Fiction: Short Story Essay example

Submitted By Sandy-Dougherty
Words: 3574
Pages: 15

Question 1:
O'Connor's "Good Country People"
Spend some time detailing the specific and general (overall) ironies in this short story. How do these ironies underscore the title of this short story?
The title” Good Country People” signifies that country people are always helpful, respectful, and kind to one another. Country people are typically very accepting of one another. “Nothing is perfect. This was one of Mrs. Hopewell’s favorite sayings. Another was: that is life! And still another, the most important, was: well, other people have their opinions too”. On the contrary, Mrs. Hopewell’s attitude was just the opposite of a good country person. She could not accept a daughter who was different, even though she sounds like she is a compassionate Christian. Mrs. Hopewell is embarrassed and angry about her daughter’s name, the way she dresses and her behavior. The hostility between Hulga and her mother is fueled by the presence of Mrs. Freeman. Hulga’s mother, believes that Mrs. Freeman is an perfect example of “Good Country People” , but in reality she is using Mrs. Hopewell’s blindnesss to reality to manipulate Mrs. Hopewell. Unlike the title “Good Country People” The entire short story is full of manipulation, deception and lack of acceptance between the characters.

Question 2 (10 points)
200 words
Crane's "Open Boat"
Explain how isolation is a theme of this short story, and how this theme contributes to the overall tone of the story. You might start by considering the interactions between the men, and then move to the correspondent's role in the story. You might also explore the symbols used in the story that represent isolation and aloneness.

In the story, I found out that the captain represents the leaders, the cook represents the followers, the oiler represents that good, straight forward, hard working people, and the correspondent represents the observers. Stephen Crane resembles the oiler the most because of the struggles he went through before he died at an early age.

While everyone is kind of cowering in the boat while it is lost out to see, the correspondent is the one that is out on the deck thinking about how he is going to get the boat back to safety. Eventually he thinks of a way and figures that he is going to have to accept the fact that nature is going to put them through some pain in order for them to survive and that is when they kind of created their own brotherhood. They realized that they didn’t have anybody to come save them so they had to save themselves.

“It would be difficult to describe the subtle brotherhood of men that was here established on the seas. No one said it was so. No one mentioned it. But it dwelt in the boat, and each man felt it warm him.”

I feel like that is when the theme isolation came into effect because they were isolated on a ship by themselves with nobody around to help them.

Question 3 (10 points) Irving's "Rip Van Winkle"
Explain how fantasy and magic contribute to the charm of this short story.
Rip Van Winkle was very helpful to his neighbors, but could not escaped his nagging wife. “…he was a simple, good-natured man; he was, a kind neighbor, and an obedient, hen-pecked husband.” He is unable to support his family or his farm. Rip Van Winkle was able to escape his undesirable life by escaping into a “dream” world. The only care he had was to rise above his wife. Rip Van Winkle’s night in the forest symbolizes the dream of escape through his imagination. Once he wakes up from his “dream” he is released from his duties to his family. He becomes the town’s story teller, reliving his experience in the woods. “He used to tell his story to every stranger”. His story telling was much more pleasant than the daily rituals of his everyday life. As people listened to his stories they questioned whether they were real. “Some always pretended to doubt the reality of it and insisted the Rip had been out of his head…”. Although his