This study guide will help you analyse the text “Braces” by Nick Werber. 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, themes and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Braces” (2016)
Author: Nick Werber
Genre: Short story

Nick Werber is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and advertising consultant. His short film “Reynaldo” won the United Nations Forest Film Award in 2013. Werber’s work in advertising includes campaigns for The Economist, Unilever, and Jose Cuervo, among others. Werber’s short story “Braces” won The Bath Short Story Award in 2016.


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The meaning of the title of the short story “Braces” by Nick Werber is both literal and symbolic.

In the literal sense, the title refers to the braces that Nick’s grandfather wants him fitted with. Although Nick does not seem to need them urgently, Nick’s grandfather believes his teeth are a little crowded and wants to prevent him from having crooked teeth when he grows up.

In a symbolic sense, the braces are a symbol of the practical and rational approach that the grandfather has towards life and towards his son's and grandson’s future. He controlled his son's life in the past by not letting him pursue an acting career, and he continues to impose his views on Nick's father by trying to convince him to return to his other profession. 

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