Literary Analysis Essay on Standard Loneliness Package

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1948 Words
Date:  2022-10-29


The American novelist Charles Yu was born in 1976 in Los Angeles and is a 21-century Taiwanese American writer. His home-based Santa Monica California lives with his wife Michelle, and two children. Also, his brother Kelvin Yu is the actor and TV writer.n Also, Charles Yu is graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia Law School. In his arts of work as the author of the novel "How to Live safely in a Science Fictional Universe" and collection of short story. "Sorry Please Thank You and Third Class Superhero." Moreover, his fiction has published a good number of magazines and literary journals, e.g., Harvard Review, Oxford American, The New Yorker and his citation Prize Pushcart.

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Through his works, Charles Yu received the 2004 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award for his story, "Third Class Superhero." Again, in 2007, he was picked by National Book Foundation as "5 under 35" because his work was exciting and promising therefore selected for the honor by Richard Power. One of the achievements he counted on was his first novel, "How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" ranked the annually second best science fiction novel by " University of Kansas, Center for the Study of Science Fictional Universe .

Regarding his fiction "Standard loneliness package" Charles Yu exhibits the characteristic of post-independence "World literature" which has some elements of Modernism and romanticism period. It's where characters display the breakup of traditional norms with a careless attitude. In contrary, they embrace strong emotional feeling as a source of experience of the narrator's inner world, imagination, self-expression, and individual beliefs.

The fiction story "Standard loneliness package," is the 2010 science fiction short story by Charles Yu. The story is about a young man doing the job in the office in India whose work description is to experience other people's painful emotions for a price, outsourced by rich and mighty class of residents in the society. It depicts how the author displays the form of negative human experiences used by other human beings and the wicked satirical that encompass the society of the narrator. From the story, it observed in the current and modern social norms have changed over time in the sense that the author gives us the kind of the immoral and rotten society that the characters in this story portray.

Generation Gap and Changing Societal Norms

First, the story shows how the generation gap can affect the emotions and responses of the characters. In this regard, we find that the young generation is no longer care about the expectation of them. The older generation expects much from, the younger generation, in shaping their life to be meaningful and comfortable, however, they end up being demoralized by the young age with their carefree attitude, for instances, the generation gap in this particular story manifested when in the last moments of grandfather life he expects to be taken care by family (his grandson). However, the change of modern societal norms makes grandson transfer his grief to his "surrogate negativity."The same horrifies the helpless grandfather as he anticipates his grandson to be present in this important part of his life. The grandfather becomes discouraged only after realizing that the narrator is there on behalf of the grandson. Also, the protagonist notices that the grandfather hurt in failure to find his grandson. It proves the existence of generation gap within the culture in this particular society.

Technological Influence on Society

Secondly, the author in this story categorically takes on the influences of technology in the society and the impacts that can bring. It made us believe that technology can alter the way society operates, regards to the values and norms of the same society. Thus, from his point of art technologies supersede the morals and operation of the community such that people then to replace it with a respected and essential virtual of society preferably to technology.

It evident in the story, how people can neglect their calls for responsibility and vital events in the society because of technology. For example, the grandson chooses to take advantage of the available piece of technology significant to him and avoid his responsibility. Instead, the grandson sees nothing strange having another person paid to feel his negative experiences for him. In contrast, the decision hurts the grandfather when notice his grandson can't be physically present in his last moments, but the stranger was taking his position.

Social Class and Its Effect on Social Life

Also, the story describes how about class different (low and high) affect social life among the people. The range between rich and poor is wide such that the poor decides to work with pressure and a lot of struggle to satisfy their daily needs of life. They believe that when someone is wealthy and has money his/her life is comfortable, pretty and affording good clothes even at the funerals. The narrator describes that in the funeral he pretends to be having a car like rich people thought he has none, but he treads for along distance. Usually, their manager always remind them where they are in the spectrum by his common phrase "I tell you, he says, of where we are on the range? (Charles Yu, 2010)Regarding low-end/high-end?. An expression has some meaning, the poor by telling them to work hard for them to be rich like others. Moreover, from observation of the story, the narrator seems to be struggling for getting money just because he belongs to low-class profile hence the company receives the enormous amount of money, but he does a lot of work in the expense.

