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The story of The Flowers is about the loss of youthful innocence. Because the story artistically refers to a young girl who uncovers a dead guy who was lynched and died, the story's premise is heavily rooted on racial experiences. The story begins with the reader learning that Myop, the main character of the novel, believes in her youth. Yet, her world darkens as she travels away from home. Myop recognizes she has lost her youthful innocence and attempts to regain it, but her efforts are unsuccessful. "Myop began to circle back to the home, back to the calm of the morning," Walker writes. It was then she stepped smack into his eyes” (Walker 23). The story’s meaning related to the journey of Myop from innocence to reality of life experiences. Myop did not believe that the world around her was full of gruesome realities and when the story ends, she could not believe that the world is the beautiful place. She figuratively realizes the idea after dropping her flowers. The realities of racial violence along with traumatic experiences transform her life. Notably, the author does build an elaborative picture of the childhood innocence using symbolic imagery of dark and light scenes and descriptions. Walker writes “in her dark hand, coupled with feeling... light and good in the warm sun” (Walker 29). In the entire story, Walker manages to set a tone depicting childhood innocence, and Myop characterization gives the story an enigmatic storyline that attracts the reader. Myop chooses to follow her path and does not follow that of her mother. Notably, this factor depicts growth and change which is a transformation.
Hills like White Elephants
This is a story that features a controversial issue of abortion. The story primarily illustrates a conversation between an American man and his girlfriend and highlights the rift between the two as they do not truly communicate with each other to arrive at a solution. Evidently, the two characters talk, but they do not listen or understand each person’s point of view. From the story, the man attempts to convince his girlfriend to procure an abortion although the woman is undecided concerning the issue. Abortion drives the story to its tension which is evident from the conversation the two have. Notably, Hemingway puts emphasis on the oppressive nature of abortion which makes the characters to seek relief through taking alcohol. Significantly the conversation story starts with discussions of drinking alcohol indicating that alcohol is central in avoiding real communication.
Additionally, the uneven dynamic power of the couple’s relationship is highlighted in the fact that the man speaks Spanish which has to be translated for the girl to understand. Through this fact, Hemingway brings an insight into the limits of language as a major theme clouding the story. The relationship between the two is indicated through irrational outbursts, silence and drinking and the pressure emanating from this indicate that the two are desperately trying to avoid talking about “white elephant” which refers to abortion (Hemingway 18). The reader can see the emphasis put on the harshness of the sunlight making a suggestion of a glaring truth that the two are trying to avoid through not communicating and saying in the shade. The scenes of the story are controlled by the position of the man's authority which makes the girl to remain silent. The couple is unable to approach the issue facing them at hand as their anger spills over. The girl also seems to be skeptical of her happiness and hints the grave problem of the relationship that is magnified through lack of appropriate open communication.
The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street is a novel which illustrates the problems that Latino women encounter in a society that treats them as inferior people. The story depicts a society that is dominated by men and puts a value on women depending on how they physically appear and does not consider what they are on the inside. Cisneros drives the reader to clearly envision the obstacles which the Latino women face in their daily lives and the need for equal treatment. The reader can realize that these women are looked down upon and are viewed to as object by all men including friends, husbands, fathers and even boyfriends. The women in the story grow in life knowing that appearances and looks are crucial factors to a woman for her to earn respect in the society. Notably, the novel also describes the way the society expects the Latino women to be loyal to their husbands. The men have complete control over the relationship and dictates everything. Nevertheless, the author portrays the Esperanza character to be different. Esperanza is born and raised in the same culture similar to the women around her, but she does not derive any happiness from the way women are treated in the society. She even believes that she will break free from the oppression of the society. Esperanza has a strong mentality and comes out as women portraying independence. Esperanza disputes the idea that if a woman is not attractive, she is also not attractive to men and society.
