Analysing and understanding a literary text like “Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman can often be easier if you also try and put it into perspective, reflecting on similar literary works and the issues the text poses in a modern context.

Current issues and literary movement

“Troll Bridge” falls within a literary genre we call magical realism. While the events take place in a very realistic context and setting, the author has inserted a fantastical element – the troll – which makes us doubt reality.

But, despite the magical element, the story explores universal themes which can be applied to any time and setting: selfishness and loneliness. Being selfish or feeling lonely are human attitudes which we encounter in our everyday lives as well. Even if people do not meet a troll to remind...

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