All right. It’s been a full two weeks since I wrote this story, and I have shown in to the greatest literary minds I know. Besides Mr Mueller, Mr Armitage and Willow, anyway. None of them (not even you, Captain) realised the depth of these two short paragraphs. So here it is again, with my analysis in italics.



He wakes up in the technological age. Machines have replaced mechanical bells, which had replaced roosters.

He opened his eyes with just the slightest regret at having being woken so early,

He is born, and despite the fact he’s living in comfort, he still has reason to complain about life.

then fumbled around to switch off his alarm clock. Having done so, he closed his eyes

He dies, without really accomplishing anything.

and pulled the covers back over himself as he snuggled back into the warmth and went back to sleep.

He likes to stay in his comfort zone, even if it means ignoring the rest of the world. He is happy to wriggle into the warmth of ignorant bliss, and let the cold, caustic world do what it will to anyone that’s not him.


She woke up shivering, violently, as if with ague.

She is born, cold, uncomfortable. Violent might hint at abuse, or some other wretched force that battered her. Ague is basically a fever.

The night was showing no mercy again,

Again. It’s happened more than once, and she’s almost used to it.

and with trembling hands, she pulled a rag around herself

In comparison to the boy’s blankets, this girl (a tramp?) has a rag.

and closed her eyes, praying sleep would come again soon.

This girl wants to die. Her life is miserable, and all throughout her existence, all she ever knows is cold loneliness.

The story could be interpretted as a comparison of worlds when juxtaposed- the third and first class. It hints a little at nature versus technology, questions the meaning of life, shows our insignificance in the world… Hell, you could even go as far to say a comparison of gender. "Frailty thy name is woman" and whatnot. For two paragraphs, I think I packed this as full of ideologies as it can get! Mr Watson did point out that it’s not technically a short story, without a rising climax and a discontinued plotline etc. Ah well. I just thought I’d shed some light on a story that I alone could understand. Was it too abstract(like, how the hell was anyone supposed to get that?!), or was it just too subtle (like, wow, I didn’t even notice)?

Can I please get some feedback from the intelligent members of the audience?


"I like to think hopefully. There are too many pessimists in the world, and someone has to keep them happy."


5 thoughts on “Perusal

  1. Beth says:

    well the last time i posted a comment it got deleted.

  2. John says:

    I don’t know how that happened, I swear it. I don’t think it would have deleted itself, and it wouldn’t have been a mis-click (because it comes up with a box, warning you if you really want to delete it), but I’m really sorry all the same Ellie.

  3. Pat. says:

    Honestly I don’t what to think. Story is great, no doubt. But I believe you ‘depth’ into your own story is more of an over analysis than anything. No offence. Plus I’m sure just a couple of sentences like those, as I’ve seen the sort in novels, whereby they mean nothing. Irrelevant information. But still, it’s good ’cause I can relate to it. So there’s a point well started.

  4. Matthew says:

    My views are similar to Pat’s. The depth of analysis to which something can be expected to be subjected will depend on what it is. If it is poetry, every word is deemed to have meaning, and will be judged on that basis. If it is a short story, the minimum real "object" that an analyst will look for is a phrase. If it is a novel, then the overall theme of the plot will be the centre of analysis.Without indication that your work is highly metaphorical or analogist, there was no reason for anyone to expect there to be such a ‘depth’ of meaning available.In the end, everything can be manipulated to say anything an analyst wants… providing he or she is sufficiently gifted. Authorial intent only applies when said author tells the audience what the author wants them to see.Bluntly spoken, it exhibited both ‘faults’: abstract in that we were given no guidance towards the ‘correct’ interpretation, subtle in that you applied a greater level of meaning to each phrase than could be expected. If indeed these are faults; I refuse to judge whether they are, or are not. If you are curious, query later.Be well, and be not disheartened; if you so choose, then indeed we may all be simply blind.

  5. Liam, Baron of Hoskuldstadir says:

    I’m not sure if I have the meaning, but I think I’m going to think about it and talk with Xin about it later…
    All things aside, I think the story’s awesome…

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