Number 40 - Analytical Essay

859 Words Oct 19th, 2015 4 Pages
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Analytical Essay – Number 40 ‘’When she picked up the receiver, Melissa realised she didn't know Simon's number. She always just scrolled down to his name on her mobile.’’ This is how the narrator of Sarah Butler’s short story ‘’Number 40’’ describes Melissa’s loss of memory, which is chasing her throughout the story. The numerous attempts to fantasise her away from her lonely invisible everyday life culminate in the end, and she has to face the reality. These are some of the difficulties we are dealing with in the short story, through the actions and thoughts of the Melissa.

The story is told through a third person limited narrator, who follows Melissa throughout the story. The
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The sun may be shining on her, and her red umbrella radiates love. This jealousy appears when Melissa is busy thinking about this girl, and do not discover the house is gone. The short story is named after the house Simon and Melissa apparently live in. The house is under renovation, and might symbolise their ''relationship''. The dialogue with the neighbour suggests, that the house is not just gone but also never existed – just like Simon and Melissa's relationship never existed. The house is just an imagination Melissa had made up, just like their relationship. A main theme of the story is Melissa's inability to separate fantasy from reality. Melissa has never lived in number 40 with Simon. Her boring everyday life and loneliness has influenced her to fantasise about Simon, and admire him through a given period. When she finally meets Simon he rejects her, and ‘’her hands were so pale they were almost translucent’’. (p. 4, l. 155). She feels more invisible than ever, and she begins to fantasise about him again.

It can be concluded that the narrator throughout the story has influenced our reading and interpretation of the actions. It has been difficult to assess what has been the reality or fantasy, and we have only experienced the story through Melissa’s unreliable point of view. Melissa has throughout the story been influenced by her invisibility, and she continues to live in the

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