The short story “Tell Me” by Zoë Sharp combines narrative and descriptive passages with dialogue, which helps the story become more authentic and dynamic.
Imagery – known as the use of descriptive language in literature – is employed mostly when the girl’s appearance is described by Grace:
The girl was on the stone steps in front of the band shelter, no more than sixteen years old but still a child, with dirty blonde hair. As Grace approached she could see the girl had her thin arms folded, as though hugging herself against the cold. And she must have been cold, to be out in the park in this weather in just a mini skirt and a skimpy top. (p. 39, ll. 12-17)
Similes and metaphors
A few similes are also employed in the story. For example, the simile “thin arms folded, as though hugging herself against the cold” (p. 39, ll. 15-16) suggests that the girl probably tried to protect herself from the cold or from her attacker.
The metaphor “next fix” (p. 42, l. 41) is used to suggest that the girl does drugs. Then, “wrong john” (p. 42, l. 31) is a metaphor meant to depict the men that are usually the clients of prostitutes.
Symbols are also used in the story, and they are mostly employed to suggest the toxic environment where the girl lives.