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Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
The meaning of Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'
"It isn't fair, it isn't right." These are the last words expressed by the victim in Shirley Jackson's short story 'The Lottery', which provides a unique but shocking perspective of the innate evil that is part of human nature. The story starts off by describing a town scene that could not be more commonplace or predictable. The descriptions provided by Jackson elicit a sense of familiarity and normalcy that convince the reader that the happenings of the story are possible and maybe even probable. The lottery in the story is seen as just another community event coordinated by Mr. Summers, along with "the square dances, the teen club, [and the] Halloween program." The tradition and routine of the lottery is indicated through the way that "the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten…… [Read More]
The use of first person narration in T. Coraghessan Boyle's short story "Achates McNeil" is profoundly important in the effectiveness of the story, and critical to the story's ultimate success. First person narration allows the reader to sympathize with the narrator's anguish, and to see the events of the story clearly through Ake's eyes.
In the story, Achates, or Ake (as he calls himself) gives the reader direct access his thoughts, feelings and experiences. He is directly speaking to us, and his insights tell the reader directly what to think about the events of his life and his attitudes about these events. Ake's personality directly plays into the telling of his story, and it is the flavor of his personality that is important in creating a meaningful experience for the reader.
The characterization of the protagonist in Achates McNeil is highly dependent on the point-of-view chosen by Boyle.…… [Read More]
Brownies is a short story showing the importance of point-of-view. The racial point-of-view of the young black girls in the narrator's Brownies troop is important because it influences how they interpret and respond to situations. Each group member's point-of-view within the group is also important because it influences them as leaders, intimidators, followers, allies and independent thinkers. Though "Brownies" could be read as a simple short story about a childhood memory, it actually addresses the importance of peoples' points-of-view.
"Brownies" is a short story about an incident that took place at Camp Crescendo when the author was a Brownie. The story certainly belongs in a book chapter called "Point-of-View" because the story gives us a group of young black girls' point-of-view. "The Brownies" is a youth organization for grade school girls who are younger than "Girl Scouts." All the girls in the author's Brownie Troop are black and some of…… [Read More]
George Orwells short story "Shooting Elephant"
Henry Louis Gates' "hat's in a name" versus George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant"
Henry Louis Gates' essay "hat's in a name" and George Orwell's short story "Shooting an Elephant" both present central characters who are part of a minority group present in a society that is inclined to discriminate them. Orwell is the narrator in his short story and he discusses in regard to an incident in Burma where he is influenced to act against his principles with the purpose of having locals appreciate him. Gates is also the narrator in his essay, but his writing is actually meant to emphasize that it is perfectly normal to someone to feel angry as a result of being discriminated. Both of these individuals put across stories presenting themselves in worlds that they apparently do not belong to, but they use different strategies with the purpose of…… [Read More]
Edgar Allen Poe's 1843 short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is about a young man who becomes mortally obsessed with an old man's creepy eye and ultimately kills him. Thomas Hardy's 1902 poem "The Man He Killed" is about a soldier who has become used to killing people just because they are on the other side of the war. Both of these narratives lend insight into guilt related to death, told by a person who is self-aware enough to tell the story in a first person narrative. Moreover, both of these stories have a similarly suspenseful tone that accompanies imagery of death and murder. Although one is a short story and the other a poem, Poe and Hardy also rely on a similar plot structure in which the narrator relates how and why he killed another man rather arbitrarily. In spite of these core similarities, there are also strong differences between…… [Read More]
Shourt story. The structure short story shuld include 1) Exposition 2)Complication 3) climax 4) Resoluttion on article Exposition, complication, climax stated, I continue short story explanation 800 words resolution .
"You're perfect! You're probably everything a normal man would wish for. But I'm not normal and I am not worthy of your love, my beautiful." He paused and raised his eyes as he was now facing her directly and sent chills through her spine as a result of his powerful gaze.
She was anxious about finding out what was wrong, but it was also as if she wanted to turn back time or wake up from a nightmare, as she kept repeating to herself inside her head "This is not happening, I must be dreaming and if I pinch myself everything will go away. This is the most important person in my life and he would not do something that…… [Read More]
Kate Chopin, author of "The Story of an Hour"
Kate Chopin was born Kate O'Flaherty in 1850, in St. Louis, Missouri (Clarke 1). Chopin's mother was of French extraction and the young Kate grew up in a bilingual household. Chopin's household was also bicultural, encompassing both the cultures of north and south: both supporters of slavery and anti-slavery advocates lived in Missouri; Chopin's family kept slaves and her half-brother fought on the Confederate side during the Civil ar (Clarke 1). Kate's father was killed in a railroad accident when she was young, a feature which Chopin was later to deploy in "The Story of an Hour" in which the heroine Mrs. Mallard falsely -- and with surprising joy -- believes that her husband has been killed in a train wreck (Clarke 1).
Chopin married her husband Oscar Chopin when she was twenty. After a tour of Europe, the Chopins settled…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver's short story "The Cathedral" develops the theme of seeing the world clearly by using rich symbolism, irony, character development, and a postmodern tone and style. The blind man represents an unconventional mode of perception. ithout a fundamental sensory input, the blind man relies on alternative methods of acquiring information and especially of interacting with others. His sightlessness at first bothers the narrator, but by the end of the story, the narrator has become transformed by the experience of closing his eyes to receive the more dramatic wisdom within. Therefore, being blind ironically symbolizes being able to see.
