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Reader Responses: Stylistic Devices & Personality Trait (Essay Sample)


Answer the question, five paragraphs, 4 pages total, no need to be too much detail.


Reader Responses
Reader Responses
Authors explore various themes, literary devices and assign character traits in their works of literature to provoke the reader's critical thinking. This paper is a discussion of my responses as a reader to themes, stylistic devices and personality traits in five different short stories. The stories are Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums, John Updike's A&P, Kate Chapin's Regret and Ernest Hemingway's' Hills Like White Elephants.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is written by Raymond Carver and its main theme is love. The main characters in the story are Terri, her husband Mel and her ex-lover Ed. Mel's relationship with Ed was abusive while hers with Mel is a love filled. The key dialogues in the story are “He beat me up one night…He kept saying, I love you, I love you bitch,” “But he loved me. In his own way maybe..,” Terri speaks in defense of Ed. “My God don't be silly. That's not love..,” Mel says to Terri. “But I love you hon,” Terri says to Mel. “Honey, I love you,” Mel says in reply... The dialogues show contrasting relationships. Alcohol as a symbol is well employed because as the bottle of gin empties, the conflict heats up. From the title, the reader has an insight that the story is about love. Terri is persevering and pitiable, Ed is abusive and unappealing whereas Mel is loving and likable. Discussable questions that the story raises are: Was there really love between Ed and Terri? Do the two couples learn anything about love from each other? What does the story teach about love?
Authored by John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums is a story that gives insight into femininity and sexuality. The main characters are Elisa and her husband Henry. The key lines are” working in her flower garden…her husband talking to two men in business suits” “A man's black hat pulled low down over her eyes” “Her face eager and mature and handsome” “her work was over-eager, over-powerful.” “Her hard swept and hard polished home”. The chrysanthemums represent the children and romantic marriage Elisa wishes she had. They also represent her inner self and femininity that she is constantly taking care of. The closed pots represent her loneliness. Elisa bathing after her encounter with the tinker shows change. The first two paragraphs foreshadow that the setting is a rural, male-dominated society and inequality in the gender roles. Elisa is hardworking and ambitious. Her relationship with Henry is frustrating. Her clothes change as the story progresses from manly to more ladylike with an attempt to get romantic excitement from Henry. Her encounter with the

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