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“The Crane and the Blackbird”

Looking out the living room window, I watch as Abbott exits the building by the side door located just under our apartment on the fourth floor. He looks up to me at the living room window and blows a kiss to me. I lean out the window, wave down to him, and return the kiss. […]

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The Button Factory

Eighteen people. That’s all it took to carry away the place of Roy Gen’s most important memories. He watches the high school football team slide eight long slabs of wood underneath the sagging tin walls and then lift the little building straight off of its sinking concrete foundation. With not even a single grunt of effort, […]

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“Wendover”

He sat, calmly, rocking. Back and forth; to and fro. The horse underneath him wore four wooden shoes mounted on two curved pieces of pine that let the horse canter. The little light brown suede saddle rested on a green felt saddle pad and the horse himself had a mane made of mangled brown yarn. […]

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For my literary theory class this semester, we read “Reading in Slow Motion” by Reuben Brower. In it, he says that to encourage life long readers, reading must be fun. So, it’s the last night of exams and while all of my friends are anxious, frustrated, and exhausted with their essays and sit-downs, I’m happy. […]

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Vandals

Well, that was scandalous. And uncomfortable. In reading “Vandals” I came to understand a few things. 1. There is a lot of death in this story. 2. There is a hint of pedophilia in this story. 3. There’s a case of breaking, entering, and vandalizing in this story. After realizing these things, I began to wonder, […]

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I Had A Dream

Everything was different. She could see endless possibilities because she was looking into his eyes. He was a newborn, clean from the turmoil that came from living. In those moments of holding him for the first time she knew, she knew for sure that perfection did exist. It existed with birth, with the innocence birth […]

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Different and Wonderful

The complexities of Munro’s short story “Differently” are brilliant. Their is a perfect example of character development presented in this tale. Munro tells the story in Georgia’s point of view, but readers are given equal opportunity to see and understand the major and minor characters. We’re given different time spans, and different social classes to […]

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Arrhythmia, revised

When I hear the word love, I remember that summer, mid-June, the week leading up to my thirteenth birthday. The vibrancy was dialed up just shy of too much, a rich and luxuriant sun and so much green, until all I could do was lie under the pecan tree in the yard and close my […]

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Again, Strout makes very good use of sensory detail by including the appearance of Henry and Olive the time they were held hostage at the hospital. Olive was dressed in a papery robe with her big thighs and large stomach exposed after the tie had loosened. Henry was slouched against the bathroom wall with one […]

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I really enjoyed how Strout used sensory language to signify the progression of the season changes rather than directly telling the reader what season it was. “The leaves were half-gone now. The Norway maples still hung on to their yellow, but most of the orangey-red of the sugar maples had found their way to the […]

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Getting to Know Grace

In the chapter “Grace,” Okparanta uses perspective and dialogue to further express the depth of the narrator and Grace’s relationship. In the beginning of the chapter, the reader is wholly focused in the narrator’s head—her every day complaints, her initial confusion and curiosity about this girl with a “startling combination of youth and old age” […]

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Displaced

Hidden Valley was a town barricaded by the massive crowns of the Appalachians. They loomed over wide expanses of rocky, cow-covered hills and dense, hardwood forests; tangled webs of red dirt roads that had all but washed away after years of flooding; and decrepit plantation houses eclipsed by nephilim box hedges. Under their shadow, generation […]

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“The Grasp of Trust”

Her biggest mistake is what’s going to save her life. Her biggest mistake is what’s going to save her life. Her biggest mistake is what’s going to save her life. I keep telling myself this over and over again, as if it’s going to comfort me. Deep down I always knew that something like this […]

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“Let it Be”

My mom was a smoker. I think of her and I smell smoke. She would attempt to cover the smell with a spritz of some Walmart brand strong floral scent, but it’d just mix with the smoke and be worse than before. When I was younger I was embarrassed of her smoking because the other […]

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It was being a watcher that did it. A watcher, not a keeper. (378) In Alice Munro’s short story “Miles City, Montana,” she assembles her story through a set of memory based narratives. The action of the story takes place over the course of time, moving back and forth between the memory of a boy’s […]

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“The Oceanographer”

I love the beach.  I love the smell of ozone and minerals filling my nostrils. I love the aroma of the sun-steamed water that wafts to shore by tropical jet streams; these streams that have the power to take a calm rippling wave and turn it into a tsunami. It is the tsunamis I am […]

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“Daddy’s Not-Little Girl”

“Emma finally went into labor?” A smile broke out across my face at my boyfriend James’ absentminded question as he flipped through the TV channels. For a person who tried his best to minimize contact with my family (swearing that they were a bunch of snobs), he sure inquired after their wellbeing a lot. “No, […]

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“Lucky”

This year Clarity decided to decorate her dorm room for each occasion in every month. In November she made a cornucopia and hand turkeys out of construction paper. For December she could not buy a Christmas tree, so she used construction paper to cut out a tree large enough to put on the wall and […]

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Differently – Maya

“Maya was a surprise. She opened the door herself, barefoot, wearing a long shapeless robe of coarse brown cloth that looked like burlap. Her hair was long and straight, part high at one temple. It was almost the same dull-brown color as the robe. She did not wear lipstick, and her skin was rough and […]

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The Albanian Virgin

In reading “The Albanian Virgin” I started thinking to myself, “is this story about Lottar or Claire (whose name we don’t find out until we’re 25 pages into the story, interestingly enough — more on that later) or is this story about both of them?” This follows a format similar to the Okparanta story in […]

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POV in “Meneseteung”

Probably the most noticeable aspect of “Meneseteung” is the way Munro weaves together the story’s point of view and structure. The tight structure, clearly delineated by numbering and introductory snippets from Almeda’s poems, allows Munro to make point-of-view shifts without reader confusion–aside from the confusion she intentionally invokes, which I would call a good kind […]

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“Consolance”

The keen, cold wind cuts my face as it blows past me from multiple directions. Today is the coldest day of the year, so cold that my gloves fail to insulate my hands from the biting temperature. I reluctantly slide up my coat sleeve, exposing as little skin as possible to the air, to check […]

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I like how Strout portrays Olive’s character in this chapter by showing her make actions out of spite such as, stealing Sue’s shoe and bra and marking up her sweater. I also feel it indirectly shows Olive’s insecurities while she overhears Sue talking about Christopher’s hard childhood. The many ways in which Olive excuses her […]

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I like how Strout effectively “shows” Angela’s state of being by stating, “The green numbers by the bank said minus three degrees, but she didn’t feel cold. Her mascara was frozen, though.” (58) Here we see that Angela doesn’t feel cold because she is numb from the alcohol. Another reason why she always has alcohol […]

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I really liked the way Strout was able to convey a message without directly stating it. “The fact that their newly backed scent did not touch off a queasiness in her, as they had two times in the past year, made her sad…” (31) This lets the reader know that Patty has had two miscarriages […]

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