Search This Blog

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Short Story Analysis: A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker

Edit Word
I. A Telephone Call
By Dorothy Parker
         An infatuated, obsessed woman is eagerly waiting for her boyfriend to call her up at 5:00. Now it is 7:10 but he has not called up yet. She thinks that this is God’s way of punishing her for being bad. She promises to be good and sweet to her boyfriend if he calls up now. She keeps on calling God’s attention, frantically waiting for her boyfriend to call up. She thinks that perhaps he is on his way to her place, and this is the reason for his not calling up yet. On one hand, she thinks of calling him up, but hesitates. She counts anxiously while waiting for that telephone call.


         There is only one main character in this short story, and is flat and static, the persona of this short story, the “I.” The minor character, though not formally having a direct role here, is the “he,” also flat and static.

    B. PLOT
            a) Introduction
                The characters, the persona “I” and the minor character “he,”  are introduced.
     b) Rising Action
    The complication of the short story starts when a woman, the persona, recalls that her boyfriend told her he would call her up at 5:00, but still has not, at 7:10.
      c)  Climax
         The climax is when frantic thoughts run across the persona’s mind, just because of her boyfriend’s not calling her up at the promised time.
      d) Falling action
          The events and complications start to resolve when she decides not to call him up.
       e) Denouement
          The final outcome happens at the end of this short story when she decides to wait further, by doing her counting again.
           C. SETTING
       a)  place – in the living room

b)  time- late afternoon towards early evening

c)  weather conditions-  fine

d)  social conditions- middle-class

     e)  mood or atmosphere-  the female persona is very anxious; frantic, waiting for his call


         The Point of View used in this short story is the First Person - The story is told  by the protagonist or one of the characters who interacts closely with the protagonist or other characters (using pronouns I, me, we, etc).  The reader sees the story through this person's eyes as he/she experiences it and only knows what he/she knows or feels, focusing on the thoughts and agitations of the crazed woman. This short story is a monologue.
          In my opinion, the literary devices used in this story are first and foremost Irony; the title is A Telephone Call, but there is no telephone call in this short story, and then Symbols; the telephone unit itself symbolizes something deeper, it is the center of the persona’s crazed antics and thoughts.
         F. THEME
          For me, the theme Being in love with someone brings not only happiness but also pain is appropriate for this short story.
        G. CONFLICT
          The conflict here is Internal, that of Person vs. Himself, as the persona is a crazed, obsessed, anxious woman who waits for a telephone call from her boyfriend, and in the process of doing so, comes in psychological conflict with herself. --ARV


  1. It helped very much! Thank you :)

  2. thank you very much, i love you for this

  3. Thank you very much ... Evrything ... Great job

  4. great, thanks :)


My Featured Post

A Short Film:"Above" by Rockals Pictures This is an awesome 5-minute short movie by mostly amateur actors. It won a prize in a ...