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Auggie Wren's Christmas Story

This study guide will help you analyze the text “Auggie Wren's Christmas Story” by Paul Auster. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, and themes.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Auggie Wren's Christmas Story”
Author: Paul Auster
Published in: “The New York Times”
Date of Publication: 1990
Genre: Short Story

Paul Auster (born 1947) is an American writer belonging to the literary current called Postmodernism. Most of his novels and short stories deal with absurdum, mystery or crime fiction. What is more, Auster often writes about metafiction, an element used in “Augie Wren's Christmas Story”. Paul Auster's most famous works are “The New York Trilogy” (1985-1987) and “Sunset Park” (2010).

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Auggie Wren

Auggie Wren is the most important character in the short story, as he is the one whose name is used in its title. From the very beginning, readers get to know that Auggie Wren is not the protagonist’s real name; the protagonist wished for his name to be hidden, so the writer used the fictional name of “Auggie Wren” to render the story.

Outer characterization

In terms of outer characterization, the man is described directly by the author, who meets him in the cigar store where he works:

“He was the strange little man who wore a hooded blue sweatshirt and sold me cigars and magazines, the impish, wisecracking character who always had something funny to say about the weather, the Mets or the politicians in Washington, and that was the extent of it.” 

Notice that Auggie is rather short and that the blue sweatshirt is probably part of his uniform.

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Auggie Wren's Christmas Story

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  • 11/2/2020