“The Day after Superman Died”

In the short story “The Day after Superman Died” the author, Ken Kesey, incorporated many literary tools to convey his message to readers. He employed tools such as plot, setting, character and literary symbolism. Plot is how the order of events is arranged within a story and how they affect character (Wiehardt, Plot — Defined for Fiction Writers). Setting refers to the place and era the events of the plot occur (Flanagan). A person portrayed in the story is referred to as a character. A character can be flat or round or a protagonist or antagonist (Wiehardt, Character — Definition of “Character” for Creative Writers). Literary symbolism is when a piece of writing has a deeper meaning that the one seen at face value (Glossary of Literary Terms). The symbolism can be plain to see or it can be hidden and revealed when one fully understands the plot of the story. I believe the heavy use of symbolism by Kesey is worth examining as it is displayed in the characters as well as in the setting of the story.

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