Literary perspective

Normal People by Sally Rooney can be seen as a Realist work of fiction. Realism seeks to offer in-depth psychological characterizations and detailed descriptions of everyday life. Rooney’s novel focuses on Marianne and Connell as central characters who are explored deeply through their young adulthood. Re…


Works with similar themes

The theme of identity is explored in the short story “The Dead” by James Joyce. Also set in Ireland, “The Dead” explores the way personal identity and national identity can or cannot be compatible for the main character. Normal People looks at the way someone’s personal identity is defined by themselves or their environment. When comparing the two texts, it could be useful to look at the way class is used as a tool to shape someone’s identity. 

The short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” by Raymond Carver also explores the theme of relationships, by looking at romantic relationship at different phases: a middle-aged man at the end of his relationship and a young couple. Normal People follows the two main characters through their relationships with each other and with different people. 

In “The End of Something”, Ernest Hemmingway explores the theme of identity by looking at how it changes when one person enters a relationship with another. The main character of the short story, Nick, breaks up with his girlfriend as he is frustrated with how…

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