When we respond to a piece of writing, in this case a short story/play, there are four aspects we can consider: plot, character, setting and themes.
The plot of this story follows a couple over the course of their relationship, from when they first move in together and buy a dog, to getting married and raising a child, to separation and reconciliation, and eventually to one character’s death.
There are two characters who speak in this story, and another three who are spoken about. The two main characters are only known as ‘Actor’ (although we know his middle name is Eugene) and ‘Actress.’ They have a playful relationship which is the focus of the story. The three other characters are Actor’s mother, the daughter of the two main characters, Eugenia, and their daughter’s partner Tyrone.
The setting of this story is abstract: it does not take place in a location but is in each individual post-it note, and so really the setting could be interpreted as in the characters’ memory. At the end of the story we see that Actress kept all of the post-it notes that Actor ever wrote for her, so we might see the setting as in Actor’s memory as he thinks back on their life together.
The main theme of this story is the evolution of a relationship, and the ways that we can understand the relationship between romantic partners. We can see this in the way that the format of the story distills the communication between the couple down to its barest form. The post-its that the characters read contain the most significant information (the birth of their grandchild, for example) as well as the mundane things that make up the daily events of a relationship (repetition of “we need milk”). This leads the reader to appreciate the depth of the characters’ relationship, and highlights the complexity and layers that exist in domestic partnership.