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Short Story Questions, Essay Example

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Essay

Young Goodman Brown

Hawthorne drew emphasis on three dark periods in Puritan history including the Salem Witch Trials, King Philip’s War, and the Puritan intolerance of the Quakers. Although all these events happened before the story of Young Goodman but Hawthorne adds them in as the old man uses these events to describe how he is familiar with Young Goodman’s father and grandfathers.

At the beginning of the story he departs from his wife, Faith. From the way that Hawthorne goes about describing the events of Young Goodman meeting the old man in the woods, one can assume that these are actual events that is happening. As they setting is at night and he continuously is walking through the woods as if on an ordinary night. However, one can discern that is a dream based on the facts of Young Goodman seeing the church congregation in the woods, while his father beckons to him, and then he thinks that he sees his wife as well. When Hawthorne calls out to her, her pink ribbon falls from the sky, however, one can deduce from these events that this couldn’t happen “coincidentally,” instead Young Goodman is dreaming but still gives in at the end of the dream believing that what he went through was real.

The Overcoat

Akaky, is low level clerk that is constantly being ridiculed for his old tattered coat. In the same ways that people that are low income or cannot afford all the newest clothes are constantly ridiculed for their shape their clothes or shoes may be in. In the instance of the bureaucratic system, Akaky, is position low on the bureaucratic hierarchy, however, his position is not as low that he still uses his superiority as a way to look down on those that may considered lower such as secretaries, the tailors, and landlady.

In buying the new coat he has somehow achieved social acceptance and climb a little higher on the hierarchy chain. Soon Akaky is attacked and his jacket is stolen, a play on how society keeps taking from individuals and kicking them while their down. This metaphor can be used to state how the oppressed continues to be oppressed and how they those lower cannot achieve the position they aspire for due to others wanting to keep them down. This does happen in society today, and will continue to happen. Just like in Young Goodman Brown, society plays are role as being corrupted and wanting to give in to doing bad things.

The Necklace

Mathilde’s husband comes home with an invitation to a fancy party but she doesn’t have anything to wear. Her husband gives her money to buy a dress, but then she realizes that she need to buy some jewelry. Her friend lends her an “expensive” diamond necklace that after partying she loses it. Rather than tell her friend she buys a new necklace that keeps them in debt for 10 years, only to realize that the “expensive” diamond necklace was fake. She the problem is compounded with Mathilde’s need to be more than what she was to impress people she never met.

Ways in which the problem could have been avoided is to not try and put on a front of appearing more than she was. When she lost the necklace she should have told her friend who then would have informed her that the necklace was lost. This information would have saved the couple from years of heartache and debt.

The Yellow Wallpaper

At the end of the story, the wife locks herself in the room refusing to leave as she believes that she is one of the people behind the wallpaper. Once her husband returns with the key and unlocks the door, the wife proclaims that she go out, out being the wallpaper, once he opened the door.

The reason why she continually creeps over her husband because he has fainted from the sight of her creeping around the room, and the way in which she probably is looking. The wall paper has driven her crazy and feels that she has to creep around the room in order to get out of the wall paper.

The Storm

The Storm starts off with two families in separate situations once the storm starts. The Calixta is at home alone when the storm starts, as her husband Bobinot and their child Bibi have to remain at the store to seek shelter. Alcie was riding his house nearby, his family is visiting in another town over, the storm forces him to take shelter at Calixta’s house. The two used to be lovers and the storm is the first time seeing each other, the storm brings them closer together.

Soon the two have an affair, that causes them to deceive both of their families, and the two are left with picking up the pieces. After the storm the affair ends everyone is happy, but the storm brings change in both of their lives, with both of them having an extramarital affair that they do not tell their spouses.

Open Boat

The environmental lesson that could be learned from this story is that the environment will continue to be the survival of the fittest. There are used to the effects of the sea and the surrounding environment. The men in the dinghy are man, frustrated, tired, scared, and so on that they look at the birds with envy as they are able to come and go as they please regardless of the turbulent wind and waves of the sea.

