Here, we summarise our analysis of “Debbie and Julie” by Doris Lessing.
The short story is structured using traditional plot elements, including an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The title of the short story, “Debbie and Julie”, suggests the plot is going to concern two female characters, but it does not disclose the nature of their relationship.
“Debbie and Julie” features quite a few characters, but the most important ones are Julie, Debbie, and Julie’s parents. Julie is a developing character who changes as a result of her experiences (getting pregnant, running away from home, living with Debbie, giving birth alone, and abandoning her child).
The setting is realistic. The main events take place over the course of one evening, but they also include flashbacks from the previous five months. The narrator, who is outside the events, presents them using Julie’s point of view, conveyed in places as a stream of consciousness (as a continuous flow of thoughts).
The language of the short story is descriptive and frequently mimics the natural thought flow of Julie’s character. Direct quotations and dialogue are used occasionally to convey characters' traits through language.
Read the full analysis of the story in the next pages!