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Short Story Analysis: Loss, Racism And Abortion (Essay Sample)


Write an insightful and well-documented analysis of any two or more short stories that were assigned.  You may write about any number of the stories; that is, you may write an analysis of two, three, or four stories. (Authors: Chopin, Hemingway, Carver, Steinbeck, Updike.) You may also select from the other stories in Love and Light text, if you wish.   

You must also include in your analysis a simple research requirement, to be further explained. Simply put for now, you must do a little research to find secondary sources to reinforce your short story analysis. These sources could be relevant information about the author(s), or commentaries about the stories, or reinforcing information about the concepts (literary elements, historical contexts, for example), or any other strategic features (quotations, for example) you feel would reinforce or enhance your analysis. You must use a minimum of two secondary sources, and, of course, use correct parenthetical citation and include the sources in proper MLA form in your works cited list.


Student's Name
Short Story Analysis
From the beginning of time, stories have been used as a means of teaching, rebuking and correcting people in various societies. For every story, there is always a lesson attached to it and this in effect, helps to bring about change in society. The “Regret” by Kate Chopin focuses on the life of Mamzelle Aurelie, who apparently has kept herself from the married life and from having any children. “Desiree's Baby” by the same author set in the slavery era highlights the themes of racism, pride and the idea of karma. “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway revolves around an American man and his girlfriend who are at the train station waiting for their train while having a conversation about abortion. The three stories address and speak against some issues of concern in society including, loss, racism and abortion and how these affect the society using different literal styles in exploring these themes.
The story “Regret” by Kate Chopin centers on the life of Mamzelle Aurelie, who apparently has kept herself from the married life and from having any children. All of her life and energy have been dedicated to her farm until a day comes when she has to look after her neighbor's children. It is through that experience that her whole life is redefined. Overall, the story explores a number of themes including regret, loss, responsibility and loneliness. In this story, Chopin uses the third person narration to give us a glimpse of what Mamzelle Aurelie's life was like. It is easy to notice the sense of loss felt by Mamzelle Aurelie given that she never had any children. Evidently, this sense was hidden even from herself and it only comes to life after the encounter with her neighbor Odile's children. When she gets to interact with them and know them better, it is revealed that she has an affectionate side with so much love to give. She holds the little Lodie close to her as she sleeps. Chopin describes Aurelie's crying as being unique with a deep sense of feeling. She cries “like a man” which emphasizes the depth of her sense of loss. From this great sense of loss the theme of loneliness is developed. The fact that Mamzelle Aurelie is a lonely woman is not hidden from us. Despite having a large farm with so many workers, Chopin has not mentioned the presence of a friend in Aurelie's life. Odile has only been identified as a neighbor and from Aurelie's attitude when she saw her with approaching with her children; there is a clear indication that they were not really friends. With no children and no friends, there is no doubt that her life is clouded by much loneliness. There is reason to believe that her manlike and somewhat brutal appearance made it for her to have friends. Chopin points out that she would always stand “with arms akimbo.” By mentioning this, Chopin paints her as a proud woman who was happy about the strides she had made in life without a husband and children to demand for her attention. This pride could have scared the Negro workers away from her, thus explaining the lack of friends. Aurelie's responsibility is evident in her taking care of her farm. Although her lack of it comes to play when it is revealed that, her reason for not having children was because of the responsibilities that came with that. She admits that she can take care of many farms, but not children.
In Desiree's Baby, the short story by Kate Chopin focuses on the themes of racism, pride and the idea of karma. Written during the slavery era, the story is a depiction of how the black race was despised and any association with them apart from master-servant relationship was considered abominable. In relation to pride, Rae (N.p) notes tha...

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