Perspectives

To add something extra to your analysis of the short story “Kiss and Tell” by John Sam Jones, we encourage you to consider the literary period and works with the same themes.

Literary period

“Kiss and Tell” is a contemporary postmodernist short story. The story deals with a current issue, sexual orientation in modern times; most postmodernist works also deal with contemporary, post-modern world topics.

The fragmentation of the point of view and the story’s structure (scenes are presented separately through a star - *) is also a postmodernist feature. The story does not flow from start to end, but it presents several events and points of view in parallel.

The story is also occasionally ironic in terms of action (Seimon does not really ‘kiss and tell’ because he does not share real events) but also in terms of the perspective of the characters which is occasionally self-denigrating (Seimon knows he is a loner).

You should note that there are many other features that are considered characteristic of Postmodernism in literature. Here we have only mentioned those that you can identify in “Kiss and Tell”.

Works with the same theme

For the theme of sexuality we recommend that you have a look at short stories like “The Penis” by Hanif Kureishi, or “Dead as They Come” by Ian McEwan.

“The Penis” presents surreal, symbolical events as the narrative follows a penis that has been separated from his owner and does not want to be reattached. “Dead as They Come” presents the sexual and romantic relationship that a man creates with a lifeless mannequin.

For the theme of fitting in, you might find it interesting to read the essay “Home at Last” by Dinaw Mengestu, or the short story “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” by Ann Jew.

In “Home at Last” the author explores his struggles to fit in American society as the son of Ethiopian immigrants. “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” follows a Chinese teenage girl living in the US who tries to fit in among her American peers by rejecting her Chinese heritage.

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