Summary of the shorty story 'Chemistry' by Graham Swift

This document summarises Chemistry (by Graham Swift), the short story which you are required to study, should you be taking English Literature.

There is information about the author, the narrative, the setting, the structure, the themes, the characters and the style. It is a very useful document to help you should you be required to compare this short story in the exam.

I have also attached a work-sheet which you should complete once you have read through and made notes on the story. This has blank spaces where you should write your answers. These are very easy and the answers can be found within the text.

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The Author

Graham Swift was born in London in 1949. He studied at Cambridge and York universities. Much of
his writing is about ordinary people, dealing with relationships, family and death.


Chemistry depicts the relationship between a young boy, his mother, his grandfather and the
mother's partner.. following…

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represents one of the themes of the story: people, relationships and life change, but the elements of
each, do not.


Childhood and family relationships
How relationships change
Male and female relationships
Different generations.
Role reversal.


The boy has many loses to face ­ the deaths of his father,…

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Chemistry (Graham Swift)

The first section shows the _________ relationship the narrator shares with his Grandfather.

This all _________ after the seemly unsinkable boat (which is a _________ for the _________ between the
grandfather and the boy) they sail sinks representing the death of ________________.

________ is an unpleasant figure…

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