Irony is a central literary element in "The Cathedral," allowing Carver to develop the core theme of how to perceive reality with honesty and vision. Interestingly, smoking pot ironically imparts a sense of clarity to the narrator and the blind man. The drug opens up pathways of communication between the…… [Read More]
This short story by Langston Hughes weaves a number of tragic and regrettable stories -- and themes -- within the tapestry of the central story line. But Hughes also gives the reader a reason to believe that an African-American maid and cook can tower over white folks in tough times by the sheer will of her personality. The iconic poet and author creates a setting in which the images of black and white are distinct and psychologically, socially, and culturally juxtaposed in an interesting way that is also full of racial and social tensions. hen you write a story in which the protagonist is a member of the only African-American family in a small nondescript Mid-western town, who is employed as a maid and cook by an upper class white family, there are endless opportunities for conflict, irony, and even tragedy.
Approaching this story critically one has to…… [Read More]
Raymond Carver's short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" (Carver, 1981) were to be encapsulated in a single statement: What we talk about when we talk about love is really a mirror to our personalities and our characters. This is more than evident in Carver's description of two couples' conversation during an afternoon spent drinking gin prior to going out to dinner. In fact, considering that love involves more than one person, the conversations in the short story may have nothing to do with love at all. It meanders (while retaining dramatic heights and depths) and then peters out to nothing because none of us (at least none of the characters) really know what love is.
The conversation involves two couples. The protagonist is Nick who is happily married to Laura; they are at the home of a cardiologist, Mel Guinness, and his wife Terri (Teresa).…… [Read More]
Like many other feminist short stories that emerged around the turn of the century, Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” sharply critiques patriarchal gender roles and norms. Called a “small feminist classic” by literary critics, “A Jury of Her Peers” was published in 1917, several years before women in the United States could vote in public elections. Glaspell’s story shows how women use whatever means possible to reassert themselves and take back their power. Feminist criticism takes an analysis of “A Jury of Her Peers” a step further by showing the multiple ways patriarchal power is meted out, but also subverted by conscientious actors. Protagonist Martha Hale and her friend Mrs. Peters accompany their husbands to a crime scene. Seeing that the perpetrator of the crime is an abused woman, Martha Hale and Mrs. Peters decide together to hide a crucial piece of evidence that would have incriminated Minnie.…… [Read More]
Short stories are poignant pieces of literature, as pithy and powerful as poetry but in a more straightforward and relatable package. Like poetry, a short story relies on literary devices like symbolism and imagery, characterization and setting, to convey the author’s themes. Also like poetry, the short story reflects the cultural and historical context in which it was written. While the canon of American literature is rich with examples of iconic, enduring short stories with the timeless qualities that have allowed them to rise to the status of being classics, there are a few that have risen higher than the others, and among those few there is one that is superior to all others. That exemplary short story is Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path,” which uses characterization, setting, and symbolism to capture the themes of faith and perseverance.
In an exemplary short story, setting becomes like a character with a…… [Read More]
Women in Society
John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” and James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” tell two very different stories about two very different people—but both share one thing in common, which is each conveys a sense of what women in society are like. Steinbeck’s short story is naturally more sympathetic and empathetic, as the main character of the story is a woman, who is aching for affection and tempted to stray from her husband by a deceitful wanderer. James Thurber’s short story focuses mainly on a bored married man, who disappears into daydreams while awaiting orders from his wife. This paper will compare and contrast the portrayal of women in society by Steinbeck and Thurber and show how an aching disconnect exists between women and their men.
In “Walter Mitty,” Mrs. Mitty is depicted as somewhat of a boring old nag, constantly chiding her husband for his seeming…… [Read More]
Analysis of “Thanks Giving in Mongolia” by Ariel Levy
The writer opens up the short story by reminiscing over the other trips and journeys she had made in other parts of the world. The bliss of the adventures while she wrote notes and the details of the journeys were her central points. She comes out as one who loves to celebrate and appreciate any little thing she had. She then goes on to focus on the main point of the story which was her trip in Mongolia during thanks giving. It started well, good arrival and reception, happy commencement of her coverage of the story on mining and the economy of Mongolia. However, things changes and she started developing discomforts. These discomforts from her pregnant condition ended up occasioning her miscarriage of the baby. She did not want to believe that the fetus would not survive and held onto the…… [Read More]
The readings I enjoyed the most were James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” and Sherman Alexie’s “The Reservation Cab Driver.” Each of these readings was different. The Baldwin and O’Connor readings were short stories and the Alexie reading was a poem—but I felt like each one spoke to me in a meaningful way, and that is why I liked them best. “Sonny’s Blues” made me think about the special connection that brothers have even when they do not understand each other very well. I was happy to read this story as it concluded with an empathetic scene in which the narrator finally begins to understand Sonny and sympathize with him. O’Connor’s short story was different in that it really troubled me—and I could not get it out of my mind. I often found myself thinking about the characters, the mother and Julian and…… [Read More]
After reading the short story, “Everyday Use”, one can get the impression that educational backgrounds can affect the way an individual will grow up. The narrator’s education did not go far because in second grade, because her school closed. Therefore, she grew up working instead of learning to be able to take care of herself and her children. On the other hand, her daughter, Dee, grew up with education and went on to college. Because of their different backgrounds of education, their relationship with each other is not as close and the relationship between the narrator and Maggie. Dee seems to look down on her mother and sister because they did not have as much education as she does. The narrator said “She would read to us with pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice. She washed us in…… [Read More]
Mallard locks herself in her room and looks to nature for consolation, a situation that seems to dissolve the tension that she was subjected to, and Mrs. Sommers goes on a shopping and fun spree that ends up in the movie theatre. Finally at the end of the three stories there seems to be a successfully resolved situation for the tension that was, Calixta seems at peace with the family and she even does not quarrel the husband as was the norm (and the husband expected it), Mrs. Mallard though dies, she dies a happy woman of 'the joy that kills' and Mrs. Sommers seems satisfied with her day out where she had maximum fun and bought all she wanted (Jennifer Heeden, 2011).
