Study Guide

Passion Tone

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Searching, Melancholy

Answers in Short Supply

We're introduced to the narrator's searching tone early on:

What was Grace really looking for when she had undertaken this expedition? Maybe the worst thing would have been to get just what she might have thought she was after. (7)

Throughout the story, the narrator steps in to ask questions, as if engaging the reader in an attempt to get at some sense of meaning.

Even when there is an answer, Munro's word choice doesn't shut down any possibilities. "Maybe," the narrator says, which suggests there could be any number of correct answers, which opens things up to interpretation or extrapolation. It can be boring (and annoying) to be told what to think, but that searching narrative tone is like listening to a wise friend who doesn't pretend to be wise, and doesn't pretend to know the answers.

A Little Bit Eeyore

While there are certainly suggestions of hope and glimmers of happiness in the story, "Passion" deals largely with some pretty dire subject matter:

She had come on this rock-bottom truth. This lack of hope—genuine, reasonable, and everlasting. (279)

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