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“The Night in Question” by Tobias Wolff reveals the relationship between a protective older sister, Frances, and her little brother, Frank. Frank and his father, Frank Senior, had a negative father-son relationship because Frank Senior abused Frank starting when he was just a little kid. Frank Senior had decided to teach Frank “the meaning of […]

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“The Elephant Vanishes” by Haruki Murakami has a unique way of story telling. Unlike most first person narration “The Elephant Vanishes” takes on a passive or observer tone. This self disassociation, the narrator chooses to have with the story he is telling, gives us the readers a chance to see the internal unbalance the narrator is […]

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Deborah Eisenberg’s “The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor” is about a girl who must grieve the loss of her mother. Her school sends her to say her goodbyes to her mother and to mourn. During this trip, the narrator finds out her father is still alive and has been living a different life […]

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Three years earlier he had driven Frances’ car into a highway abutment and almost died, then almost died again, in detox, from a grand mal seizure. Now he wanted to preach sermons at her. She was supposed to be grateful. She said she’d give him ten minutes. (637) “The Night in Question” is about the narrator’s brother, Frank, […]

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“As if love were about the truth” (pg. 512) The worlds perfect idea of love revolves around this notion that there is perfect communication and honesty, and that is exceedingly unrealistic. It is a goal most couples strive to achieve and that most fall short of. At the end of the day everyone is human […]

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Sometimes she let herself imagine what would have happened if he had been killed instead of wounded. (pg.9) One of my biggest fears has always been that I will someday be burden to whomever I end up marrying. Everyone gets old and with every passing day the likely hood of some kind of tradegy striking […]

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Belle Boggs’ “Deer Season”

In “Deer Season,” Belle Boggs writes about the school’s dynamic changes when the majority of the boys leave to shoot deer. This story offers not only a commentary on feminism but also a demonstration of how girls and boys affect the atmosphere of the school. “He thinks [the girls] dress more casually on this day, no […]

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“Intimacy” by Hanif Kureishi

This, then, could be our last evening as an innocent, complete family; my last night with a woman I know almost everything about want no more of. Soon we will be like strangers. No, we can never be that. In this story, the narrator ,who is a  father and a husband, is planning to leave […]

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In “The Green Man” by Jeanette Winterson the theme is about man’s fragile masculinity. Throughout the story various things happen that display the main characters masculinity being shattered and mocked. The first sign we see of this in the story is the characters pride in his grass. It is a very stereotypical man thing to […]

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While reading Can Xue’s “The Child Who Raised Poisonous Snakes” I felt the connection between the child and the snakes was similar to the struggle many parents have over allowing their child to grow older. Sha-yuan told his parents he was able to appear to be near his parents when in reality he was else where, […]

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First and foremost, this story confused me thoroughly. Just when I believed I knew what was occurring, the next paragraph would throw me a curveball. Despite this, however, I feel as though I may have an understanding of one theme of this story. This story portrays the confusion of being an adult. What happened to […]

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“He has been a well-behaved child,” his mother explained to me. “The only trouble with him is that he should never be allowed outdoors.” (644) When I began reading Can Xue’s The Child Who Raised Poisonous Snakes, I believed the story would be about a child with over protective parents, but the parents were not overprotective since […]

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“The parents stopped watching Sha-yuan’s behavior as if they had lost interest and become oblivious. But they appeared anxious and from morning till night they checked their watches constantly. Obviously they were waiting for something. ‘Waiting for their deaths,’ Sha-yuan said. He tapped his belly, which was flat. There was no sign of anything inside.  […]

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To honour. To mock. To fear. To hate. To be fascinated. To laugh out loud. (629) In Jeanette Winterson’s short story, “The Green Man,” the main character is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He goes back and forth between things that do not relate and brings them back […]

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To honour. To mock. To fear. To hate. To be fascinated. To laugh out loud. (629) This was a complex story, mainly because it was filled with so many switches in the narrator’s train of thought. I felt that this added a sense of realism in the narration. By switching the narrator’s train of thought, […]

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“The Green Man” tells the story of a man struggling with feelings of emasculation, dissatisfaction, and even fear as he realizes his daughter has reached an age of potential sexual awakening. Winterson also portrays the appeal between “wild and tame” in the dynamic between the gypsies fair and the repressed suburban setting the narrator comes from, […]

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“We dont care if he will be somebody.” the mother said. “Both his father and I are only ordinary people. How is it that we should have a son who is involved in such a shameful business? Raising poisponous snakes, that’s frightening.”” In China, the “concept of face” has been a part of their culture […]

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“where did you get the name Sha-yuan?” I asked abruptly. “I’ve been wondering about it myself. Nobody ever gave him that name. where did it come from?” the mother said, looking confused.(649) I too wondered where this name came from, as it felt as if “The Child Who Raised Poisonous Snakes” by Can Xue played […]

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To honour. To mock. To fear. To hate. To be fascinated. To laugh out loud. This story starts out differently then most other short stories I’ve read. It starts with the above quote, which is very unusual. This story is told in first-person. As the reader, you are showed the thoughts of the unnamed male […]

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“The Night in Question” by Tobias Wolff is a third-person narrative about the death of Benny Bolling, the son of Janice and Mike Bolling, who died after being crushed by machinery while at work with his father. He deliberately disobeyed his father and went to the mechanical room that is deep below the surface of the bridge. […]

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What I fear, I avoid. What I fear, I pretend does not exist. What I fear is quietly killing me. Would there were a festival for my fears, a ritual burning of what is coward in me, what is lost in me. Let the light in before it is too late. (633) In Jeanette Winterson’s […]

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“The Night in Question” by Tobias Wolff at its core represented the difficulty in making choices. Whether they be simple decisions or complex ones that require a great deal of thought, some things are not easily decided. As a person who is painfully indecisive and emotionally charged all of the time I can understand the […]

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For her brother she’d fought neighborhood punks, snotty teachers, and unappreciative coaches, loan sharks, landlords, bouncers. From the time she was a scabby-kneed girl she’d taken on her own father, and if push came to shove she’d take on the Father of All, that incomprehensible bully. She was ready. (642) The truth of the matter […]

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“I’m down in the mill, Frank. I’m stuck in the gears and here comes the train with Mother Teresa and five hundred sinners on board, whoo whoo, whoo whoo. Who, Frank, who? who’s it going to be?”  This story makes it very clear that Frank has two main receivers of love in his life: his […]

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He did not understand what it was to be helpless and alone. No one should be alone in this world. Everyone should have someone who kept faith, no matter what, all the way. (639) This passage shows the relationship between Frances and her brother, Frank, in Tobias Wolff’s “The Night in Question.” Frank was abused […]

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