Analysis

This analysis of the short story “The Terrapin” by Patricia Highsmith will give you an overview of the most important narrative and language elements.

In what follows, we will outline the short story’s structure and examine the most important characters in the story, Victor and the mother.

We will discuss the physical and social setting, focusing on where the action takes places as well as on aspects like immigrant communities, bullying, parent-children relationships, and the consequences of abuse.

We will present the third-person narrator and the use of the character’s point of view and their effect on the story.

Finally, we will explore language elements such as choice of words, simile and metaphors, repetitions, rhetorical questions and symbols, looking at what they convey about plot and characters.

Read the entire analysis in the next pages of this study guide!