The theme of the story focuses on education. It describes the need for education and the positive outcomes of knowledge. An underlying idea of the story lies in the economic inequality that exists between the blacks and the whites in America. The story makes an illustration of how learning could culminate to discomfort yet the discomfort is significant in realizing change. Bambara also dwells into an examination of various types of pride, the leadership functions along with the different ways in which individuals show respect or disrespect to other people. Sylvia is a character in the story which the reader comes to understand that she is born a leader and getting education proves to be a changing phenomenon in her life. The story puts a value on education and the encounters of growing up in poverty. Undoubtedly, the readers of the story are reminded of the value and the difficulty of having an education. Evidently, Miss Moore does give numerous opportunities for the children to take advantage of education in their lives. Miss Moore says “Back in the days when everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish, and me and Sugar were the only ones just right, this lady moved on our block with nappy hair and proper speech and no makeup” (Bambara 470). The children transform from close minded in the world of poverty to realizing huge and significant status in the society. From the storyline, the reader is informed that society has to ensure that their children are adequately endowed with education. Miss Moore is an educated woman who significantly acts as a role model for the children and works towards making them get an education.
The Yellow Wallpaper
The most significant and outstanding aspects of Gilman’s book is the creation of the nameless character. This forms the central narration of the story, and the deliberate omission of the name of the main character draws the reader’s attention. The use of the nameless character makes the reader elicit all the interesting speculations about the story and pay more consideration to the narration. The nameless character is meant to speak in a voice that relates to collectiveness. More relevant to the nameless character is the feminine undertones that majorly cloud the story. The characterization of the nameless character brings the reader closer to realizing the underlying idea that the author intended to pass to the reader. The nameless characterization is effective in portraying themes of male domination, feminism, patriarchy, and chauvinism. The aspect also brings out aspects of subjugated, women inferiority and subordinate status. Indeed, the use of the nameless character reveals that the protagonist is facing personal crisis and reinforces the theme of the story.
Reading the novel reveals Jane as a triumphal character who battles against the male-dominated society (patriarchy) which is dedicated to oppressing women. At the end of the story, the narrator is revealed to be Jane. Jane is Jennie who is the housekeeper and the sister-in-law to John (Gilman 523). The passage that great questions the identity of Jennie is when the author writes "‘I've got out at last,’ said I, ‘in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!’" (Gilman 172). This passage indicates that the narrator has retorted to her husband by saying that she has gotten out at last. Within the passage, the narrator dwells in talking about the way Jennie is good and lets her alone when she wants to (Gilman 164). Evidently, Jennie is seen to be the person who was freeing herself. The narrator comes out as a victim of the mistreatment and oppressions that made a woman inferior in the society. The heroism of this women significantly describes the story, and notably, through her madness, she has managed to address the situation of women in the society. To the reader, the woman is a tragic product of the oppressive society.
Jane is the narrator of the story considering the merging of the woman who is the wallpaper and the narrator of the story. Vividly, the happenings in the story are from the narrator's perspective and the woman who is the wallpaper. The narrator of the story comes to identify with the women who are trapped in the society. This is intensive, and it has made the narrator to lose her ability to tell the difference between herself and the other women. The Gilman spits the narrator while at the same time merging her with the women behind the wallpaper. The author separated the narration into two parts; the one that worked to adopt the perspective of her husband and the one that kept on hiding away. For instance, the narrator says, “John says if I feel so (angry), I shall neglect proper self-control; so I take pains to control myself - before him, at least, and that makes me very tired” (Gilman 165). This evidence the two-part narration. Jane is a typo for Jennie as Jennie does live in the house and has been a caretaker and the narrator tells her husband that he has managed to make an escape from his controlling influence similar to Jennie.
Bambara, Toni Cade. The Lesson. New York, Washington Square, 2005.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House On Mango Street.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. Lanham, Dancing Unicorn Books, 2017.
Hemingway, Ernest. Hill like White Elephant. New York, Scribner, 2014.
Walker, Alice. The Flowers. New York, NY, Open Road Integrated Media, 2011.
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