Analysis of a Story

Analysisof a Story

FromThanksgivingin Mongoliaby Ariel Levy, Levy narrates of her story as a child and ends up hernarration with the time she had a miscarriage. In her narration, shestarts with how she used to play with her father, in the game ofMummy and Explorer, where she used to trade off roles with herfather. As she narrates, it is apparent that she did not like playinghouse, but preferred adventurous games. This sets it clear about heropinion on motherhood. It is also clear that she did not long forchildren since she did not enjoy childhood. In her narrative, Levy iscourageous of providing the audience with a touch of her personallife despite her story being remorseful. The reason for choosing thisLevy’s essay is because of the kind of trouble she underwent in herpast, but still could stand it with a lot of courage. The aim of thispaper is to analyze the different aspects of literature in the story,Thanksgivingin Mongolia.

Fromthe Levy’s narrative, it is apparent that one cannot be who shedoes not want to be. This is clear from the narrative, where Levy isdepicted to move in the opposite direction of the expectations of thereader. It is clear that Levy is unlike other women concerningmotherhood. According to what she informs the reader, she does notwant to be like other women since she desired to be a woman that isfree in doing whatever she chooses ( is this desire to be free unlike other women that leads Levy tochoosing the profession of a writer. Although she did not like tojoin other mothers in starting a family, she lastly starts a familyhowever, she still decides to take one exotic trip. It is in thistrip that she gets a miscarriage. The meaning that is clear from thenarrative is that it is always good to engage in something that isdriven by own wishes since once one gets involved in something thatshe does not want may not end up doing it well. Since Levy loved thewriting profession instead of being like other women, she did notseem to care much about the baby she was carrying but seemed to caremuch about her profession. It is due to this reason that she decidedto go for one last exotic trip.

Thetheme of courageousness is well depicted in the narrative. As thenarrator indicates, she faced her profession with courage from themoment she was a kid. She asserts that she was content when herparents could read for her some words like “the Hobbit”( was at this point that she gathered enough courage and decidedthat writing was the profession she would join, when she grew up.Levy has been depicted to have courage in following her professionsince she was a kid she seems not worried by the loneliness that shecan encounter because of having a foreign surrounding, but she feelscomforted and relieved of the loneliness in case she has a pen and apad for recording her experiences. Her courage is also seen throughthe experience she goes through prior to losing her son throughmiscarriage. Although she was experiencing pain, she was determinedto go on with the interview. Another theme that is evident in thenarrative concerns the theme of motherhood. The theme of motherhoodis depicted in different instances in the narration. For instance,Levy is indicated to be afraid of becoming an awful mother, but shelater decides she would become a mother. Besides, Levy perceived theidea of having a child as a plan for making life as a professionalexplorer as being largely impossible. The theme of motherhood is alsodepicted, when Levy becomes a mother for approximately ten to twentyminutes, when she had a miscarriage.

Themessage that the narration from the Levy wants to pass on to theaudience is that it is a painful experience losing a child throughmiscarriage. Through the experiences of the narrator and that ofother mothers that share with her about miscarriages, it emerges thatit is a humiliating experience that no mother would like to undergoin her life. For instance, after the miscarriage, Levy is seen tolook at the photo she had saved in her phone which gave her thememories of her child that was born prematurely. From the pain sheseems to undergo, it is clear that mothers that experiencesmiscarriage usually hate the experience. Besides, another messagethat can be passed from the narration is that it is exceedinglydifficult to control things that come naturally because some thingsare beyond the control of humans.

Differentcharacters have been mentioned in the story, but just a few can beseen to build on the main ideas in the narration. The main characterin the story is Levy, who is the narrator. Some of the charactersthat have been indicated as being important in the narration includeFather to the narrator, Anne Frank, and spouse to the narrator.Father to the narrator is seen as important in the narration becausehe took part in playing with the narrator, which makes the narratorremember the kind of games she used to play when she was a child.This is indicated in the beginning of the narration, where thenarrator says that she and her father used to play the Mummy andExplorer game, where they used to trade off roles( game would end when the explorer stumbled on to the embalmedpharaoh, who opened his eyes and came to life. This is an importantpart of the narration because this image becomes mirrored later themoment the narrator encounters her prematurely born son. Ann Frankwas another important character because it was in solidarity with herthat the narrator started keeping a diary and made it her confidante. It is this that makes the narrator relieved of loneliness providedshe has a pen and a paper, despite being in a foreign surrounding( the other hand, the spouse to the narrator is also seen as animportant character in the narration because it was through him thatthe theme of motherhood was built involving the narrator. Theincident of the narrator getting pregnant revolves around thischaracter.

Thetone of the story is remorseful. From the start of the narration, thenarrator has been depicted to be different from other women becauseshe wants to have a writing career so that she can have her freedomof doing whatever she chooses. At this point, the narrator is stillundecided on engaging in family matters because she is of the ideathat having a child would prevent her from making her professionalexplorations. However, when she decides of starting a family, shebecomes happy that she is carrying a child. Before even time is duefor giving birth, she ends up getting a premature son that diesleaving her with the pain of having a miscarriage. Different styleshave been used by the narrator in building up the story. One of thestyles that have been used in building up the story is repetition.Repetition has been used severally in the story for example, thenarrator describes his premature son as being “…..very verysmall”. Besides, she says that “……her lips were opening andclosing, opening and closing” ( has also been used in the story, where the narratortalks of “screaming lights” and streets of Athens crawling. Inaddition, similes have also been used in the building of the story.For instance, “having a baby seemed in many ways like the wildesttrip of all”, “baby was pretty as a seashell”, and “it seemedlike magic” (


Fromthe narrator’s point of view, she was struck by awe upon givingbirth to a premature child. This is an indication of the pain thatsuch mothers that give birth to premature kids undergo. Through herstory, one can feel sorry for the mothers that end up giving birthprematurely. However, they need to have courage because they cannotbe in a position to control nature and all things that happen out oftheir desire. Every mother may need to have a child to call hers, butshe cannot be in a position to beat nature. Therefore, it is alwaysgood to give thanksgivings to whatever one has achieved in life.


Levy,Ariel. ThanksGivingin Mongolia: Adventure and heartbreak at the edge of the earth.The New Yorker, Nov. 18th2013. Retrieved from

Related Posts

© All Right Reserved