A Canary for One Essay

The story under consideration is entitled A Canary for One and is written by Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist and short-story writer. As for the author I have to mention that his style is characterized by crispness, laconic dialogue and emotional understatement. In his writing Hemingway explored themes of helplessness, defeat and social problems. The story A Canary for One is not an exception. The first idea about the title is that a bird was a present, a canary for somebody.

However, following his story-telling iceberg style, Hemingway makes the meaning of the story even more significant.

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The bird is a symbol of hope for the better future. It is like a means of forgetting the problems and not to be alone. The story is about an American woman returning home with a canary for her daughter. After reading the story we got to know that the main idea is loneliness and the futility of human relationships. This can be proved by the example of the American couple who went to Paris to set up individual residences in Paris.

As it often happens with E. Hemingway’s stories, the plot is difficult and thought provoking by its simplicity of language forms.

In a train approaching to Paris, an American lady got acquainted with an American couple. In a conversation the woman told another woman about her daughter, who fell in love with a man from Vevey but they had to put an end to their relationships. Mother believed strongly that only an American boy would make a match for her girl. Having arrived at the railway station the couple and the woman said goodbye to one another. Having moved towards the gate the man and a woman went their own ways. The main character of the story is a quite rich and lonely American lady. The author doesn’t even mention her name as it’s unnecessary.

In the whole story there are no names at all. What we know of her – she is a bit deaf and has a daughter whose life she destroyed because of her strong beliefs. To describe her character more vividly, to reveal her attitude to other people who are not Americans, the author used the phrases that “Americans make best husbands” or “American men are the only men in the world to marry”. The author did it to show the woman`s haughtiness. She stayed deaf both physically and emotionally to the world outside, even to her child.

She described everything from a good point of view, but stayed adamant. They were madly in love”, “He was from a very good family”, “I took her away, of course”. The problem raised in the story is that people who don`t realize their mistakes, are not willing to understand and improve the situation stay alone in the end. The author doesn`t name the characters to show that there are a lot of such people among us. And this problem still remains a burning one. In conclusion I would like to say that I enjoyed reading the story. It is a very profound one that makes the reader become thoughtful about his own life and desires. All the important things are between the lines.

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