Say Yes by Tobias Wolff

This study guide will help you analyze the text “Say Yes” by Tobias Wolff.  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, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, themes and message

Presentation of the text

Title: “Say Yes”
Author: Tobias Wolff
Date of Publication: 1985
Genre: Short Story

Tobias Wolff (b. 1945) is an American author of short stories, novels and memoires. He is most known for two memories in which he accounts parts of his life, “This Boy’s Life” (1989) and “In Pharaoh’s Army” (1994). He has often been associated with the movement called dirty realism to which authors like Raymond Craver belong, but Wolff rejected this label.


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Social and time setting

The social and time setting are also very important in the short story. While the action spans over a few hours, it is important to look at the historical setting to understand better the society the characters lived in and, implicitly the theme of racism.

In the 1980s, Ronald Regan was the president of the US and his administration was marked by the Republican ideas he represented. Republicanism represents the conservative, right-wing oriented doctrine in the US. Consequently,...

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Say Yes by Tobias Wolff

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