Man from the South

This study guide will help you analyse the text “Man from the South” by Roald Dahl. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characterisations, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Man from the South” (1948)
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Short Story

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was a British writer mostly known for his books for children. He is one of the most famous and cherished British writers of the 20th century. His most famous literary works are “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda” and “Fantastic Mr Fox”.

The short story "Man from the South" was first published in the American magazine Collier's.


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

Taking risks

The theme of taking risks is also very important in the short story “Man from the South”. Almost every character takes a risk: the English girl risks when approaching an unknown sailor; the old man risks being turned down and mocked by the American boy while the boy risks a part of his body when accepting the bet. Even the maid in the hotel risks her job because of the large sum of money offered by Carlos.

What does this tell you about all the characters in the short story? Is taking risks something people cannot live without? Sometimes, risk-taking leads to success. For the American boy, the prospect of owning a Cadillac was far more important than anything else. 

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Man from the South

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