This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Parole” by Mathieu Cailler, which has been used for a written exam in English HHX A on the 17th of May 2023. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it.

If you need help with Assignments 1-3 from the HHX A exam on the 17th of May 2023, you can find our guide here.

Her kan du se et uddrag fra siden: “Language”

The language in the short story “Parole” by Mathieu Cailler is conversational, meaning that it has a few traits from spoken language. The narrator seems to be telling the events directly to the readers. In this way, the story reads like a confession. 

There are many examples of spoken language in the text. For example, when the narrator admits he wanted Louis to recognize him as his father, he adds: “I wanted something gooey, you know?”. There are also examples of informal features typical of spoken language, such as: “Hell, even in my free days, I hated the drop-in.” This might reflect the narrator’s low social background, but it also makes him more approachable, bringing him closer to the readers.

An interesting feature of the language is how the narrator keeps referring to his son Louis as “my boy”. The narrator uses this phrase repeatedly throughout the story, even though Louis would have been in his forties. This may reflect that the narrator is living in the past and still sees Louis as the child he never got to meet. The phrase also shows that the narrator sees himself as a father even though he never had the chance to be one.

The short story contains some interesting examples of imagery. One of them is the personification towards the end, when the narrator steals the car and drives away: “I keep (…) my hands tight on the steering wheel, where me and my boy's fingerprints get to live with each other for at least a half a tank.” The personification of the fingerprints points to the narrator finally managing to find a connection with his son, even though it is not in the way he wanted. 

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