In regards to the quote the gulls represent to them how they are no match for their present situation, unlike the birds they are not used to be trapped and isolated desperate to be rescued. The gulls are able to survive in the wilderness as they eat on the fruits of the earth.

Araby

In college it is easy to get disappointed, I once studied for a major final for a whole week, anticipating that I will pass with an A. I went in to take my test with confidence and self-assurance that I would pass with no problems, however, upon my disappointed I not did not receive and A, but I got a C instead. I was greatly disappointed, confused, and upset with myself. When I encountered another student she relayed that she got an A on the final, upon my discovery she revealed that she pull an all-nighter to study the night before the test.

In the instance of Araby, the narrator is so in love with the sister that he promises her that he will bring her back something great from the fantastic Araby. However the Araby is not what he expected and his dreams are shattered all at once realizing that he might not get to be with his friend’s sister through the disappointment.

Miss Brill

Throughout the story it is apparent that Miss Brill is a lonely old woman, just like the people that regularly sit on the bench, all come from a dark place. She believes she is part of a play however, in reality she is just alone, listening in on other people’s conversations. She treats her fur as if it is real and takes it with her every Sunday. She doesn’t want to believe that she is unfulfilled but in reality she has nothing going for her except her work during the week.

Sweat

Is a karmic story where the characters within the town serve their secondary function as providing unheard commentary of the events surrounding Delia’s life? She once was so beautiful but as the townsfolk gossip she has since lost her shine. The husband is sleeping with Bertha, who he buys gifts with to keep her happy. Delia cleans for “white folk” which angers her husband, that he continually messes with Delia’s work and verbally and physically abuses her. The townspeople frown on Sykes, as he unapologetically parades Bertha around in front of Delia.

Flowering Judas

Laura is an isolated woman by her own notion. She continually rejects Braggioni as he has ruined her perception of what the revolutionist is. She “fights” for revolution by helping the downtrodden, teaching English to the children, and vising people at the prison. However, she is not emotionally attached to anything or anyone. She tries to practice her religion yet she is not motivated to keep coming back. Braggioni is cruel, a liar, a cheater, and particularly lazy when it comes to helping his own people. He has grown fat and continually hits on her and other women even though he has a wife. She dreams of Eugenio coming to her dream and committing suicide as she is unsatisfied with life and the authorities that have taken over.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

The older waiter and the younger waiter lived two opposite lives. As the older waiter lived a life of loneliness where he came home to an empty bed every night. He saw everything now as nothingness, including his religion, his life, and despair. The younger waiter however, lived a very happy life where he usually rushed through never thinking that he would end up alone like the old man. He had a wife that was waiting for him, and though saw the old man as nothing, he didn’t think in the idea of nothingness but instead of life and opportunity.

Babylon Revisited

This story relates to the city in the manner of the sex clubs, the unlimited amounts of booze and alcohol that has led to bad decisions and broken families. Charlie and his wife were rich and enjoyed the luxuries of buying nice things, while fighting and getting drunk. His wife kissing another man, and the way that his old friends would reflect fondly on their past. All this is negative in the eyes of his sister-in-law who sees Charlie as the villain and doesn’t feel that he can take care of Honoria without his past coming to the present.

Barn Burning

The central conflicts resides with Sarty being torn between his father, and the loyalty to blood, or doing the right thing. His father likes to burn barns, and in one instance is run out of town. Sarty in his defense is ready to confess in court. However his father scolds him. When they moved to a new farm. The father is severely disrespectful, and ruins their rug. The son sides with the father once again after the court hearing, but dejects the idea of his father burning done the farm. In this torn complex he makes the ultimate decisions to do what is right and in the end his father is killed.

Sonny’s Blues

The Civil War is prevalent in both stories, as Sarty’s father is injured in the Civil War and uses this injury to remain and old, cruel man. In Sonny’s Blues the brother Sonny’s goes off to fought in the war, where he leaves behind his family. While gone his mother dies, his uncle dies, and how it contributed to his Heroin addiction. Oppression has kept Sarty and his family from prospering, adding to the cruel nature in which Abner takes his anger out on those around them. In Sonny’s case, his family has struggled, not being able to afford medicine contributed to the daughter’s death.

