Structure

In order to provide an adequate analysis regarding “My Polish Teacher’s Tie” by Helen Dunmore, it is important to address different elements of structure. Here, we will discuss the language and style of writing, point of view and narrator, setting and time, and composition of the story.

Language and Style of writing

The language used in the short story is simple and easy to follow. The author does not use sophisticated words, indicating that the story is for the average adult reader and even a younger audience. However, in order to give the story more authenticity, Steve’s letters include some stiff language, as one would expect of someone who wants to better learn English:

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In what follows, we will outline some specific analytical elements used by the author pertaining to style and language:

  • Anaphora
  • Ellipsis
  • Imagery
  • Irony
  • Metaphors and Similes

Point of view and narrator

“My Polish Teacher’s Tie” is a first person-narration, told from the perspective of the protagonist, Carla Carter. This is first indicated by the possessive “my” in the title, but also by the constant use of personal pronouns like “I” or “me”.

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Setting and time

The main setting is the canteen of a British school, where most of the events take place. Two other settings appear in the text, Poland – where Steve lives, and Carla’s house.

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Composition

As you have seen, the story follows a classical plot line and it is structured chronologically. Narration is combined with dialogue, letter excerpts and the internal thought flow of the protagonist. In order to make the story appealing, the author employs several narrative techniques which we outline next:

  • Backstory and Flashback
  • Stream of Consciousness
  • Pathos

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