Shopping for One

This study guide will help you analyse the text “Shopping for One” by Anne Cassidy. 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, theme and message.

Anne Cassidy (1952-) is a British writer of novels and short stories. She mostly writes thrillers and crime novels involving teenagers or adults. She also received the Angus Book Award for her literary works.

Excerpt from the study guide:


In “Shopping for One” by Anne Cassidy, the narrative is a third-person account confined to a single point of view, that of the main character, Jean.

While the narrator uses the third-person to convey the events, everything is presented through Jean’s eyes: “She gritted her teeth together. Should she go and change it for a larger size? Jean looked behind and saw that she was hemmed in by three large trollies.”

The narrator has unlimited implicit knowledge on Jean’s thoughts, memories, and background: “Somewhere at the bottom, Jean thought, there was always a plastic carton of eggs or a see-through tray of tomatoes which fell casualty to the rest.” 

However, the narrator’s knowledge is limited when other characters are concerned. We know about the two women only what Jean overhears from their conversation: “She turned to watch the two women as they walked off, the blonde pushing the trolley and the other seemingly carrying on with her story.”

Notice that the depictions used by the narrator are also implicit. Information is not conveyed directly, but readers are left to draw their own conclusion on the facts, such as that of Jean being single or that of the dark woman getting back together with a man who has cheated on her.

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Shopping for One

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