At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald (notes)

This short story is about a man and his wife’s life. Mr. Tanner meets with Kitty at a store and they get married. When Tanner learns that Kitty is pregnant, he gets surprised. He starts to do some calculations about the big day. He goes to the doctor and asks him about life statistics. Then he buys some pigeons to call the doctor. When the big day comes, Tanner gets excited and at that time their neighbour Brinkman comes. Brinkman is a man who is very lonely and isolated. He is interested in women also. After that, Tanner manages to born the baby. Unfortunetly, he throws the second baby away. The doctor comes and saves the second baby. and Tanner hangs his motto on his wall, “Throw Nothing Away”.


Mr. Tanner:

  • worried
  • anxious
  • apprehensive
  • distressed
  • restless
  • fearful
  • cautious
  • uneasy
  • loving


  • placid
  • tranquil
  • calm
  • quiet,
  • peaceful
  • strong


  • self centered
  • selfish
  • calm
  • carefree
  • reckless
  • absorbed
  • lonely
  • isolated
  • desperate


Fitzgerald’s narration is very inportant. It is a third person limited narration which we can not understand any deeper feelings of the characters. The narration becomes first person narration because the author wants to explain a story about Tanner and Kitty in a believeable way.

Author’s word choice is very important. Doctor’s movements and characters actions explained with this.

Also the attitudes of the characters are portrayed so well that the reader feels like the story is real.


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