Esther Lombardi, (2011). 'The Storm' - Short Story. Kate Chopin's Famous Short Story - Classic
Text. etrieved December 30, 2011 from http://classiclit.about.com/od/stormkatechopin/a/aa_thestorm_kchopin_2.htm
Jennifer Heeden, (2011). A…… [Read More]
She also learns, too late, that the jewels and the life she coveted so long ago was a sham. Hence, the symbolic nature of the necklace itself -- although it appears to have great value, it is in fact only real in appearance, not in reality and the heroine is incapable of assessing the false necklace's true worth.
The tale of "The Necklace" conveys the moral that what is real, the replacement she returned to Madame Forstier, can be won not with beauty but with hard work, sweat, and toil. Like "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Necklace" revolves around the use of irony and a single, symbolic element, exemplified in the title object that works throughout the tale, using the literary device of irony, to reveal the protagonist's moral character. That final revelation engineered by the title object makes the story compelling, even if both protagonists may seem morally repugnant. The…… [Read More]
Promised Land/Black Girl
Ousmane Sembene's short story "The Promised Land," which was later adapted into a film called Black Girl, asks its audience to step into the life and subjectivity of a young Senegalese woman working in France, and attempts to demonstrate the isolation and persecution she experiences. The story opens with police arriving at the villa where the main character, Diouana, has killed herself, and immediately the story reveals the distinct divide between the French and Diouana, as nearly everyone calls her "the black woman" (Sembene 85). From this introduction, Sembene returns to Diouana's origins and traces how she went from an excited young woman to a disillusioned and ultimately suicidal servant, and the result is a tragic, though ultimately enlightening look at the ramifications of colonialism and the implicit racism it leaves as a legacy. Even though it was first published in 1974, the story is still relevant…… [Read More]
Ann Packer's short story "Horse" with Geoffrey Becker's "El Diablo de la Cienega."
Comparison and Contrast -- Ann Packer's short story "Horse" versus Geoffrey Becker's "El Diablo de la Cienega."
Victor, from "Geoffrey Becker's "El Diablo de la Cienega" and Elizabeth from Ann Packer's "Horse" are both individualists who excel, in different ways, in solitary pursuits. Victor is a young star basketball player whose skills draw the attention of a man whom he believes is the devil. Elizabeth is an introverted, bookish young woman who excels in reading. However, these two characters are both forced by external family circumstance to come out of their introverted shells as they realize a more expansive version of their evolving adolescent selves. Both characters must draw upon reserves of strength they never knew existed within their souls.
For Victor, the conflict the young man is engaged in, is a masculine narrative of excellence exhibited…… [Read More]
Donny's problems are discussed squarely through Daisy's perspective. The reader is never privy to how Donny feels, and only sees what he does through his mother's eyes. Interestingly, the reader can sense what Donny might be experiencing. He is instinctually rebellious, resenting the restrictions on his life that school and curfews pose. Donny takes well to Cal because of Cal's permissive attitude. Anytime Daisy confronts Donny with a problem, Donny reacts with irritability and anger. The reader also becomes frustrated, as Daisy does everything she possibly can from showering Donny with love and praise to taking a more hands-off approach.
Cal's role becomes one of the more poignant aspects of "Teenage Wasteland." Because Donny's dad is only mentioned once or twice in the story, it is apparent that Cal acts as a sort of surrogate father or older brother. Daisy does not comment on her husband's lack of presence in…… [Read More]
Welcome Table" (Walker) short story "Country Lovers" (Gordimer) intoduction literature class. The directions state developing a thesis a comparative paper, a comparision works deeper insight topic paper.
Racism has often been used as a principal theme in a series of writings, as writers intended to intensify this topic with the purpose of emphasizing the wrongness of this particular act. Alice Walker and Nadine Gordimer have both gotten actively engaged in discussing this subject in their works. "The Welcome Tab" and "Country Lovers" deal with attitudes that white people often employ as they interact with black people and they both focus on accurately depicting thinking expressed by dominant communities in the U.S. and, respectively, in South Africa, during the early 1900s. Even with this, while Walker goes at depicting an old African-American woman with the most probable purpose of inducing pity-related feelings into her readers, Gordimer goes further and uses a…… [Read More]
Just like the letters, and just like Bartleby, everyone dies. The time that is spent living is spent completing meaningless tasks. This is what the narrator realizes at the novel's end, when he says "Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!" The final message is that society as a whole needs to find real meaning, and not continue to exist based on illusions of what is important.
