Sunstroke: Selected Stories of Ivan Bunin Literary Elements

Sunstroke: Selected Stories of Ivan Bunin Literary Elements


A short story, narrative

Setting and Context

The actions take place on the Volga river, and in unnamed resort town on its bank.

Narrator and Point of View

The third person narration

Tone and Mood

The tone overall is romantic, but when the main hero realizes that he has fallen in love the tone becomes sorrow and depressing

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonists are the lieutenant and a stranger woman, the antagonist is love that has captured the man and made him suffer

Major Conflict

The major conflict stands in inability to deafen the feelings, and in absence of an opportunity for these two people to be together


Climax happens when the lieutenant sees the lovely stranger off the landing


The fact that the woman is married and has a daughter foreshadows that there nothing can happen between them in future


No manes of the main characters are given, as well as woman’s emotions and feeling are not described. The reader does not know how she treats this adventure, and it is difficult to judge her because of absence of these data


The story alludes to some resort towns in Russia, like Yalta, Anapa.


When the main hero returns to the room where they have spent the night together, everything around reminds him of her. The smell of her perfume, unfinished cup of coffee makes him ache, and provokes sensual feelings.


The paradox of the story is that love, which is supposed to bring pleasure and happiness, brings nothing but sorrow, grief and hurts people



Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author uses sometimes metonymies to add stylistic coloring to the plot: “he gathered his last bits of strength”, “the room has already been stripped of the last traces of her”


In the story “lots of multi-colored lights dotted the river and white ones dangled on the masts of the approaching steamer”

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