Analysis of the short story “Kiss” written by Elizabeth Baines. It is a short story because the story contains very few characters, a plot that is centred around one experience or moment and in short stories
there is usually one main struggle, that is also the case in “Kiss”. The short story treats the theme of oppression and human connection. This essay will have an emphasis on characterization, composition, narrator, setting, themes and message.
The short story starts in media res, in the Tube station where two persons are kissing and another person is holding a detonator in his hand, prepared to detonate a bomb.
This type of beginning creates a narrative hook, which makes the reader curious from the start about what is going to happen and why.
Now to the characterization. In this of the essay, we will characterize the young woman, the young man (from the couple), and the bomber.
The young women are one of the three main characters in Elizabeth Baines’ “Kiss”. When it comes to the physical traits of the young women she has “blond hair in a ponytail”, is wearing a “silver jacket” and has “green sneakers and “pale” skin.
In the story, it is mentioned that she is a “girl you could see as privileged” (l. 22). The sentence “A tall house on Highgate Hill with a laurel bush in the garden
family dinner with solicitor parents” also makes it clear that the young woman is indeed from a privileged and wealthy family, as both parents are solicitors and live in a very posh part of London.
She comes from a seemingly nice family; it turns out that this is not the case. In line 36 to 38, it is revealed that her father sexually abused her as a child.
Years after being abused by her father she suffered from anorexia, and even went as far as to try to take her own life. She has had a very harsh upbringing.
Her father sexually abused her and went on as nothing had ever happened. Throughout her flashbacks, it is clear that she did not feel loved by her mother.
In lines 47 to 50, the young woman recalls how her mother treated her differently than her siblings and, although she did not like to admit it, she felt unloved.
These traumatic experiences made the young woman feel like she was “trapped behind a barrier” (l.46).
Despite these scarring moments of her life the young woman appears to have been able to find the right tracks and is now on the road to recovery (l.65).