58 pages 1 hour read

Morley Callaghan

All the Years of Her Life

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1936

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Literary Devices

Point of View

Narrative point of view refers to the perspective a story’s narrator takes—e.g., first person, third person, etc. Callaghan’s “All the Years of her Life” uses third-person limited narration, depicting events through Alfred Higgins’s eyes. This choice not only highlights Alfred’s immature characterization but also supports the related themes of The Development of Empathy and The True Meaning of Maturity. Readers come to understand the story’s circumstances and its other characters based on how Alfred sees them, which is mostly as either helps or hindrances to himself. This narrative point of view also helps to build suspense and add impact to the story’s concluding scene; while readers may read between the lines and guess that Alfred’s view of his mother is incomplete, they’re unlikely to recognize the full weight of her anxiety and sadness until Alfred himself does.


Contrast is a literary device in which a writer highlights differences between characters, scenes, settings, ideas, etc. This is usually done to show or teach something concerning the significance of these differences. Contrast may be either explicit (e.g., point-by-point) or implicit.

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By Morley Callaghan

Plot Summary


More Joy in Heaven

Morley Callaghan

More Joy in Heaven

Morley Callaghan