An analysis of the short story “Early Autumn” by Langston Hughes shows that the story follows a chronological plot structure. The story is centered around a single event that ends in an anticlimax.

The main character is Mary. She and Bill once had a romantic relationship, but they had broken up and drifted apart. Meeting Bill again after many years is a shock to her.

The physical setting of the story is New York. More specifically, the two characters meet in Washington Square. The events take place in autumn, as indicated by the title, as well as from the mention of falling leaves.

The story is told from the point of view of a third-person narrator. The narrator follows mostly Mary’s perspective, but offers little information about her thoughts and feelings, allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions.

The language of the story is neutral and simple. Symbols such as the falling leaves and the bus moving away help the readers understand what the narrator leaves unsaid. 

You can read a more detailed analysis in the following pages. 

Excerpt from the study guide: 

For example, the narrator does not explicitly mention that Mary still has feelings for Bill and has not moved on from her relationship with him. However, there are plenty of clues to support this. When Mary meets Bill, she expects him to kiss her. Moreover, although she does not mention it to Bill, she has named her youngest son after him. This shows that Mary might still be in love with Bill ...

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