Long Walk to Forever

This study guide will help you analyze the text “Long Walk to Forever” by Kurt Vonnegut. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characterizations, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Long Walk to Forever”
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Date of Publication: 1960
Genre: Short Story

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was an American author of novels, short stories, plays and non-fiction essays. He is well-known for his preference for since-fiction settings and plots, as well as for his satirical humor. His most popular novel is “Slaughterhouse-Five”, in which the author criticizes the absurdity of war in a morbid, yet humorous way.

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Symbols

The bells, the car sound and the “school for the blind” play symbolic roles in the story. The school for the blind functions as a symbol for the couple's blindness to their feelings until now, while the bells are like a wake-up--call for Catharine, who needs to accept her feelings for Newt.

Motifs

Two motifs are relevant to the short story’s themes: pride, which is illustrated by Catharine’s attitude, and the inability of men to express emotionally, illustrated by Newt.

When faced with Newt’s late love declaration, Catharine acts in a proud way. She refuses to respond back, even if her feelings are the same as his. This is probably because her feelings were hurt before, as she has waited a long time for Newt to declare his feelings: “Did you think I would throw myself into your arms?" she said.” 

Newt, on the other hand, becomes representative of the inability of men to express emotionally.

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Long Walk to Forever

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