Themes and message

The main themes in the short story “Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman are selfishness and loneliness. The author’s message is that we all have a monster within, trying to “eat our lives”, a negative side which can take hold of us if we allow it.


This theme is explored through the character of the narrator, Jack. In the story, Jack proves incapable of love and selflessness from the beginning until the end. As a child, he would do anything to save his life, even lie and trade a fictional older sister for his life. As a teenager, he is even worse, being willing to let the troll eat his first love, Louise, to spare his life. As an adult, he shows no particular feelings for his wife and child. What is more, he cheats on the woman frequently.

Another aspect of his selfishness is ...

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