Literary perspectives

The short story “After You, My Dear Alphonse” by Shirley Jackson surprises readers because it is not written in Jackson’s iconic style. Jackson is famous for her fiction written in the mystery or horror genres, but “After You My Dear Alphonse” focuses on racial prejudices. 

The story is a modernist work of fiction which deals with issues contemporary to the author. In the story, Jackson explores prejudice and racism through Mrs. Wilson’s character. She also briefly mentions World War II, which suggests that the story presents a realistic setting. The simplicity of the story – which is shown by the style of language as well as by the lack of plot – is another modernist feature. These allow readers to focus on the author’s message ...

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