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Short stories

Emma by Carolyn Cole


Themes which present themselves in Emma are
1.
2.
3.
4.

Childhood innocence
Friendship
Infidelity
Unfaithfulness and deceit

Maria, while only being a year old, is more mature than Dorian because she deals
with the nuisance of Ms. Robinson everyday as well as she seeks to emulate Emma.
Mom Luby
Speaker: Elijah, first person child narrator
Main character: Mom Luby
Setting: south states, possibly Louisiana or Tennessee, late 1900s. Mom Luby
utilizes part of her room/house as her business quarters. Her home is comical,
exuberant, joyful and welcoming. It is slightly disorganized and quite busy. It has
trapped food odours. The busyness of her home is intermingled with joyfulness and
love.
Themes:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Generosity and maternal love


Feminism
Poverty
Bananas
Bureaucracy

Here we find the greatest theme as generosity and maternal love coming out. We
find that this story teaches a fundamental life lessons of acceptance of others and
admittance that life isnt your way all the way around. She looked kind of pretty,
but lost. This line gives a testament to the fact that perhaps our way, isnt the only
way. The writer also makes the statement that the system built to help others, is
actually making life difficult. As well as this, we find that this story teaches us that
perception is reality. The social worker is unable to come to terms with the reality
that there life beyond system. The line, you got more done in two hours than I do
in two years shows the clenching fact that she eventually comes to terms with this
is. The following line, youre not qualified shows that the social worker is still
holding to the ideology of the system, because it is all she knows.

Ma Luby, the protagonist.


She is maternal, hardworking, and charitable to her children and to other people.
She is sassy and her speech is with spice, she is a quite likable person and has a
terrific sense of humour. She is extremely clever and can handle conflicts very well.
She is a doctor, herbalist, preacher, lawyer, and a mother. She is also a little vain.

Raymonds run
The story Raymond's Run is told from the first person perspective of Squeaky.
The setting is in Harlem, NY.
Mayday is the height of spring and so it was celebrated in the older European
cultures. It is the prime of spring, the middle. When spring is in all of its glory and
the flowers are blooming and that fun stuff. (Warmest day in spring when people
could go out and have fun.)

Raymond is a generally a happy child with a wild imagination, shown in when he has
"fits of fantasy" e.g. when he thinks he's a circus performer.

Speaker: Squeaky. ( Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker)


Squeaky is a strong athlete, and this is easily overlooked. Herein she also tackles
the common stereotype of what young girls should be. Squeaky is also quite cynical.
She is forced into a manner of living where she had to grow up before her time by
being burdened with the parenting of her brother, Raymond. Squeaky is a very
admirable character in the way that she continues to train DESPITE the fact she has
her brother to care for. She is sassy and she is witty, even though she has a very
firm work ethic.
In this story we are able to get a feel of the tonality of how African American
persons might speak by our speaker, Squeaky.
Themes:
Childhood innocence
Family love

Ambition

Two Grandmothers by Olive Senior


Examples of racism:
1) An example of racism is firstly seen in Towsers discrimination against her
granddaughters hair and skin colour, as seen by the lines, except, mummy,
what does she have against my hair? And I came out dark because she is
almost a white lady and I am really dark. But Mummy, what is wrong with
that?
2) Another example is seen in the narrators discrimination against the black
folk that visit grandma Del as seen by the lines, theres nobody but black
people where grandma lives and they dont know anything, they ask such
silly questions.
3) Perhaps the greatest show of racism is seen when Maureen discriminates
against the narrator who is also her cousin as seen by the lines, youre only
a goddamn nigger you dont know any better. Auntie Evie married a big black
man and youre his child and youre not fit to play with me.
Examples of childhood innocence:
1) The first example of childhood innocence is seen through the narrators
simple yet profound appreciation of the making of her dress by her
grandmother, as seen by the lines, I feel so special that my own grandma
made these for me with her own two hands and didnt buy them from a
store.
2) Another example is seen in the narrators adamant astonishment at the loose
language of her Grandma, Elaine. As seen by the lines, mummy, you know
Grandma Elaine swears like that all the time?
3) The third example of childhood innocence is seen when the narrator is quite
careful to share the secret of Towsers new boyfriend with her mother. She
still sees this as a big deal, being innocent, but by her uncorrupted logic she
tells her mother, being her grandmothers daughter, automatically assuming
by childhood innocence, this is normal and not a problem.
4) The final example of childhood innocent, is the love and care and uncaring of
persons attitude that the narrator first has toward Pearlie. The narrator is still
innocent and being child, sees everyone as equal in one manner and loves
them all the same. We find the narrator is anxious to help Pearlie in whatever
way she can and as she grows, would later disregard the friendship which she
so previously loved so much, as foolish and absurd.

Examples of differences in treating the narrator:


In the eyes of Towser she is parenting. There is a huge societal difference between
Towser and Grandma Del. Towser is quite affluent, and in a different socio-economic
bracket. She comes from a non caring way of life without love and nurturing but
providing all the materials things for the child i.e. food, school, treatment of illness.
Towser wishes to be forever young and lead the life of social butterfly with
relationship that are artificial that have prestige. She is white and of the privileged
class, by this, she automatically assumes that blacks are inferior and equates them
to objects. (Objectification of a person) She is a very flat character with the only
aspect of being glamorous and seeking the high life.
Grandma Del is the exact opposite to Towser. She spends much time with her
granddaughter and nurtures her granddaughter in every possible way. Grandma
Del, who is black, is a complex character. She is not all bad, and shes not good
either. She belongs to a different time, and a different way of thinking. This would
eventually come back to haunt her as her granddaughter becomes turned off with
her. She is afraid that her granddaughter would become like Towser.

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