The theme of “Nobody Listens When I Talk” is the adolescent angst of not fitting into neat, expected gender roles as well as not yet knowing one’s identity. The narrator is Marilyn, a sixteen-year-old girl who feels like she doesn’t “fit anywhere right now.” This story explores the frustration and complexity of an evolving self-identity.
Author Annette Sanford uses first-person narration to emphasize this theme. The entire story is told from Marilyn’s point of view, so readers see her observations and learn her thoughts directly. She barely speaks, and what she says is not what she really thinks as she ponders the frustration and complexities of her evolving self-identity. She doesn’t speak her thoughts out loud to other characters because “Who would listen?”
Plot arrangement or structure also supports this theme; it mixes present-day external action and internal thought with both past and stream-of-consciousness thoughts. The story uses one summer day (from day to...
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