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Andre Dubus' "The Curse"
Andre Dubus' short story "The Curse" illustrates one man's inner struggle with guilt. Dubus includes the essential elements necessary to create a successful classic story in that it contains a high emotional level, complication, rising action, and a climax. The story is also successful because it deals with a realistic circumstance.
Mitchell Hayes, as the protagonist, is a very dynamic character. The story revolves around his thoughts and actions. He is also dynamic because the reader watches him transform from a relatively light-hearted, self-assured man to a man unable to escape the guilt that grips him. The complication, or initial conflict, of the story is the raping of a girl by the bikers. Mitchell is held back and therefore prevented from helping her.
Mitchell's inability to accept the fact that he could not have prevented the rape of the girl grows into an obsession, hence the…… [Read More]
Andre Dubus's Meditations From a Movable Chair
The title of Andre Dubus' nonfiction book of spiritual reflections reflects the fact that the author now is stranded in a wheelchair, having lost his mobility in a tragic accident. Ironically, his lost was incurrent when he was extending an act of charity. Dubus was helping some people by the side of the road who were experiencing car trouble, in the effort, he himself was hit by a car. In attempting to make this profound life adjustment, to living life as a 'differently abled' individual from living as a mobile, healthy man, Dubus discusses his new life through the metaphors of the Catholic Church. A father, a divorcee, and a Catholic, his relationship to the Church became conflicted over the course of his adult, he said, but is still present.
One of the three metaphors, along which he structures his text, is…… [Read More]
arfare can change someone in a matter of days, as children were apparently transformed consequent to coming across conditions in Greece and as a result of the fact that their innocence and their child natures were virtually taken away from them once they were recruited. Even with the fact that Fritz struggled to stay a child, he did not manage to do so, as the Nazi system had changed him and made him just like the others-old and authoritarian toward the Greeks.
Symbolism is frequently used through the story to emphasis certain elements that have the role of providing readers with a better understanding of the text. The Greeks were apparently used to relating to bad Germans by using the name Ludwig whereas the good Germans were known by the name of Fritz. However, the German boy's actual name was Fritz, this pointing toward the belief that it was natural…… [Read More]
film "In Bedroom" story "Killings Andre Dobus.
Too Hollywood: "Killings" vs. In The Bed
In all actuality, it would be exceedingly difficult for any feature film to match the emotional depth and breadth of a (good) work of literature. Although Hollywood will claim otherwise, a true story cannot be told with images but with the connotations, the complexities, and the nuances of words, and with words alone. Subsequently, as can be expected anytime anyone attempts to stretch out a 15-page short story (approximately) into a two hours plus (130 minutes) film, there are several inconsistencies between Andre Dubus' short story entitled "Killings" and its feature film adaptation, In The Bedroom. But that's not the primary problem with the latter which, even more so than the short story itself, is a bloated, exceedingly lengthy production high on theatrics and drama and relatively low on emotion and characterization. The primary problem with…… [Read More]
Killings" is set in a blue-collar New England town along the Merrimack. It is a vision of a somewhat isolated community -- outside of time, not supported by a sense of law or order or justice. Murder essentially goes unpunished -- which is why the main character, Matt, takes the "law" into his own hands and murders Strout, the man who killed his son. Matt, used to taking matters into his own hands, as a man from a blue collar town, feels justified in this killing -- just as justified as Strout felt in killing Matt's son, who was sleeping with Strout's estranged wife. hile Strout's killing of Matt was based on passion (Strout's passion to repossess his wife and let no other have her), Matt's killing of Strout is based on grief and a desire for vengeance (his son is dead yet Strout is free to walk the streets…… [Read More]
representation of Death and the impermanence in the short story "A Father's Story" by Andre Dubus, and the poem "Because I could not stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson. These two works were chosen because both speak of Death and impermanence, yet these authors employ different literary forms, characters, settings and plots. "A Father's Story" follows the format of a short story, being prose written in concise paragraphs with a main point or moral and portraying its characters by the way they speak. "Because I could not stop for Death" follows the form of poetry, being structured in shifted lines and using language to evoke imagination or emotion in the reader. In addition, the two writers substantively approach Death very differently. Comparison of these distinct forms shows how writers can make very different styles and statements about Death and impermanence through different devices, including but not limited to the short…… [Read More]
narrative structure common to short stories of the past cannot be found in modern examples of the literary form, and that in short "nothing happens" in modern short stories. hen one examines the modern short story on its own terms, however, exploring the text for what it contains and extracting meaning and action from the words on the page (and the words not on the page), rather than trying to read modern short stories according to the frameworks and preconceptions of the past, it becomes clear that this stance simply doesn't hold water. hile it might be true that a direct narrative structure is less present in modern short stories than in examples from the past, it is far from true that nothing happens in the modern short story. An examination of two canonized and gripping short stories, illiam Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Andre Dubus' "Killings," reveal that…… [Read More]
House of Sand and Fog" book and movie compare and contrast
"House of Sand and Fog" -- comparison between novel and film
Andre Dubus III's novel "House of Sand and Fog" presents a story involving two protagonists who end up in a chain of trouble and deaths as a consequence of fighting over ownership of a house. Kathy Nicolo loses her house to the authorities as a result of an error in the state's tax office and Massoud Behrani, a former Iranian colonel who is exiled, buys the structure with the intention of renewing it and selling it for a higher price. A conflict ensues as Kathy tries to recover her home while Massour is reluctant to give up the building unless he is paid a correct price.
One of the most important differences between the novel and Vadim Perelman's 2003 motion picture House of Sand and Fog involves Lester…… [Read More]
The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad -- as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation:" (such as, one might add, when the writer's sister is raped, as Dubus' Kathryn)
Rather, Jane continues, laws and faith "are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth -- so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane -- quite insane: with my veins running fire,…… [Read More]
Thus, they felt alienated, or lost, from society.
A similar theme of alienation from society is found in the Andre Dubus short story entitled the Fat Girl. This story's alienation from society comes from being fat. In a world where skinny is everywhere, people who do not meet this prototype are ostracized, or feel lost from their community. Interestingly enough, the story opens with "Her name was Louise." (Dubus, p. 1). This tells the reader several things, one being that Louise was and is no longer and, second, that despite her title "The Fat Girl," she does in fact have a real name. Despite this, society, which the reader seems to become a part of, simply sees her as being "the fat girl." Thus, the alienation of Louise starts from the mere title of the story.
Dubus, Andre. The Fat Girl. Adultery and Other Choices. New York: Godine, 1999.…… [Read More]