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.