In Billy Bud, illusion is used in a different way. Billy Bud is the main character who lives based on illusion because of his naivety. This naivety means that he is not able to see situations as they really are. For this reason, the evil Claggart is able to constantly manipulate him. This leads to Billy's downfall, and ultimately, his death. Much like Bartleby, the final message is that you cannot live based on illusion. Instead, you have to see the reality in situations. The major…… [Read More]
obert Graves lived from 1895 to 1985, and was a novelist, poet as well as a translator of the English Language. obert Graves has been a vivacious author, and has won acclaim as an author of the accounts of the First World War, in his book called 'Good bye to all that' republished in 1957. His poetry about the First World War he was recognized as being one of the sixteen Great War poets in 1985. These poets were honoured on the slate stone that was unveiled in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner as an edifice respecting their contribution to the narration of the war.
Through his life span, obert Graves has worked on various aspects in literature, ranging from autobiographical accounts, to historical novels. His works also include translations of Greek mythology as well as historical novels such as King Jesus, I and the Golden Fleece. obert Graves's memoirs particularly…… [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]
Ann Beattie is a short story told in a series of flashbacks. It is narrated by a woman remembering a winter she spent in a house with a former lover. The story is evocative and nostalgic, but also is filled with a sense of sorrow, regret, and foreboding. Even the actions the woman and her lover perform together, like painting a room, underline the transience of their united state. Beattie's narrator is afraid that the grapes of the wallpaper will come popping through the paint, undoing their paint job. A wild chipmunk runs lose through the house, and like the lovers, the chipmunk is a symbolic transgressor in the house, an outsider.
At the end of the story, when the narrator returns, she feels sorrow when she sees flowers popping up in the ground. Seasons change and people grow apart. The flowers should be seen as signs of new life,…… [Read More]
Bloodline collection of five short stories, Bloodline depicts the struggles of day-to-day African-American life in the South. With unique literary devices and keen emotional insight, Author Ernest J. Gaines uses the first person perspective in each tale to make the narratives exceptionally poignant and to bring the characters alive. In fact, two of the tales are told from the perspective of young boys, Gaines captures their innocence and their unwitting exposure to racism deftly in "A Long Day in November," and "The Sky is Gray," "Three Men" depicts the black experience of the American criminal justice system, revealing its faults through symbolism and powerful imagery of life on the inside. "Bloodline" illustrates how Southern blacks fared after the demise of plantation culture in the post-Civil War south. Finally, "Just like a Tree" switches points-of-view, as Gaines portrays blacks as they are viewed in the eyes of the white man. These…… [Read More]
Colonial and Post Colonial Short Stories
In the 19th and 20th centuries, much of the world was divided and compartmentalized. Empire nations colonized lands all over the world creating cultures which were based upon differentiation and racial inequality. In a colonized nation, the population would be comprised of the colonizers who were the ethnic and racial power and the colonized that would be considered ethnically inferior. In the short stories "Going to Exile" by author Liam O'Flaherty and "The Day They Burnt the Books" by Jean Rhys, the authors relate brief narratives which reflect the racial prejudices and conflicts that were bubbling beneath, and often times above, the surface of colonized countries.
In colonial literature, one of the dilemmas that come up most often is the question of identity. People who are colonized are forced to create for themselves a dual identity. At one they have their innate cultures, but…… [Read More]
" As the reader soon discovers, this heart trouble wasn't physical; rather, her trouble was related to personal unhappiness in her marriage. The heart disease as not being a physical condition is once again reinforced at the very end of the story when the author writes, "When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease -- of joy that kills." However, the reader is well aware by this time that she is experiencing despair knowing that her husband is still alive rather than joy upon his return to her life.
Likewise, "The Storm" involves a character vs. society conflict. This time the conflict deals with the loss of passion in marriage and is perhaps indicative of Chopin's own extramarital affair. For the reminder of a lost passion, Calixta is visited by an old lover while her lover is away as illustrated by the lines, "The contact of…… [Read More]
The symbolism is clear here, and it is troubling and terrible to the girl.
