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“The Monster” Story Analysis Term Paper

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Updated: May 17th, 2021


“The monster” is one of the controversial stories contained in the anthology, “The Norton Introduction to Literature,” especially in its character development and analysis of roles assigned to each of the characters. One of the motifs that have been emphasized in the text is identical. The paper attempts to analyze the theme of identity in Toby’s work, ‘The Monster.’ Toby has tried to engage the reader into imagining the features of the characters in the story by omitting some significant explanations. One of the issues omitted is the gender of the character featured in the text. Secondly, the writer makes it ambiguous on the true nature of the monster, leaving the reader with options on whether the character featured is a human being or an animal. The writer leaves the reader with expectations and suspense on the identity of the featured character. It seems like the writer makes the omissions to emphasize the uniqueness of the monster and the exaggerated features in the monsters.

“The monster” story

The identity of the character is not clear, and although the writer tries to engage the reader into understanding the uniqueness of the featured characters, there is still some aspect of ambiguity, which makes the story intriguing and full of suspense. Since the story focuses on character development, the writer leaves the reader to make different assumptions on the character in order to understand and engage with the plot. The motif of identity is also evident as the character tries to engage in different activities. Instead of overcoming the identity barrier, the character encounters a different obstacle each time it undergoes self-exploration. The writer thus engages the reader into the activities and identity of the monster by creating suspense and making the character understand that its identity is still unknown. Despite the writer trying to make the monster’s features elaborate, there is some degree of ambiguity, making the reader rethink its gender and social class.

Toby successfully models a character, which is applicable in different scenarios, depending on the interpretations of the reader. The story is based on self-actualization and finding oneself by analyzing character, behavior, gender, and cultural issues. According to the writer, identity is a significant aspect of any individual’s behavior since it dictates and helps to model character and ability to engage with normal social and cultural activities. The aspect of the monster getting a different object when trying to understand its true nature shows that life is full of obstacles that can limit an individual’s potential to understand his or her identity.

The writer makes it certain that an individual’s identity can be hard to realize, especially if one is not committed to undergo through self-actualization and self-exploration. Character evaluation makes it easier for an individual to understand the self, and the story makes the concept obvious through the characterization of the monster. Toby, therefore, understands the complexities surrounding self-actualization and uses special characters, representing either humans or animals. Similarly, the writer explores the challenges in exploring one’s identity.


The story, therefore, explores the challenges, hurdles, and processes through which individual encounters in search of his or her identity. The monster, therefore, symbolically signifies the ambiguity in human character and behavior, and in its ambiguity, the writer introduces some experiences that are applicable in a real-life situation. The writer is descriptive and analytic in his representation of ideas and in the analysis of human character as defined by one’s identity.

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""The Monster" Story Analysis." IvyPanda, 17 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-monster-story-analysis/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The Monster" Story Analysis." May 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-monster-story-analysis/.


IvyPanda. ""The Monster" Story Analysis." May 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-monster-story-analysis/.


IvyPanda. 2021. ""The Monster" Story Analysis." May 17, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-monster-story-analysis/.


IvyPanda. (2021) '"The Monster" Story Analysis'. 17 May.

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