An analysis of the short story “At the Clinic” by Sally Rooney shows that the text has a non-chronological structure. The main events take place during a single morning, but several flashbacks reveal more information about the complex relationship between Marianne and Connell.
The main characters are Marianne and Connell. They are both twenty-three years old, and they struggle to manage their complex relationship that began when they were in high school.
The main setting of the story is the dentist’s office, where Marianne has her wisdom tooth removed. Part of the events take place in Connell’s car, before and after the surgery.
The story has a third-person narrator who follows the main characters closely. The narrative introduces both Marianne and Connell’s perspectives of the events, which helps present a clear view of their complex dynamics. The narrator’s presence is discreet, which allows readers to focus on both sides.
The story’s language gives the readers the illusion that they follow Marianne and Connell closely. This mainly happens because of the stylistic choices used by the author, including writing the text in the present tense.
You can read a full analysis of the short story on the following pages.