The Truth About Sharks By Joan Bauer Analysis

1166 Words5 Pages
In the short story “The Truth About Sharks”, author Joan Bauer creates a very strong interpretation of a bold main character named Beth, who is accused of shoplifting at a local store. Although she is faced with a very strong security guard, she stands up to her to get what she wants by telling the truth. Bauer uses character development, symbolism, and conflict, both internal and external, to explain Beth’s journey. Analysis of literary devices made in “The Truth About Sharks” reveal how Bauer makes a subtle connection between the character and the reader which creates a connection with the theme which is one should always stand up for what one believes is the truth, even when the odds are stacked against it. Bauer’s use of character development…show more content…
The title, “The Truth About Sharks”, makes a connection between little fish and sharks with Beth and Madge. Beth, just a teenager, is faced against Madge, who is the “stocky, stern” security guard at Mitchell Gail’s. This symbolism shows Beth as the little fish who usually doesn’t stand up for herself and Madge as the shark, who is intimidating and strong. Bauer creates this connection with the title, which the reader begins to realize when Madge accuses Beth of stealing. Another connection Bauer makes with symbolism in this short story is the symbol of the black pants that Beth is looking for. Beth starts out with a pair of black jeans “hopelessly stained by guacamole dip that was dumped on (her)”, then goes through a very eventful journey to get a new pair, and ends with a new pair, and new other things too. The black pants serve as a symbol in the story because Beth, similar to the black pants, starts out unconfident and damaged and ends a new person who is confident and empowered, similar to the transition between the old and new black pants. Overall, symbolism plays a large part in the story, and contributes largely to the theme Bauer sets throughout the
Open Document