Hall of Small Mammals

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen "Hall of Small Mammals" af Thomas Pierce. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering. 

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Hall of Small Mammals” (2016)
Forfatter: Thomas Pierce
Genre: Short story

Thomas Pierce (f. 1982) er en forfatter og journalist fra South Carolina. Han har blandt andet arbejdet for NPR og National Geographic Magazine, og er kendt for romanen The Afterlives (2018).

Pierces novelle "Hall of Small Mammals" stammer fra en novellesamling af samme navn.

Uddrag

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Title

The title of the short story “The Hall of the Small Mammals” by Thomas Pierce refers to the part of the zoo that the narrator and Val are waiting to visit, which contains the three baby Pippin Monkeys, which are an endangered species. From the title, the reader may expect the story to take place inside the Hall of Small Mammals. However, the narrator of the story never actually arrives there, and is eventually shut out of the Hall of Small Mammals while Val goes in. The author plays with the reader’s expectations, effectively echoing the story’s theme that expectations are sometimes not met.

Symbolically, the “small mammals” may refer to more than just the Pippin Monkeys. The term may be a symbol for human children, and more specifically, Val. Children are presented as young, fragile, and with an uncertain future – just like the monkeys. The narrator and the readers, as adults, are symbolically denied entrance into the world of children, as they see the world from different points of view, and adults such as the narrator find it difficult to understand children like Val. As the narrator has no children of his own and is essentially rejected by Val, being denied entrance into the Hall of Small Mammals feels like another failure for him and is connected to his fear of not being socially accepted. In this way, the title also refers to the author's wish to have a meaningful life and continuity.

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Hall of Small Mammals

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