A wasted hour – analytical essay | Jeffrey Archer

Indledning
The short story "A wasted hour" is written by Jeffrey Archer and was published on September 5th, 2017. It tells a story about a young woman studying at Stanford named Kelley. She always hitchhikes on her way to college because she wants to save money, but at the same time, she loves to hear fascinating stories from strangers who are unlikely to meet again.

In the story, she meets a rather interesting man who has a lot of fascinating and surprising stories. In my analytical essay, I will address, analyze, and interpret the short story focusing on narration and point of view, characterization, setting, themes, and message.

Uddrag
The short story begins in media res telling us about Kelley: “Kelley always thumbed a ride back to college, but never told her parents”2. One day, when she was looking for a ride to school, an old pre-war Studebaker was ambling along towards her.

An elderly gentleman pulls off the road to pick her up, and from here, the rest of the story takes place in the car. Therefore, the primary physical setting is John’s car. The drive takes place in California - which I assume because she attends Stanford University.

The short chronological plot only presents a few persons and elapse over a short period of time. These are all factors that describes the genre "short story." The text also gives us information about in which historical context we are located in, which can be seen in several places in the text.

First, the text mentions some historical events, including John F. Kennedy's assassination.

“Sure did. And John Kennedy come to that, God rest his soul.”5. This might mean that the story takes place after 1963 as he was assassinated there.

From the text, I can also conclude that the other main character, John, is not a completely unknown man. "And can only hope I live long enough to read your first novel, especially as you were kind enough to say how much you’d enjoyed my work, which, if I remember, you first read when you were only twelve years old”.

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