Finally, the girl and the boy have totally different reactions to the man and his situation. The girl feels sorry for him, and realizes she is witnessing something important, although she cannot find the words to express what that is. She dances with him, and feels an emotional connection with him, while the boy just gets drunk. He writes the check to buy the furniture, and has no other emotions about what is happening, it is not real, or it is not important to him. In that reaction, he could be very much like the drunken man as he grows older, and the girl may be witnessing her own future, which is even more frightening to her. The boy is kind of clueless about the situation, which is why he does not try to communicate about…… [Read More]
The short story "hy I Live at the P.O." By Eudora elty is a family drama structured as an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the main character's alienation from her family. Sister is the story's protagonist, though she is not an entirely reliable narrator as she is entrenched in bitterness about her family situation. Sister's life changes when her sister Stella-Rondo returns to town after a long absence and reignites their long-held rivalry. One by one, Sister's family members take Stella-Rondo's side in the argument. Thus the reader is left as Sister's sole confidante, as we are privy to her point-of-view and she calls upon us to empathize with her struggle. As such, the reader is torn in half: One side seeing Sister as a victim of her sister's manipulations and her family's abuse, and the other half seeing that Sister has created some of the circumstances of…… [Read More]
A Quest for Knowledge and Answers with Plenty of Lessons Learned
The two works of literature to be examined here are the short story "The Stolen Party" by Liliana Heker and the poem "Hanging Fire" by Audre Lorde. These pieces detail the struggles, fears, successes and implacable worries of childhood. In them, one sees reflected one's own childhood, as the pieces are quite innocent and straightforward in their description. The most important theme, present through both stories, is the pervasiveness of those questions that are so reflective of growing and learning. This essay will examine some of these important childhood wonderments, and will discuss them below.
The events of childhood always seem of the utmost importance as they take place. Whether they are happy, sad, embarrassing or otherwise, these events, above all, teach. Sometimes it is true that they are important, but otherwise one might even forget them,…… [Read More]
At first the day goes well. Art and David enjoy working together. It is, however, the father's inability to see his own son as a child that begins the course of events. Art leaves David to wait for him near the skeleton of a dead horse. Like most seven-year-olds, this frightens David and his father is gone for what probably seemed like a long time to a child.
Consequently, David goes home on his own which angers his father. Instead of punishing David, Art treats him coldly. In reality, David wanted attention even if that was in the form of a beating or scolding. This need drives David to force his father into acting like a father. David jumps off a roof which upsets his father, but that's not enough. David wants to know that his father cares enough to be angry so he dumps a pound of staples. This…… [Read More]
all of Fire Rising" is a tragic story by Haitian author Edwidge Danticat. The title of the tale comes from a line in a play about Dutty Boukman, a slave rebel turned revolutionary hero in Haiti. Boukman's story symbolizes release from bondage and oppression, and the ongoing struggle of the Haitian people evident in the complicated daily lives of ordinary families like that of Guy, Lili, and their son. Although the story does end tragically, "A all of Fire Rising" contains a kernel of hope. that dreaming of a better future, and being committed to doing the hard work to attain that goal, will eventually bring about liberation. The line in the play reads, "a wall of fire is rising and in the ashes, I see the bones of my people," (Danticat 234). Little Guy recites these lines as they perfectly parallel the suicide of his father, who jumped out…… [Read More]
Lucy's Home For Girls aised By Wolves
The short story as a literary form has the power to convey ideas as complex and nuanced as longer-form fiction. As King (2007) notes, short stories often struggle to find an audience, despite being on the surface easier to digest. Their length makes them perfect for brief reading, but the audience seems constantly dwindling. Yet the short story medium has precisely the power to articulate everyday issues in meaningful ways, something seen in Karen ussell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls aised by Wolves, for example.
Minus (2009), in reviewing an anthology of short stories, supports King's idea that there are still some excellent short story writers in America, if they are a dying breed. Short stories should have a fairly high energy level, moving quickly through their narrative, as compact as it is, in order to convey ideas. This should be a pinnacle…… [Read More]
The Different Manifestations of Evil in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Short Stories ("the Minister's lack Veil," "Young Goodman rown," and "My Kinsman, Major Molineux")
Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer of 19th century American literature, has become well-known for his thought-provoking stories about the lives of Americans during its early history, at the time where there exists a rigid and conservative society motivated by the teachings of Christianity. With his acclaimed novel, "The Scarlet Letter," Hawthorne is also given credit for his literary expertise in writing short stories, which will become the focus of this paper.
Discussing the works of Hawthorne, namely, "The Minister's lack Veil," "Young Goodman rown," and "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," there emerges a dominant theme among these literary works. Each story carries with a message that talks about humanity's fight against evil in pursuit of goodness. However, what differs these stories from each other is the way he…… [Read More]
Lawrence Sargent Hall's short story, The Ledge, is characterized by a devastating emotional pull, compelling prose, and vivid characterization. The Ledge won the O. Henry Award and been included in a number of anthologies. hile Hall's literary career was marked by great success of The Ledge and other writing, he also had successful academic, public service and naval careers.
Lawrence Sargent Hall's life was marked by his notable academic career, his services in the navy, and his writing career. Born in 1915 April 23, 1915, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Hall graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1936. He then went on to teach from 1935-1938 at Deerfield Academy at Deerfield, Massachusetts. After his tenure at Deerfield, Hall obtained his Ph.D. from Yale in 1941. He then taught at Yale in 1946, and in Ohio University in Athens from 1941-1942. In 1946, he became a professor of English…… [Read More]
Female Freedom in the 19th Century: Two Short Stories
The short story entitled the “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman both approach the subject of female sanity and wellness from different angles. Both stories suggest that society and those closest to the woman have really no idea about the inner life of the female, nor what is best for her mental health and overall well being. The incorrect assumptions of those around them are precisely what contribute to the ultimate tragedies and unraveling of mental states present within each story.
