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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Tiphanie Yanique's How to Escape From a Leper's Colony and Other Short Stories (Essay Sample)

I'm just going to copy directly from the assignment sheet. In an essay, provide a close reading of one story from Tiphanie Yanique's collection "How to Escape from A Leper's Colony and Other Short Stories." Your paper should provide a thorough analysis of the story. And this analysis should develop a thesis, an overall main idea. Ideally your analysis of the story will take into account how the stories address certain issues related to world literature, post-colonialism, and/or Creaolite. Intro: Brief summary of sotry Body of the essay argue and support your thesis Conlusion: restate your thesis and summarize your major points. It's an interpretative essay, refrain from using opinions. Give essay suitable title and thesis that suggests your thesis. Four pages, double spaced, times new roman, 12 point font source..
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Introduction (Brief Summary of the Story)
The story by Tiphanie Yanique titled “where tourists don’t go”, is set in the modern times of Houston, the capital city of Texas. The main characters are Mason and Robin. Other characters that play supportive roles in the story include: the acquaintance whose name is not mentioned, and who meets Mason for a late lunch, two months after his arrival in Houston. There is also the Priest, and the postal worker who ushers Mason into the little catholic chapel. Mason and Robin are dating couples and yet to get married. Mason is a Jamaican architect who has just been transferred to Houston from New York. On the other hand, Robin is a middle school teacher and of African American ethnicity.
The fact that they are both from different countries does not make it any better for their relationship. Robin and Mason seem to encounter normal domestic feuds like any other average Houston household. It is also clear that Mason though every bit in denial, is apparently very much homesick, which he confirms when he decides to go with Robin to the I-festival showcasing Jamaican culture. It is at this festival that Mason, after succeeding in losing Robin, finds his way into the downtown little chapel. In this paper, themes that emerge from the story, such as tradition variations and socio-cultural incompatibility will be discussed, so as to effectively analyze the story.
Tradition Variations
Mason and Robin as stated earlier are both from different ethnic cultural backgrounds. Robin seems to be comfortable with Houston, probably because it is her country after all. However, for Mason, he is from Jamaica, and may see things differently. For example, in the second page of the story, Mason happens to be meeting with an acquaintance back from school in New York. When settling for a late lunch, the author mentions that he is indifferent to the meal the café calls po-boy, which in Mason’s case, is the Houston imitation of Jamaica’s sandwich on a French bread. It is therefore his tradition that he seeks to uphold most, even as a foreigner which makes him the equivalent of a tourist. The theme of tradition is perhaps widely related to African literature as a form of world literature. It seems to the reader from Robin’s point of view, that “Jamaicans just imitate everything black Americans do and put a reggae beat on it” (Yanique, 2010).
The novel does not assume its title until after Mason and Robin happen to go to the I-Festival. Although Mason is reluctant, the smell of delicious jerk and curry, seem to change his mind about the whole idea of going to the festival. After all why should he be afraid whereas there will be many other Jamaicans in the crowd as well? It turns out that where tourists don’t go, is actually the festival itself, which Robin, a non-Ja...
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