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Monthly Archive for September, 2017

In the story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried,” Amy Hempel suggests that losing a close friend can feel like losing a limb. At the start of the story, the reader is not given any context, setting, or background for the characters. The narrator tells the story as it happens, and as they […]

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She was afraid of nothing, not even of flying. (34) Hempel’s use of in medias res in her story “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” allows readers to dive right into what is happening with the narrator. The story has a central theme of fear: fear of death, fear of acceptance, fear of flying.  […]

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No lie. Let’s get this right. Don’t lay low; lie low. Say: “Today, I’m just going to lie low.” That way, tomorrow you can say, “Yesterday, I lay low.” Today, you lay your cup on the bedside table and lie down for your nap. Tomorrow, you say, “Yesterday, I laid my cup on the table […]

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“Strange day. Well, true enough. That was something they could all be sure of.” – pg. 247 When in mourning, the body seems to go into another version of shock. Not the one type that makes you have to lay down with elevated feet and an unbuttoned shirt, but a version that leaves you a […]

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    In Deborah Eisenberg’s ” The Girl Who Left Her Sock On The Floor” the short story is told in the third person, leading the reader to see the actions of the main and supportive characters through the eyes of a spectator. By reading a story from this point of view the reader is […]

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“Anything  can happen at any moment,” Jessica kept exclaiming. “Anything can just happen.” (pg. 247) Deborah’s story, “The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor,” addresses themes of death, acceptance, and the future. It follows a girl Francie after an argument with her roommate, Jessica, about a sock on the floor as she deals […]

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Carrie Browns’ “Miniature Man”  is told in first person by our narrator, Tomas.  Thanks to this point of view, we the readers are able empathize with Gregorio and understand that he is a very dedicated and determined person. However the point of view does affect the way we perceive the events of the short story because unlike most narrations […]

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Use one of the prompts below to write an essay no longer than two double-spaced pages on Carrie Brown’s story “Miniature Man.” Please make sure you carefully proofread your essay, then place it in the Essay 1 folder on Google Drive. Identify the point-of-view in the story, and discuss how it affects our response to […]

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“Yesterday he had said, “Not possible,” but today he said nothing.” (116) In this story, Robert Olen Butler explores the role of patriarchy in religion, and more specifically, in Vietnamese culture. The tone is not accusatory or satirical, but a matter-of-fact manner that critiques how the grandfather speaks to his granddaughter. The grandfather approaches his granddaughter […]

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Robert Olen Butler’s “Mr. Green” addresses the theme of masculinity vs. femininity in Vietnamese culture, a conflict which shapes the narrator’s outlook. This can first be seen in the following passage, where Mr. Green speaks to the narrator’s grandfather. My grandfather bowed to the parrot and said, “Hello, kind sir,” and Mr. Green said, “Hello, kind sir,” and […]

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There were women around Jesus when He died, the two Marys. They couldn’t do anything for Him. But neither could the men, who had all run away. Through this short story, the main character continuously struggles with the stigmas against her gender. She is seen as inferior because of her anatomy. While she aspires to remain true […]

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“This is the way it’s done,” and she fisted her other hand around the sparrow’s head and she twisted. This passage is the climax of the story because it is the turning point in the plot where an unexpected event occures. The girl witnesses death for the first time and no longer feels happy when she goes into Ham Nghi […]

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But a Vietnamese woman is experienced in these things and Mr. Green did not have a chance even to make a sound as I laid him on his side, pinned him with my knee, slid my hands up and wrung his neck. In the beginning of the story, our main character is told that she […]

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I am a Catholic, the daughter of a Catholic mother and father, and I do not believe in the worship of my ancestors, especially in the form of a parrot. In Robert Butler’s story “Mr. Green” the grandfather’s parrot is used to demonstrate the disconnect between two different lives, the life of a grandfather and the […]

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“Why aren’t they flying?” I asked “Their wings are clipped,” my grandfather said. That was alright with me. They clearly weren’t in any pain and they could still hop and they would never fly away from me. Robert Olen Butler’s “Mr. Green” brings light to harmful aspects of a patriarchy through the growth of the […]

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“I looked at its face and I knew it was a girl and my mother said, “This is the way it ‘s done,” and she fisted her other hand waited and I could hear the chattering of the sparrows from the box.” I believe one of the main themes of the story is the acceptance […]

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The next day he began to cough. I knew the cough well. But I took Mr. Green to the veterinarian and he told me what I expected, the cough was not the bird’s. This was a sound he was imitating. “Did   someone in your household recently have a cold or the flu?” the doctor said.  “It […]

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His wings were pinned and he was bigger in my hands a than I had ever imagined. But a Vietnamese woman in experienced in these things and Mr. Green did not have a chance even to make a sound as I laid him on his side, pinned him with my knee, slid my hands up […]

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“I knew the cough well. But I took Mr. Green to the veterinarian and he told me what I expected, the cough was not the bird’s.” This story is told by a forty-one year old woman looking by back on her memories of her childhood, especially her memories of her grandfather. The story switches back-and-forth […]

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I drew nearer, thinking that my step forward had actually helped, but my grandfather lifted his face and his eyes were very sad, and I knew he was disappointed. (116) In Robert Olen Butler’s “Mr. Green,” the first person point-of-view helps readers relate to the story. Witnessing first-hand the grief the narrator receives from her grandfather allows […]

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Up until then, I’d always thought it was only sensible to fall in love with tall men so I wouldn’t look like so much of a giantess. That way we could dance in public, in scale, no circus act. It didn’t matter though: I never had a date all through high school, couldn’t dance as […]

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Mary Robinson, “Yours”

She put one of the smaller pumpkins on Clark’s long lap.”Now nothing surreal,”she told me.”Carve just a regular face. These are for kids”. This is one of the most important quotes from this story. This quote sums up  all the  actions that take place within this story. As you read the story, you hear how they […]

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So I’d just run my finger over the tattoo, feeling the outline raised up like it always is when fresh. Then it’d peel by itself, and one day I’d put my finger down and not be able to tell the difference in skin: it’d really be a part of me. And that’s when I started […]

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“What’s going to happen to you now?” my mother asked me. “What if you want to get married again? What man will want you when someone else has been scribbling all over you?”… “I’m sorry,” I told her, “These are my widow’s weeds.” Elizabeth McCracken’s “It’s Bad Luck To Die” not only demonstrated an atypical love story, […]

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On the cot I tried, as a sleep trick, to remember my answer to Essay Question I– word for fucking word. This sentence expresses how the girl keeps her time occupied with mind-engaging activities. She does this in order to shut out any sad thoughts about her parents’ death. As the girl is trying to fall asleep, she is […]

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