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Greyhound Tragedy

This study guide will help you analyze the text “Greyhound Tragedy” by Richard Brautigan. 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, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Greyhound Tragedy”
Author: Richard Brautigan
Published in: Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970
Date of Publication: 1970
Genre: Short story

Richard Brautigan (1935-1984) was an American writer. He began his career as a poet and started writing prose fiction in the 1960s.  Most of his literary works fall within the genres of black comedy and satire. His most notable works are the novels Trout Fishing in America (1967) and In Watermelon Sugar (1968).

Excerpt 

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Symbols

The concise nature of the text means that symbols become an important language device and help to convey deeper meanings in the story.

The bus station is a symbol of movement and change, of taking risks and following one’s dreams. In the story, the protagonist begins obsessing about the bus station, because it is from there that she can buy a fare to Hollywood and leave her small town. However, the character does not have the courage to ask for the cost of the tickets. At the end, the station turns out to be less glamorous than she expected, and it becomes symbolic of lost dreams and regrets.

The movie magazines are a symbol of the allure of Hollywood. The girl is obsessed with the magazines, but...

 

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Greyhound Tragedy

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  • 10/4/2020