Short Stories. (Annotated Bibliography)

Elijah Thomas


Remember growing up and reading books that only had 12 pages and filled with a lot of pictures. Remember going to  see plays and films based off of these stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping beauty. What all of these stories have together is that they are all Short Stories. Short stories provide a message or meaning that is indirectly given to the audience, whether it is about morals, or lessons that should be taught. There are multiple short stories that provide messages that are indirectly given to the audience such as, “Little Red Riding Hood” by Charles Perrault, “One Day At Horrorland” by R.L.Stine, “Sirens” from the Odyssey which was created by Homer, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” by Aesop, “Lotus Eaters,” and “Charybdis and Scylla” which are both from The Odyssey.


Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Other Classic Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. New York: Penguin Books, 2008. Print.


In the short story, “Little Red Riding Hood” Little Red Riding hood was sent by her mother to give some goodies to her grandmother and on her way to her grandmother’s house, she stopped to take a rest. While she was resting a wolf came disguised as a dog and asked where she was going. She told the wolf she was going to her grandmother’s house and on her way to the house the wolf beat her there and tried to personate as the grandma so that he can eat Little Red Riding Hood. Charles implemented this short story with a message behind it that children and women should be wary for their surroundings and not talk to strangers.


R.L Stine, One Day at HorrorLand , R.L Stine, February 1994.

In the short story “One Day at Horror land” while lost The Morris family and clay found an amusement park called horror land and once they parked their car and go out, the car exploded and they were stuck at the amusement park which had monsters, ghouls and zombies. The family thought it was just a scary amusement park but then later realized that this park was the real deal. R.L.Stine used horror to convey to his audience and used a lot of imagery to create the message of understanding your surroundings to notice when something isn’t going in the right direction.


Homer,  and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.

In the short story “Sirens” Odysseus (The main character from The Odyssey) sailed through a sea full of monsters to reach Ithaca and the first set of monsters the crew had to come across was the Sirens. The sirens would sing to the men to make them jump overboard so they could eat them. Odysseus wanted to listen to the sirens so he had his crew tie him up while they sailed with wax in their ears. The sirens represented desires that men cant have, desires that will make them go crazy and not think before acting. Homer wanted to persuade people that even though this is Greek mythology, that “Sirens” can be related in the real world and one example of this is Money, because people’s actions change and don’t think when money is on the line.


Aesop, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. 1867. 

Barnett, Carol. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Lincolnwood, Ill.: Passport Books, 1990.

In the short story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” the shepherd boy lies about seeing a wolf to gain the attention of the villagers, after tricking the villagers multiple times the villagers stop coming out because he called out a wolf. But this one time a wolf actually came and he called out no one came. Aesop uses this to create a message that the more you mess up your credibility the less people trust you which in the end matters.


Homer,  and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.

In the short story, “Lotus Eaters” while Odysseus sailed through the sea to reach Ithaca, Zeus sends a storm that sweeps them for 9 days before it brings them to the island of  the lotus eaters. On this island the natives went to Odysseus’s men and tricked them into eating the lotus which as soon as they ate the lotus they lost all memory and thoughts of going home. The only thought process in their brain is to stay on the island and eat more lotus fruits. The men who ate the lotus fruit were then tied on the boat so that they wouldn’t stay on the island and eat lotus. Homer creates a message of “curiosity killed the cat,” by introducing the men to lotus flowers and since they were so curious on what it was they ended up being tricked to stay on the island and ultimately forgetting on going home.


Homer,  and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.

In the short story, “Charybdis and Scylla” after passing the siren island, Odysseus ended up confronting another pair of monster(s) which went by the name of Charybdis and Scylla. Scylla is a six headed monster who eats one sailor for each head, and Charybdis is a massive whirlpool that can potentially swallow a whole ship killing everyone on the ship. Odysseus listens to Circe’s instructions on how to pass Charybdis and Scylla by holding course tight against the cliffs of Scylla’s lair but avoiding Charybdis. While doing this Scylla ended up swallowing 6 sailors. Homer implemented this story to create a message of “choosing the lesser of two evils.” Which means when one is represented with two horrible choices but goes with the one which would have a lesser of a consequence than the other choice.

Almost every short story created was made with a purpose which is to create a message or meaning that can be indirectly or directly given to the audience/readers. Majority of the well known short stories were created a long time ago which are still used to this day because they message was meaningful and can be related to. Short stories can also be a place that expresses imagination like none other, but in general short stories are known for their messages.

1 thought on “Short Stories. (Annotated Bibliography)”

  1. This is a great annotated bibliography. I enjoyed reading each source and I even looked into these short stories myself because they seemed interesting. You obviously did a great job finding sources and describing the summaries for each and the explanation of what each author wanted their message to be. I think you can do better though and create a better analysis. I feel like there is a lot more to think about when it comes to short stories, and authors want you to think about all parts of the story, in my opinion it is more then just a simple answer. I think your right about what each author’s message was, but you can definitely expand and get deeper into it.

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