The theme of a story is not something that is always directly indicated in the story. Theme play an important role in a story and it is the main concept that they author is trying to bring out in the story. “The theme in a story is associated with an idea that lies behind the story (Clugston, 2010).” In the story Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys the theme that is being presented in this story is death.
We learn that the theme of this story is death by the way that it is written. Throughout the story we are given little hints that this may be about someone’s afterlife but it is not completely confirmed until the last sentence which reads “That was the first time she knew”. In the beginning of the story we are given a small clue to the
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The setting of this story makes us aware that the character had been to these places before and recognizes things that are missing from the surroundings that once were present. We are able to picture her by the river and how many stepping stones are present in front of her. She tells us about which stone is steady and which is not as it always was. Once she crosses the river she notices that things are missing like the screw pine and the summer house but also points out that clove tree was still there just how she remembered it. These different statements in the story “give us important clues as to the changes that have taken place in her absence as well as the fact that we may be reading about something other than a physical journey or an average trip down memory lane (Grecinger, 2012).” The point of view in this story is third person limited omniscient point of view. “It is called a limited omniscient point of view when the thoughts and feelings of only one of the characters are related through the narrator (Clugston, 2010).” Since the story was focused on one person’s memories and thoughts we are able to concentrate more on her and what happened in her life. It helps us to better understand and figure out the theme of this story rather than reading a lot of information about a lot of different people and end up having too much information and not being able to figure out the theme of this story.