The Storyteller

The Storyteller Study Guide

The Storyteller is one of the best-known short stories written by Saki, the pen name of author H. H. Munro. It was first published in 1897; as was customary at the time, it was published in newspapers before its publication in a collection of short stories. In the story, three young children are on a trip with their aunt by train; they are joined in the train car by a man traveling alone. The aunt is not able to control the children, though she tries to do so by telling a story that they find boring. To quiet the children, the bachelor tells an interesting story, though the aunt finds it inappropriate for children. The story reflects Saki's own life experiences and beliefs about raising children, since the author's father sent him and his siblings to live with an aunt after the death of their mother. Many of the symbols and themes in the story are ones employed often by Saki, including the conventions of Edwardian England, questioning authority, and animals eating people.