All the Years of Her Life

Report
All the Years
of Her Life
By Morley Callaghan
Setting:
 The
setting of this story is not important: it
could be anywhere and has no impact
whatsoever on the story itself.
 However,



certain clues tells us this:
New York City (6th Ave. Elevated)
working class area (father is a printer)
1930s-1960s
Sixth Avenue Elevated
S
Third person (limited, intimate) narration
 Point of view of Alfred – we are told what he is
thinking (intimate) and feeling but not the others
(limited)
Characters:
 Alfred, Mr. Carr, Mrs. Higgins
Complication (initiating incident):
 Alfred is caught stealing again
External conflict (minor conflict in story)
 Man vs. Man:

Alfred vs. Mr. Carr and his mother
Internal Conflict:
 The
central conflict in the story is within – not
the fact that he is confronted by his boss
 Man


vs. Self
Mrs. Higgins struggling as a mother, trying to
do her best despite the problems of her
children
Alfred struggling to grow into adulthood and
feeling guiltly over the pain his mother suffers
Topic and theme
 Topic:


Parenting teenagers
Teenagers’ poor decisions
 Theme:



Unconditional love for our children
Growing self-awareness as an adult, new
respect for parents
Reliance on parental love and sacrifice
Climax – the big shift in tone
‘Be quiet. Don’t speak to me. You’ve
disgraced me again and again,’ she said
bitterly.
‘That’s the last time. That’s all I’m saying.’
‘Have the decency to be quiet,’ she
snapped. They kept on their way, looking
straight ahead.
….’You’re a bad lot. God forgive you…’
The trembling hand:
…at that moment his
youth seemed to be
over. … It seemed to him
that this was the first time
he had ever looked upon
his mother.
Character development
 Writers
‘paint a picture’ of characters
directly, by telling the reader what they are
like, and indirectly, by describing their actions
and letting the reader reach his or her own
conclusions.
 Well developed or ‘round’ characters are
portrayed in detail while ‘flat’ characters are
like background actors in a film.
 Dynamic characters change over the course
of the story; static ones stay the same.
Characters
 How
does each character change? Why?
 Discuss
how Morley Callaghan paints these
different pictures of each character – use a
flow chart to record how the characters
change.
Sample: Mr. Carr
Before meeting
Alfred’s mother
 soft,
confident
 smiled and stroked
his face delicately
 Looked hard-faced
and stern
After meeting her
 Nodded
his head
encouragingly
 Began to feel
warm and genial
himself
Make a chart and record
evidence
Write
down ONLY the words the
author uses to describe the
character.
Once you have finished, you
will draw your own conclusions
about each character.
Character flow chart
Scene
Alfred
Mrs. Higgins
Drugstore
x
Drugstore
x
x
Street
x
x
Kitchen
x
x
Home
x
x
Mr. Carr
x
x
Character analysis
Make a list of words
would you use to
describe Alfred’s
character:
 Immature? Naïve?
 Irresponsible?
 Survivor? Troubled?
 Compassionate?
 Caring? Egotistical?
 Ignorant?
 Thoughtful?
What evidence do
you have to back up
your words?
Writing a character analysis
 Title:
name of character
 Introduction: Include the title of the story (in
quotation marks) and the full name of the author
-- as well as the name of the character you will
discuss. Make a general statement about the
character.
 Body: Include specific evidence (actual words
and quotations) to illustrate each of your points.
 Conclusion: Summarize what you have said and
comment on the author’s success in portraying
the character.

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