This analysis will guide you through the narrative elements of the short story “Clara’s Day” by Penelope Lively.

In what follows, we will explain the short story’s structure, looking at the traditional plot elements and the narrative techniques used by the author.

We will help you with a characterisation of the most important characters in the story: Clara, the mother, the headmistress, and Stan.

We will discuss the setting, looking at where the action takes place – the school, London, and Clara’s home. We will also look at the social setting which explores aspects related to school life, being a teenager, and broken families.

We will focus on the third-person narrator and the use of the main character’s point of view and its impact on the story.

We will also explore the language used by the writer looking at choice of words, imagery, similes, metaphors, repetition, and symbols.

Read the full analysis of the short story in the next pages!