Safe Enough

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Safe Enough” by Lee Child.  You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective. 


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


The simile referring to the ply board being set in earth “like a gravestone” has the effect of hinting at a possible death in the story, while also describing Wolfe’s activity. 

One interesting and rather unusual comparison is used when Wolfe sees the two spouses fighting in their lawn: “…Wolfe saw them between the branches like they were on a stage under a flashing strobe light. Like disco.” This creates a surreal image, but also helps highlight that Wolfe is a spectator to the couple’s life without them knowing it. 

Also, when Wolfe directly interacts with Mary for the first time, he compares her hair with a “halo”. Another time, the woman looked “like a spirit of the countryside” , showing how attracted he was to her, but also the fact that he idealized her and was, therefore, bound to be disillusioned by her when he got to knew her better. 

Other comparisons are used when readers are presented with the relationship between Mary and Wolfe: “It made her feel committed to him, unquestioningly, like a fact of life. Like she was a princess and had been promised to someone at birth.”  The comparison suggests the idea of predestination and is rather ironic, given that it was Wolfe’s plan and murder that made Mary notice him. 



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Safe Enough

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