Furthermore, the story reveals the condition of frustration and suffering among the characters in this society, as a matter of fact, the narrator tell us about gets pain for money such that he takes odd jobs for crying on behalf of clients. He admits that the position is to torture him since he walks long distance by foot and he doesn't have a car like other. Thus, it enough justification in this society that the story represents people who are frustrated such that they can take unworthy and unrespect jobs for the need for money. Most of the people can be turned quickly to be slaves not by their will, but just because of the high demand for cash hence end up doing anything they come across without considering ethics.

Love and Communication in Relationships

Towards the end of the story, the author expresses thematic of love between the narrator and the character Kirthi. Narrator desire to develop love toward Kirthi which she didn't reciprocate at first but in the long run, she complies. It implies love is supposed to be two people affairs who are will to cooperate to make it successful. In this case, the narrator only takes the devotion to high notch with no return. Also when the father of Kirthi died the narrator was in a dilemma if to attend or not. For a matter of fact, the story addresses the importance of communication is a critical element in the relationship, to be fruitful and enjoyable by both parties communication must be exercised by all parties.The Theme of Death and Loneliness

The Theme of Death and Loneliness

As the narrator describes how she will miss her when he discovers that they won't meet again these justify the author's title standard loneliness package. He only thinks about her and imagines if she also thinks about him in return. The author uses the comparison and contrast as we see the theme of death in the story is common phenomena. Through the narrator we see how the grandfather in his deathbed suffers without consideration from his grandson, it proves a lot of rejection from the love ones. In the other part, we find when the father of Kirthi dies she stand with him. She also invites the narrator to accompany her while going to see the farther. She shows a great sense of responsibility as compared to the grandson who sent someone on his behalf. Both extremists create a better understanding to the reader and have a substantive conclusion at the end.

The author successfully portrays the style of suspension where the two lovers separated when their love was romantically high. This style will cultivate unpredictable mood in the mind of the reader, so that s/he will develop a variety of images in the brain which assist in the comprehension of the story. Also, the style of vivid description is elaborated in the story when the narrator says," She is staring at a picture we took-the only picture we took together, in a photo booth in the drugstore. Our faces smashed together, and in the picture, she is not smiling, as usual, and I am smiling" (Charles Yu, 2010) - the style used to give to a reader a clear picture of the reader. It assists in proper understanding and interpretation of the story hence make the reader see two lovers at the special moments.

However, the absurd nature in this story is employed when the narrator tells the story about his father; he narrates that his mother says that his father one morning prepare himself well so that he could go and sold himself. This story uses to develop some absurdity mood in the reader's mind and think of the unimaginable things of human being activities as compared with a real-life situation.


In conclusion, the author displays his arts clearly by developing various stories in this fiction that depicts how society could function differently. This is done by exploring many thematics concerns, style, and literary works. It allowing us to imagine the future, how it looks like and the way we want it to be as we consider ways to work and achieve it. Most importantly makes readers aware of future as s/he wish to avoid or help to prevent it


Yu, Charles. "Standard Loneliness Package." Lightspeed Magazine. N.P., Nov. 2010 Web. 10 Dec. 2018.

TWO. A Sacred Terror: Love, Death, and Change in James' Early Fiction." Love and the Quest for Identity the Fiction of Henry James (2017): n. Pag. Print

Botting, Fred. "Zombie Death Drive: Between Gothic and Science Fiction." Gothic Science Fiction 1980-2010 (2011): 36-54. Print.

Stephenson, Marcia C. "Book Review: Women, Guerrillas, and Love: Understanding War in Central America." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 44.4 (1998): 1021-1023. Print.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Essay:

How does Charles Yu explore the theme of generation gap in his fiction "Standard Loneliness Package"?

In this story, the generation gap is illustrated through expectations from older to younger generations and attitudes versus carefree attitudes between generations. For instance, in one scene from the story where Grandpa wants his grandson present during his final moments but instead transfers his grief elsewhere; this highlights changing societal norms and generations that feel estranged from each other.

What role does technology play in the society depicted in "Standard Loneliness Package"?

Charles Yu investigates the influence of technology on society through this tale. Under its influence, one character chooses to avoid his responsibilities by hiring another individual to experience negative feelings for them instead. This shows how technology can replace traditional values while disrupting interpersonal connections.

How does Charles Yu address the theme of social class in "Standard Loneliness Package"?

The story highlights a stark dichotomy between low and high social classes. Poor characters in the story struggle to meet daily needs while working under immense pressure, while their narrator pretends he has a car but actually walks a significant distance during a funeral service; this highlights both classes' disparate experiences as well as those from lower social classes who must endure hardships more intensely than those from upper social classes.

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