Chopin’s famous “Story of an Hour” demonstrates the ill-conceived presumption that so many of the era project on to the heart and mind of a woman. We are told of Mrs. Mallard’s fragility in the opening of the story. As a result of this fragility, “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a…… [Read More]
In this light. Dee represents the most successful fulfillment of the material side of the American Dream (Whitsitt). On the other hand, she is unsuccessful at preserving what is most beautiful about her culture by no longer honoring it in any practical sense. In this, she represents the tragedy of loss in terms of meaning, culture, and heritage in blind pursuit of material gain and social success.
The Red Convertible" by Louise Erdrich
The story by Louise Erdrich similarly demonstrates a dichotomy between the past, the potential of the future, and the scars that cannot be healed as a result of trauma and tragedy. The American Dream and its destruction in this story is represented by two brothers and their initially healthy relationship (boosh). As young men, Henry and Lyman are happy-go-lucky and somewhat irresponsible. Their relationship is healthy and close, represented by a red convertible that they buy restore,…… [Read More]
Do Clothes Make the Woman?
Clothes, Silence, and Rebirth in Chitra B. Divakaruni's short story entitled "Clothes"
Chitra B. Divakaruni's short story entitled "Clothes" begins in India and ends in the Indian community of America. However, Divakaruni clearly hopes to impart in the readers' mind a more universal lesson than one confined to the central protagonist Sumita's immediate cultural context, despite the many details present in the tale that are particular to the Indian community Divakaruni chronicles. Rather, the main idea of "Clothes" is how clothes symbolize the status of women, and specifically how women's visual rather than verbal display defines female status in traditional and modern contexts. The author first uses the cultural symbolism of clothing in a wedding setting to demonstrate specifically how women in India are seen as visual displays, rather than thinking human beings. Secondly, the author uses the literary symbolism of Sumita biting her…… [Read More]
ROSE FOR EMILY'-William Faulkner
William Faulkner's short story "A rose to Emily" is one of the best short stories of 20th century American literature because it contains all the mystery, drama, conflict and intensity that mark a good piece of literature. Emily the female lead of the story is an intriguing character who refuses to mingle with townspeople which gives rise to many vicious rumors about her. This story has been very popular among the readers especially those who are Faulkner's loyal fans as a story involving mystery and dark secrets of a woman who is a total recluse. Townspeople never get to see her or talk to her therefore hewn her father dies, they get a chance to meet this woman who had hitherto remained confined within the four walls of her house. Notice how Faulkner has carefully created the background of this woman; she is not a person…… [Read More]
This short story has many provocative and erotic themes -- but is it really a story about sexual decadence or is it more about alienation?
Indeed it is almost as though he is getting sexual pleasure by hiding in that chair. But the real message is alienation; because the writer is so ugly, painfully ugly, he has to find a way to be excited without anyone seeing his face. He writes that as soon as he "buried himself" in the chair, he had the sense that he had "buried myself in a lonely grave… I realized that it was indeed a grave…I was swallowed up by complete darkness" and he "no longer existed" to the rest of the world, including the women that he desired to meet and interact with. Someone who is fond of absolute darkness while waiting for an unsuspecting person to sit on him, literally,…… [Read More]
unnamed narrator of Naguib Mahfouz's short story is looking for a man Zaabalawi, what Zaabalawi represents to him, what Zaabalawi wants from him and what the illness is of which the narrator complains. Also, we will discuss how Mahfouz describes each character and how their perceptions of Zaabalawi reflect their own personalities. In addition to this, we will examine what the characters' traits have in common, as well as how they are different. In essence, the most interesting aspect of teaching the meaning of this story is to realize that at its root the story is mystical and to understand it one must travel into the spiritual badlands of mysticism that unite all religions. It is in this wilderness that the narrator has any hope of finding meaning for his senseless loss. Death, the greatest malady of humanity is also its greatest mystery and requires special revelation to endure and…… [Read More]
In Sherwood Anderson's short story collection inesburg, Ohio, the story "Paper Pills" focuses on the character of Doctor Reefy and the devastating effects of his ill-fated marriage. The "paper pills" of the title are the small pieces of paper upon which the doctor writes his thoughts, and reads to his wife up until her death. Her death ruptures Doctor Reefy's life so that it, just like his pieces of paper, turns inwards, eventually transforming into a gnarled, isolated little shell of a life. By examining the role of the "paper pills" in the story of the same name and the narrator's description of Doctor Reefy's physical appearance, it will be possible to see how these balled-up scraps of paper represent Doctor Reefy himself (both literally and figuratively), and show how he has turned in upon himself following his wife's death. The paper pills represent the doctor because are literally…… [Read More]
Roth describes Anton as a person who never gets into fights, plays or steals apples from his neighbors. "Anton Wenzl was always neatly dressed and in clean clothes. Not a speck of dust on his jacket, no hole, however tiny, in his stockings, no mark or scar on his smooth, pallid face" (Roth). Anton is careful to have neat-looking books and to write neatly in and on them. What Reid does not say is that Anton is a good person, or even that he is happy. This gaping hole in the description of Anton foreshadows the revelation that Anton is in fact not a good person or a happy person.
