The role of analysis in life story research has been questioned. If, as Thomas and Znaniecki (1958) argue, stories constitute the perfect sociological material, then why the need to analyse? Whittemore, Langness and Koegel (1986) and Booth and Booth (1994) debate whether or not analysing actually works against the key aims of storytelling; to bring the disappearing individual back into social theory. For too long, they muse, social theory has created structuralist versions of the world that hold no place for the subjective realities of social members. In contrast, good stories provide vivid individual accounts of personal experience that implicitly disclose underlying socio-structural relations (Bertaux, 1981). To analyse stories takes away ownership of the primary narrators and masks the qualities of a narrative with the abstract interpretations of the theorist. The best stories are those which stir people’s minds, hearts and souls, and by doing so give them new insights into themselves, their problems and their human condition (Mitroff and Kilman 1978, p. 83).