A Very Short Story

This study guide will help you analyze the text “A Very Short Story” by Ernest Hemingway. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, themes and message, and we will help you put the text into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “A Very Short Story”
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Published in: In Our Time (collection)
Date of Publication: 1924
Genre: Short Story

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) is one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century. He has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 and has published various novels, short stories, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime. Many of his literary works are based on Hemingway’s experience in World War I, which is also the case for "A Very Short Story".


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 


The title of the short story is a bit misleading because it does not offer any details about its content. When reading the title that says “A Very Short Story”, readers might be under the impression that the text they are going to read is going to be very short and probably not very complex. However, although it spreads over a single page, the short story is very complex and it is based on Hemingway’s personal experience in World War I.

Note that there are two other versions of the short story, one titled “Personal” and one titled “Love”. Because the love story between Luz and the American soldier is actually very short, the title makes sense and is suitable for the text’s content.

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A Very Short Story

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