The River Nemunas by Anthony Doerr and Things We’ll Need For The Coming Difficulties by Valerie Vogrin are primarily related by a common theme of isolation. Isolation is certainly the main link between the stories but there are other parallels that can be drawn as well. On the other hand, there are things that the two authors did differently while still staying with this common idea. Along with analyzing the theme of isolation, this paper will also serve to compare and contrast the writing style of the stories as well as the way the two authors used images, character development, and conflicting/post-modern ideas within the stories.
The overbearing theme of both stories is isolation, however this is an idea that the two authors took
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In The River Nemunas the story is told from the perspective of Allie, and it does not read the same as Things We’ll Need For The Coming Difficulties. The River Nemunas has almost a dreary poetic feeling to the writing. There was a great reference to Emily Dickenson in the beginning of that story, about how Allie was carrying an Emily Dickenson book with her, perhaps because she is a fan, which I think is very fitting because the story is supposedly told by Allie, and it has a similar feel to an Emily Dickenson piece.
Things We’ll Need For The Coming Difficulties has almost no poetic feel to it, however, what links the writing styles of these two pieces is the way they both switch back and forth form flowing sentences to fragmented writing. In Things We’ll Need For The Coming Difficulties there are the abrupt lists throughout the story. In The River Nemunas, the way Doerr tells the story, there are parts where he breaks out of the poetic, flowing, style and hits the reader with very direct, very bold, statements. Doerr writes from Allie’s perspective “I saw a Sturgeon. So did Mrs. Sabo. I go to bed and wake up mad… Mishap barks at me” (Doerr, 28). This quote depicts some of the fragmented language that Allie uses, which provides a sense of frustration, and maybe that she is not dealing with the stress of her new situation as well as she would like to be. The fragmented lists used in Things We’ll Need For The Coming Difficulties were similar in that they broke