The Cricket in Times Square

The Cricket in Times Square Literary Elements


Children's Literature

Setting and Context

Times Square Subway Station, New York City

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told in third-person from the point of view of an outside narrator, though it focuses most on the characters of Chester and Mario.

Tone and Mood

The tone and mood are both primarily light and cheerful, as Chester experiences all that New York has to offer for the very first time.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist is Chester, a cricket from Connecticut. There is no physical antagonist.

Major Conflict

The first conflict revolves around the Bellinis' financial situation. Their newsstand is not doing well, and they need some way to make money. Another conflict involves Chester Cricket himself, and whether or not he will be allowed to stay with the Bellinis.


The climax of the story occurs when, after the fire, Chester chirps "Come Back to Sorrento" for Mama Bellini, and she realizes for the first time what kind of talent he truly has.


At the beginning of the novel, many characters repeat the saying that crickets bring good luck, foreshadowing the good luck that will come for the Bellinis when Chester begins his concert. Mario also opens a fortune cookie while visiting Sai Fong that tells him that good luck will soon come his way.




Mr. Smedley, the Bellinis' best customer, alludes to the mythological figure of Orpheus, a musician so talented that the entire world—even inanimate objects—stopped to listen to him. Mr. Smedley calls Chester Cricket a "little black Orpheus" (Chapter 5, pg. 36).


Selden describes the dazzling lights and towering skyscrapers of New York City with vivid imagery. When Chester gets his first glance of Times Square, the scene is described with vivid sentences such as "Reds, blues, greens and yellows flashed down at him" and "It was as if Times Square were a kind of shell, with colors and noises breaking in great waves inside it." (Chapter 4, pg. 29).




Chester's final performance parallels the performances Mr. Smedley describes early in the book, in which Orpheus plays and the world stops to listen. Just like the world stopped for Orpheus, when Chester chirps his final song, Times Square comes to a standstill, listening to him.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



This story centers around animals with humanlike sentiments and abilities. These animals think and reason like humans, and they talk and communicate like humans as well.