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

At a time, I was young, and had one of my nephews with me in the store. I went on a Sunday when normally older people would shop right after church, so I was little out of place. While going through the aisles and older couple approach me to complement my nephew. As I thank them, they then commented on how shameful and sad that I was teen parent. I was embarrassed, and put in awkward situation as I didn’t know how to respond. Because I appeared young walking around with a toddler they assume I was a teen parent.

Within the story the people thought he was an angel, although others just saw him as an old vagabond. Unlike in my story, the old man is not able to relay his emotions of shame and confusing. However, the misconception is what shaped people’s opinion of what I might be as in the case of the old man.

Gimpel the Fool

Gimpel is not a fool however he is very gullible. When he has the opportunity to take out revenge on the town, he instead chooses to focus on the positives and the good in the world instead of the evilness. Gimpel then is not the fool of what the town thinks he is, instead he is the wisest of them all by not stooping to the townspeople level.

Patriotism

The Lieutenant goes to work and doesn’t come back home until two days later. He then tells his wife that there has been a mutiny, and has been ordered the next day to kill himself unable to choose between his friends and the emperor. His wife ask to join in, as a form of solidarity and the intense passion and love they shared for each other.

A Woman on a Roof’

This short story is about the three perspectives of the construction workers. Each at different age levels view the sunbathing women differently. The younger man was thrilled and couldn’t stop smiling, while the oldest man was simply annoyed at the naked woman and the way the two other guys were reacting. Stanley was newly married, yet he was very interested in looking at the woman even whistling and cat calling to get her attention. When she became indifferent to their attention, Stanley grew angry, while the other two were annoyed.

Revelation

Mrs. Turpin is an old self-righteous woman, shrouded in naïve hypocrisy of living the “good Christian” life that continually puts down others and pushes around her husband. She is not aware of it until Mary Grace lashes out at her and tells her to go to hell. In a serious of personal reflections and her lashing out at God, she sees all the souls rising to heaven. In this instance she repents and tries to change her nasty ways.

A Company of Laughing Faces

Kathy was finally able to enjoying being in her youth, after the encountered in the room with the boy she came to realize that she needed to enjoy all that was happening around her including acting her age not worrying about conforming to other teenagers. In enjoying her holiday with her mother she was able to participate and interact with others. However it changed when a little boy fell and died, she wanted to go home after that as her holiday was forever changed.

How I met my Husband

Even though Edie is younger than Kathy, Edie’s mind was a lot mature than Kathy’s. Kathy didn’t know how to be around other teenagers and seem to never have been kissed before her bedroom encountered. Edie on the other hand, fell in love at a young age. She was enamored by the pilot, however, she didn’t understand how someone that seemed to love her back wouldn’t write to hurt. Her philosophy was to please everyone, and in doing so letter her husband who was the postman believe she had been waiting for him the whole time.

Separating

In this story the couple can’t seem to communicate to their children that they are divorcing. He wants to announce it while she wants to tell each child individually. They decide on telling their oldest, as the continually let the family believe that everything is all right. When they have their family dinner, the husband is drunk and crying, and they tell their children. The husband procrastinates again in telling their oldest son, and when questioned why, after all this time he has forgotten why.

The Man to Send Rain Clouds

History suggest that from their past both races could not get along, however time has passed and from the story suggest that both culture actively work together in sacred rituals such as death, religion, and other facets. Throughout history the Native Americans have been a misunderstood culture, with their use of war paint, old traditions, and a variety of factors that add to their heritage. Whites have a history of massacring millions of Native Americans that have created mistrust on both sides. However, from the story it seems as both cultures are working towards blending each other rituals, cultures, and heritages.

Cathedral

Unbeknownst to the narrator he was describing his own marriage. Even though he could see, he was still blind to the wonders of his wife. He smoked and drank heavily to her dismay all while ignoring her beauty and understanding of her blind friend. Once the picture of the Cathedral flashes across the screen leaving Bub speechless the blind man is able to connect with Bub in helping him to finally open his eyes to the world around him.

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