The star by alasdair gray
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Short story course analysis of a short story called the Star that is written by a great writer and artist called Alasdair Gray. The story discusses and highlights several social problems that children suffer from in daily basis, such as poverty, maltreatment, children labor, children abuse, etc...

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Presentation Transcript
The star by alasdair gray


Prepared by: Ahmed Issa El Qattawi

Supervised by: Dr. Sami El Braim


  • Brief biography of the author.

  • Summary.

  • Plot summary.

  • Characters.

  • Characteristic of Cameron.

  • Best quotations.

  • Settings.

  • Symbolism.

  • Themes.

  • Conclusion

Author s biography

  • Alasdair Gray is a Scottish writer and artist.

  • He was born on 28th December 1934.

  • His most acclaimed work is his first novel, Lanark.

  • Gray’s work combine elements of realism, fantasy and science fiction, plus clever use of typography and his own illustration.

  • One of his fascinating quotations is: “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.”


  • The story is about a boy named Cameron, who sees a star falling down. He goes to the place where the star was fallen and takes the star with him and then put it in his pocket. The star is cold, but whenever he touches the star, then he feels relaxed and relieved. Every time when he feels lonely or upset, he keeps the star out and takes a glance on it.


  • Once, he keeps the star in the school out, the teacher notice it and order Cameron firmly to give it to him, but Cameron all of a sudden decide to swallow the star thinking he would be one of them and then he lost consciousness.

Plot summary

  • Cameron was a daydreamer boy who seems to be always introvert and neglected, and so he thought the idea of creating a new identity of him in an imaginary world is much better than living in a bitter one where nobody support him or even take care of him and by doing that he would enjoy living a delightful life and run away from his obstacles and problems he faces in the real life of his own.


  • Major characters:

  • Cameron the main character.

  • Minor characters:

  • Thestar.

  • His Parents.

  • His brother.

  • His teacher at school.

  • His classmates in the same class.

Characteristics of cameron

  • Cameron is a young boy, who lives with his brother and parents. He goes to school and has not many friends. His parents are often self-employed and so he feels often lonely. Cameron is a daydreamer. He sit in front of the window once in a while and looks out. He sounds a timid person. When he keeps the star out, he is relieved. The star is his secret and not a soul knows about it.

Best quotations

  • “A star had fallen beyond the horizon, in Canada perhaps( he had an aunt in Canada).” that indicates he is a daydreamer.

  • “He said in a small voice, “Am gawn out.”- shows he is timid (shy).

Best quotations1
Best quotations

  • “He slipped through the lobby and onto the stair head, banging the door after him.”- means he is resentful( feeling bad).

  • “A second star had fallen Beyond the iron works.”- describing his poverty.

  • “A precious bit of green and yellow velvet(smoothness).”- describing an imaginary world where he feels secure.

Best quotations2
Best quotations

  • “At school one afternoon he decided to take a quick look…”- means that students feelbored and tired.

  • “He was at the back of his class room in a desk by himself”.- indicates he feels lonely and has no friends.

  • “All heads were bowed over books..”- shows the maltreatment of his teacher.


  • Time: almost two weeks.

  • Place: At home and school.

  • Whether conditions: Cold night.

  • Social conditions:

  • Poverty.

  • Loneliness and negligence.

  • Teacher’s maltreatment.

  • Introversion and not speaking to anybody.

  • Mood or atmosphere: a cheerful and bright feeling is created at the beginning of the story.


  • Cameron, who is a symbol on behalf of the rest of the children who live all over the world in despair and loneliness.

  • His parents: represent the irresponsibility towards their children.

  • Teacher: represents the overbearing and tough authority used as a system at school.

  • Star: Glass marble is a symbol of an imaginative world for children, who have social and psychological problems in life.


  • Conveying a significant message to the reader which is that our parents should be playing an important role in our life who can fix our problems that we encounter in life.

  • Shedding the light upon our teachers who should be part in supporting the student and give a hand whenever needed and not encouraging maltreatment.

  • Poverty is a major cause of social tensions and threatens to divide a nation because of the issue of inequalities, in particular income inequality.


  • Negligence and loneliness that reflect a shaking personality and being an introvert would shrink your ability to communicate and socialize with people around; therefore, you need to contribute in making a difference by socializing in your community for your own good.


  • The message that is conveyed so far after explaining the previous elements of the story is:

  • To highlight the importance of family relationship and its bright effect on children.

  • To pinpoint how teachers should deal with all students based on understanding and giving a second chance.

  • To reflect children’s nature of living a bitter life such as, children labor, children abuse, school maltreatment, and poverty.

Thanks for paying attention