spiritual level. The plot itself allowed the reader to understand that the main character was visiting a place that used to exist within her life and has made some slight changes. The tone influences the reader to better understand the state of