The short story “Kittens” by Dean Koontz mostly follows a traditional plot structure. Flashbacks and elements of foreshadowing are also present in the text.
The story is focused on a small cast of characters. The main character is a young girl named Marnie Caufield. Marnie’s father, Walter, also plays an important part in the story, as his words and actions have a great influence on Marnie’s own actions. Marnie’s mother and her twin siblings also play some role in the story.
The physical setting is a farm somewhere in rural America. The story takes place during two days in June. The social setting explores issues such as religious zeal, child abuse, and animal cruelty. It also hints at the effects these issues can have on children.
The events are presented by a limited third-person narrator. The reader is mainly given access to Marnie’s thoughts and feelings, and generally witnesses events through her eyes. The only exception is the ending, when the narrator switches to Walter Caufield’s point of view.
The language of the story is descriptive and, at times, explicit. The author uses metaphors and personifications to show that events are seen through the eyes of a child.
You can find a more detailed analysis of the short story in the following sections.