Roth's use of personification is also interesting in the first paragraph. Roth says, "A lofty brow lorded [his hair] over a practically nonexistent pair of eyebrows…" (Roth). By saying that Anton's forehead lords his hair over his eyebrows is another…… [Read More]
Owl Creek Bridge
I have researched and written many essays and scholarly papers on the Civil ar, and have nearly come to tears reading deeply personal stories by those who witnessed the carnage and bloodshed. The Battle of Gettysburg (in which 51,000 men lost their lives) seems unreal today, but it kills the heart to read about the horrific way in which a soldier slowly, painfully dies when stabbed with a bayonet, or shot in the torso with enough harm to bleed to death. But reading Bierce's short story, while very real and compelling, is in a perverse way an escape from the horror of that war that took over 600,000 lives, because a reader can come to the conclusion that Bierce's narrative is just fiction and may be a trick, a hoax, slight of literary hand -- but a very clever one that sucks the reader in emotionally in…… [Read More]
Up to this point in the story, the reader is slightly suspicious that Murray could have killed someone with his bare hands, regardless of how drunk he may have been. However, the third person limited narrator introduces a flashback, revealing why Murray is so loyal to Shorty -- Shorty befriended Murray when Murray was a fat, slow boy on their baseball team. Gradually, Murray lost weight, became more athletic, and the fun Kung Fu moves the boys used to practice while watching Bruce Lee films on TV became deadly serious as Murray became increasingly accomplished in a variety of martial arts.
This suggests that Murray's hands may indeed be "registered deadly weapons." The better Murray got at fighting, the more fights he got in with his friends. The fight the three of them may have not been the college boy's fault, but part of the tendency of Murray and his…… [Read More]
Rather than attempt to break free, however, he simply accepts his fate and his captivity. His anxiety and his self-policing attitude about his work and his life keep him from attempting to do anything different (French, 2008). He continues to have passion and he continues to dream, but he knows deep down that those dreams will never become any kind of reality for him. Santosh is one out of many immigrants who come to the U.S. And one out of many immigrants who do not feel comfortable and at home there. They simply accept their fate because America is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. If they are not happy there, perhaps the fault lies with them and not with the country? This is part of the thinking of immigrants who cannot acculturate when they come to the U.S., and is emphasized by the idea that they…… [Read More]
illa Cather and Herman Melville both explore themes of psychological and social isolation in their short stories. In Cather's "Paul's Case," the title character is a vibrant young man whose passion and creativity is constrained by his pitiful life in Pittsburgh, where his only solace is his work as an usher. Melville's protagonist Bartleby in "Bartleby the Scrivener" lacks the joie du vivre that Paul possesses. However, both of these protagonists plummet toward death as the only foreseeable relief from the terrible injunction of life. Their approaches to death are different, though. Bartleby is wholly unlike the young Paul, who feels regret the instant he realizes the "folly of his haste," (Cather para 65). On the contrary, the senior Bartleby remains fully resigned to self-abnegation throughout his adult life. hereas Paul believes that if he only had money, he could be free from the clutches of his past and embrace…… [Read More]
Through the Aborigines' ritual, "bora," Wright attempts to describe in detail this tradition in the poem through imagery, while, at the same time, citing its death through the use of symbolism. Subsisting to the main theme of 'cultural death,' "Bora ring" uses implied meaning in each line of them. Examples of these are the use of "the dance is secret" and "the tribal story lost in an alien tale," lines in the poem that signify cultural death, the dissolution of the ritual in the midst of new influences from foreign settlers and/or modernization. Stanza three is illustrated as the most effective stanza in the poem: Wright's description of the Aborigines' loss from foreign influence is powerfully expressed as follows: "[t]he hunter is gone: the spear is splintered underground..." Cultural death is not the only tragedy that happens among the Aborigines, but also physical death (this may be construed as genocide),…… [Read More]
rose emely, 1st person account short story miss emely's point view, text reference quoting parenthetical citations.
"A Rose for Emily:" A first-person account of Emily's point-of-view
I remember what my father the Colonel used to say: never forget that you are a Grierson and you are my daughter. Other people wanted me to forget. The new people of my town, with their new money, with their shiny suits and Northern ways. But I never forgot.
They wanted me to pay taxes. Did they not know that I never had any taxes, nor did my father? How dare they! I remember my father laughing and tearing up the tax notices when they came to our house. It was not done, simply not done. The fact that I had to actually come myself to inform them of this truth was a sad sign of the times.
My father loved me, even though…… [Read More]
English Literature - Introduction
Minimalism -- John Barth's Description
Minimalism certainly means using fewer words to express thoughts, plots, ideas, quotes and action, but there is more to it than that, according to John Barth. By using Henry James' mantra of "show, don't tell," Barth covers the subject very well. Barth also quotes Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote that "…undue length is…to be avoided." The short story itself is an example of minimalism, simply because it condenses the components of a novel into a much shorter space. There are writers who specialize in what Barth calls "luxuriant abundance" and in "extended analysis," which clearly is the opposite of minimalism; he mentions Guy de Maupassant and Anton Chekov as "masters of terseness" (Barth, 1986).
