The Shape of a Star

This study guide will help you analyze the text “The Shape of a Star” by Jen Knox. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme, and message. We will also help you comment on the relationship between the main character and her mother, as well as help you discuss the pros and cons of having strong role models.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Shape of a Star”
Author: Jen Knox
Date of Publication: 2014
Genre: Short Story

Jen Knox is an American writer born in Ohio. Her short stories have been published both online and in print, in publications such as “Chicago Quarterly Review” or “The Saturday Evening Post”. Jen Knox currently works as an educator in San Antonio.


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Social setting

The social setting presents two very important issues: the influence of parents on children and the break off with traditional patterns when it comes to women and “men’s jobs”.

First, having a parent with a strong personality can influence a child in either a positive or a negative way. For the narrator, her mother’s influence was a negative one, as she always saw herself as problematic and unfit. However, towards the end of the story, the narrator realizes that her mother became a sort of role model for her and that she has managed to understand at least part of the woman’s motivations and personality....

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The Shape of a Star

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