Pale Horse, Pale Rider

by Katherine Anne Porter

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I need to do a 3 minute presentation on the short story, "Pale Horse, Pale Rider". I need to include a short story analysis and a discussion of how you think the authors background may have influenced this particular story. Can I get some help? I don't know where to start. 

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In a presentation of any story, offering background on the author might be helpful.  Being able to explain how the author's own experiences might have helped to develop a particular narrative can be a good way to create an effective transition to what is happening in the novel.  In this case, Porter's own life serves as an effective means to illuminate aspects of the novella.

I think that one part of the author's background that should be discussed is that her own experiences are featured in the work.  Like Miranda, Porter was afflicted with the flu.  She struggled with it mightily, reflecting the strength of the virus in the novella.  In the midst of this struggle, Porter was in love with a lieutenant.  In Porter's life and Miranda's experiences, a shared reality is love in the time of influenza.  Porter's work serves as way to communicate her own struggles with death and the love that emerged during this time.

In a presentation about "Pale Horse, Pale Rider," establishing this part of Porter's background is very important.  I think that doing so can help to explain how Porter's own autobiography influenced the story.  A presentation on Powerpoint, for example, can establish this in three or four slides.  Then, the subsequent portions of the presentation can be spent on plot elements and thematic development.  These would be rooted in Porter's own background, which lends credence to what is being discussed.  In this light, Porter's own life helped to play a major role in the work.  In analyzing it, there has to be attention given to Porter's own narrative that influenced it.  The way in which Porter struggled with her own "pale horse, pale rider" occupies central importance to the novella, something that can be illuminated in a presentation.

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