Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mustart Plaster, Kill a Kitten, Go to Chruch: A Full Weekend

I found Mother’s day to be one of the most interesting stories that we have read so far. The use of the first person narrative, the harsh realism, and the strange look at religion in the lives of different people make this a very interesting story. The use of the first person narrative makes the story more powerful for the reader. As if we are in the narrators head. Hearing her thoughts and feelings made the story more meaningful for me. The part where this comes in to play the most was in the scene in which her father comes in the room with the mustard plaster. Hearing her horrification “ I felt my eyes sting and I know I was going to cry. I felt the wetness press against my eyeballs and drip over the edges of my eyes and down the sides of my head into my hair. I couldn’t say anything. I just lay there and cried.”(202) I found the detail in the this passage to extremely descriptive and reflective of the feelings of the young girl who is paralyzed by the thought of her father seeing the she has “developed.” Another passage that I found extremely interesting was that of when the girl killed the cat. There is no clear reason for the girl to kill the cat other than she doesn’t want to walk to another house to see if they will take it. While reading the passage that describes the cat being killed made me physically wince. The Idea of this girl, for no reason, spinning the cat around her head by its tail and then throwing it into a ditch, then on top of that she takes a rock and throws the it on top of the cat. Then as quickly as the girl had decided to kill the cat she “turned around and headed back to town” Throughout the story the girl makes references to religion weather it was a persons religion or that just general thoughts on religion. I found it interesting the author would end the sorry with a girls thoughts on religion, and the fact that no matter our religion we are all human, or rather as she phrases it “ not a single solitary [person] without mothers” this ending throws the reader a interesting curve because the focus of the story has been on the girls individual experiences, she ends by reflecting on more global topic.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

In his blog, Alex Skims over my biggest problem with this story: I can't figure out what the point of this story could possibly be, and from this stems my biggest pet peeve with short fiction.

I'm not an English major, but I feel I can decipher literature pretty well; that being said, when I come across a story such as "Mother's Day," I become extremely frustrated with the literary community. I'm sure I'll be sufficiently edificated come monday's class, but I just dont understand why short fiction writer's insist on making their stories as difficult as possible to break down for us lay people.

Symbolism, irony, theme, etc. these are all viable literary tools, and when used well, add a tremendous boost to any tale. And while some may say these tools are all the more necessary in short fiction to get the most out of a story, their use should not be at the expense of the reader's comprehension of the story. The beauty of short fiction is that anyone can pick up a story and read it quickly, making them perfect for small slots of free time everyone encounters during the day. So why must author's hide the point of their story so much that an average person can't take anything away from the reading of it. Literature that cant be enjoyed by all because of such a basic, foundational problem is a problem. It makes this class all the more ironic, that we must study and discuss these stories at length before we understand them at all (though I'm sure some of my classmates aren't having as diffcult of a time). But that's just the point. I am an educated, fairly-well read individual, and I'm having trouble with my comprehension. Without an intent to belittle, what happens to others with less education and/or intelliegence? Literature should be able to be enjoyed by all without having to attend English 106.