Here we outline our analysis of “a strong dead man” by Daniel Alarcón. The story follows a traditional plot structure with non-linear elements, while including narrative techniques like backstory and foreshadowing.

The main character is Rafael. His cousin Mario and Rafael’s childhood friends - Jaime, Carl, Javier, Eric, and Amir - also appear in the story. Rafael’s father, mother, sister, and other relatives are also mentioned– they remain unnamed except for Mario’s mother, Aida. The story also mentions some of the players from the baseball games that Rafael and Mario watch at the park.

The events take place in New York, in several locations, including Rafael’s home and a park. The social setting explores aspects related to the immigrant experience in the US, father-son relationships, the male adolescent experience, and illness, death, and grief.

The events are described by a limited third-person narrator, who has access to Rafael’s thoughts and feelings and often adopts his perspective.

The language of the story has both formal and informal elements, and the author also makes extensive use of figurative language and symbolism to illustrate Rafael's inner conflict and bring the story's themes to the surface. 

You can read the full analysis in the following pages.

Further help

Short story analysis

I denne vejledning får du Studienets hjælp til at analysere noveller (short stories) i engelsk.