And because Barth uses examples of well-known writers, he certainly couldn't omit Ernest Hemingway, whose short stories were very tight and yet very expressive with fewer, well-chosen…… [Read More]
Herbert Ernest Bates - Author
Herbert Ernest Bates was born in 1905 in Northhamptonshire, England. He knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of 12. Determined to write his first novel H.E. left school at seventeen and had worked as a clerk and a journalist and been on the dole for a while by the time he was 20 years old. It was then he had his first novel published, The Two Sisters. Over the next fifteen years he was to write eight novels and more than a dozen short story collections.
In 1941 H.E. (as he was known both professionally and privately) went to war serving in the Air Force. Whilst there he compiled another set of short stories regarding "Flying Officer X, " who became quite famous for describing exploits of life in the Air Force during the Second World War. Although these…… [Read More]
A&P and the Lesson
The short stories A&P and The Lesson John Updike and Toni Cade Bambara explore the perceptions of young people as they stand at the threshold of adulthood. Updike's story, set in a grocery store in a small New England town, is about Sammy, a young white male cashier. Bambara's takes place in New York City outside the famous F.A.O. Schwartz Department Store, and is told from the perspective of Sylvia, a young African-American female.
A&P was published in 1961 at a time when the beliefs and values of the status quo were beginning to be questioned by the next generation. Rock n Roll was relatively new and the beat generation was a precursor to the hippie movement. The counter culture was yet to go main stream.
Briefly, Sammy is working at the cash register when three young ladies came into the store in their bathing suits.…… [Read More]
But getting out of bed is problematic, and it is a humorous picture when a reader imagines what it must have looked like as he hears someone from his office arriving and he "…almost froze while his small limbs only danced around all the faster" (Kafka, 10).
It is also tragic that the apple that his father threw at him has caused inflammation; it is tragic that his room is now a dumping area; it is tragic that the new lodgers threaten to sue and that Gregor's sister thinks they should get rid of Gregor because he was driving away the renters. The incident in which Gregor's mother fainted and was "perhaps near death, thanks to him" (Kafka, 48) is tragic. Add to that the fact that broken glass wounded Gregor in the face and some "corrosive medicine dripped over him" -- and this is ironic and tragic. Medicine on…… [Read More]
Man of Ideas
In the short story "A Man of Ideas," author Sherwood Anderson tells about a young man named Joe elling. Joe is just another citizen of inesburg, Ohio and is neither especially talented nor especially intelligent. He works for Standard Oil but does not have a high position in the company. Joe elling is just a regular working man and this is a situation which bores him. The only thing that makes him stand out at all is his ability to exaggerate, to tell convincing stories, and to involve other people in his fantasies. elling's story fits into the larger theme of inesburg, Ohio, that despite living in a small town and performing a service which does not make them special, the people have to become grotesque caricatures of regular people in order to feel unique. The reader sees through Joe's imaginings the difference between how he views…… [Read More]
Objective Criticism of a Short Story:
The Shawl by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich's narrative is a story within a story. The author begins with a legend-like introduction of the hardships facing a family, which she later links with the present troubles, though a few generations later, of the same family. In the first part of the narrative, the author presents her audience with the two parents and their two children, a boy of five and a girl of nine. However, she makes note that the mother bears a child by a man other than her husband, which soon tears the family apart. The mother falls out of love with her husband quickly, and chooses to go live with her lover. She takes her daughter and her baby, and proceeds to be driven to her lover by his uncle, while the father is left behind with the boy of five.…… [Read More]
The author of this report has been asked to review and write a reaction to the short story that has come to be known as The Yellow Wallpaper. The work is a short story that is about six thousand words in length. As with many short stories of this nature, the root goal and perspective that one can glean from the story really depends on how one chooses to look at it. One can take it literally word for word while others could see flavors of feminism and the like. The author of this paper will specifically look at the reliability of the narrator. Specifically, it will be assessed how reliable the narrator is. While the short story is ostensibly a first-hand account of the story to be told and thus should be reliable, there are obviously some feelings and perceptions that are colored by emotions and other…… [Read More]
This is a well planned and conceived event, invitations, limousines for transportation of guests to the hanging tree and all the necessary accoutrement's including drinks (Some of Us). It becomes ghoulish and obscene when one reflects that these people are Colby's friends! hat could he have possibly done to deserve such animosity from his own friends? One is left to dangle precariously since no answer to that question is revealed. But the narrator does point out that no one ever went too far again.
The most egregious part of the discussion occurs in contemplating whether rope or wire should be used for the hanging. One friend who has been quiet all along suddenly advocates the wire. A wire? Surely not, Colby would assuredly suffer to excess by choking and likely decapitation. His friends cannot be serious and Colby's luck at last wins him some solace as he is granted a…… [Read More]
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The France ADOT advertisement for organ donation has an intended audience of all healthy people, who are in the position of registering for being official organ donors. The means of persuasion is emotional, as the image is of a hospital bed and a man hugging a transparent, ghost-like image of an elder. The suggestion is that the elder has passed on, and that the organs of that person are keeping alive the young man in the bed. A strong story is being told, given that the organ donor is of a different ethnic background from the recipient. The suggestion is that organ donation can help save the life of a total stranger. The method of persuasion is emotional and explicit, showing that it will help others to register as an organ donor, because once a person is dead, those organs can either be used to save the…… [Read More]