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Hershberger 1

Moses Hershberger



Essay 2 1. What sets the form in Sherwood Andersons Mother is how the qualities of the characters moods play out through the story. What prompts my liking of this story is the setting of the hotel which is a fundamental element. Anderson describes it as the disorderly old hotel looking at the faded wall-paper and the ragged carpets (1426-7). I see the setting as a parallel to Elizabeth Willard, the mother, which leads to imagery. The imagery in Elizabeth shows her as a tall and gauntface marked with smallpox scars (1426). As far as narrative point of view, plot and style, theyre simple measures that I think help build up probably the edgiest moment in the story. Elizabeth wanting to kill her husband. What these measures build up to is her determination to plan an action. As said by Anderson, its a definite determination had come into the mind of the defeated wife of the Winesburg Hotel keeper. The determination was the result of long years of quiet and rather ineffectual thinking (1429). After reading that, the form of this story, though simple, builds up to a surprise ending. 2. In my last journal, I described Zora Neale Hurstons The Gilded Six-Bits as soap opera material. Though I was given a different viewpoint, the same feeling I felt stands due to the qualities of the values in the story. I disliked the values because I felt no

Hershberger 2 sympathy towards them. I especially couldnt sympathize with Missie Mays actions to cheat on Joe with Slemmons for their financial troubles. Though it read well as Hurstons describes Joes feeling as a howling wind raced across his heart, but underneath its fury he heard his wife sobbing and Slemmons pleading for his life. Offering to buy it with all that he had. "Please, suh, don't kill me. Sixty-two dollars at de sto'. Gold money." Joe just stood (1717). I just cant see the justice in cheating for a greater good. If that isnt cold enough, what Joe does brings him on par with Missie Mays low move. After making love after some time, Joe leaves beneath her pillowthe piece of money with the bit of chain attached. Alone to herself, she looked at the thing with loathing, but look she mustShe was glad at first that Joe had left it there. Perhaps he was through with her punishment (1719). When talking about values, this story seems to relate closely to Kate Chopins The Strom where I felt the values in that story more as a moment of weakness for Calixtas because of her worried feelings. In The Gilded Six-Bits, I cant see the moment of righteous for what Missie May and Joe did. 3. Still talking about The Gilded Six-Bits, I also had really one issue with the people. It mostly about Joe near the end of the story. I just feel uninterested in Joe because of the unrealistic approach Hurston wrote. Its never impossible for couples, who have had major bumps and separations in their marriage, to come back together. But thats reality. In literature terms, I cant see people like this working it out, unless Im very, very convinced in an authors way of telling. This did not happen with The Gilded Six-Bits because it involved a child. It happens and it may or may not work out for couples. In this scene, we have Joe coming back home after the ordeal with the money he left for Missie

Hershberger 3 after having sex with her: Without a word he took the ax and chopped a huge pile before he stopped. You ain't got no business choppin' wood, and you know it. How come? Ah been choppin' it for de last longest. Ah ain't blind. You makin' feet for shoes. Won't you be glad to have a lil baby chile, Joe? You know dat 'thout astin' me. Iss gointer be a boy chile and de very spit of you. You reckon, Missie May? Who else could it look lak? Joe said nothing, but he thrust his hand deep into his pocket and fingered something there (1719-20). Just like the values, the identity of the people felt like I couldnt sympathize with them. 4. If theres one form of literature with a hellish telling the thoughts of an authentic character is "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. Though I found the character of Prufrock to be entertaining and his values noble, it was in the character and values that made the form of the story to be like him: neurotic. Throughout the story, the character is reciting so many things he wants and will say to a woman about his feelings for her. Though its more than that, which makes it difficult to interpret and makes the form difficult. The rhyme and meter schemes flow just fine, the stanzas are what they should be, the imagery is just vivid with imagination, but its the interpretation that is hard to pin on what kind of craft T.S. Eliot was going for. I dont know why, but I love

Hershberger 4 how Eliot writes, It is impossible to say just what I mean! (1579). I want to believe that this line summarizes the whole poem. 5. What I liked about Robert Frosts Mending Wall was the idea of societal value we use everyday: boundaries. The line, now considered a proverb, Good fences make good neighbors (1390) is just a great piece of advice to listen to. What I also really like is how narrator speaks to those who have doubt about these kinds of situation. Situations of asking your neighbors if theyre should really be a boundary between them. In most cases, everyone needs their own space and shuns the world with a boundary, but the lingering question is why? Frost says, There where it is we do not need the wall/He is all pine and I am apple orchard/My apple trees will never get across/And eat the cones under his pines (1390). The narrator sees there is nothing but, his neighbor, keeping his traditional values, says with a boundary, this keeps our different point of views at a civil level and gives no spark to argue or fight about what is mine. 6. Finally, Frosts Home Burial is probably my most favorite because of the people. I know the situation that has happened is terrible, but its the characters way of dealing with the situation that makes it easy to sympathize with. I felt for the characters because something like had happened to my grandmother, who lost a daughter, my aunt, just recently. Just looking and listening to how my grandmother coped with the situation was in between with what the mother and father are going through. This to me made it more realistic. What I enjoyed most was the dialogue between the wife and husband. For example, the husband tells his wife, Listen to me. I wont come down the stairs.

Hershberger 5 He sat and fixed his chin between his fists. Theres something I should like to ask you, dear. You dont know how to ask it.

Help me, then. Her fingers moved the latch for all reply.

My words are nearly always an offence. I dont know how to speak of anything So as to please you. But I might be taught I should suppose. I cant say I see how (1396). With the death of their child and the fall of their marriage, I could see how much grief there is between them, which is obvious to read, but its much different to feel it. And I felt for these people because of a similar relationship Ive witnessed.

Hershberger 6

Works Cited Anderson, Sherwood. Mother. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Ni Baym, et al. 7thed. Vol C. New York: Norton, 2007. 1426-1431. Print. Frost, Robert. Home Burial. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Ni Baym, et al. 7thed. Vol C. New York: Norton, 2007. 1395. Print. Frost, Robert. Mending Wall. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Ni Baym, et al. 7thed. Vol C. New York: Norton, 2007. 1390. Print. Hurston, Zora Neale. The Gilded Six Bits. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Ni Baym, et al. 7thed. Vol C. New York: Norton, 2007. 1713-1721. Print. Eliot, T.S. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Ni Baym, et al. 7thed. Vol C. New York: Norton, 2007. 1577-1580. Print.

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