Essay On Short Stories

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First Story

1.Focus on the Narrator :

 In a paragraph identify and trace three or more changes that take place in the speaker's situation, experience, and ambitions and what you think caused these changes.

The writer undergoes some drastic changes in the course of the story. First, at the start of the story, she has little money for anything including getting her own place to stay. Later on, she has become a bit more moneyed as we see her say that she has started saving money for a trip to Europe. This is more expensive than the trip to Florida that she desired at first. This was as a result of her promotion at work where she now has more responsibilities and more pay. At the end of the story, the writer has let go of the ambition to live alone and instead chooses to live with her mother. This was due to the fact that she did get a place with Kim earlier and ended up not liking the responsibilities that came along with it.

2.Improvise a Conversation:

 A pivotal moment in the story comes in the scene when Kim is annoyed and orders a pizza. Write a conversation between Kim and the narrator that helps to reveal and explain Kim's state of mind.

Narrator: is anything the matter Kim?
Kim: huh?
Narrator: you never eat pizza, so something must be wrong. What is it?
Kim: I can’t believe he never told me he was planning to leave.
Narrator: maybe it’s because he hadn’t made up his mind…
Kim: a whole year in the US? He could have mentioned it.
Narrator: I think you should be happy for him. It’s all for the better.
Kim: I don’t think I can wait that long. It’s over between the two of us…
Narrator: just because of that one thing? You could talk it out…
Kim: it’s not just that, we don’t seem to have much in common anymore. He’s overly intellectual. It’s boring.
Narrator: alright, the choice is yours…

3.Write a Short Story :

 Choose one of the main characters in this story, and write a couple of paragraphs describing a key event in the character's life that took place sometime after the four went off in separate directions. Use clues from the last five paragraphs of "On the Right Track" to get you started.

When the rent for their apartment went up, Kim and her roommate had to give it up and move back home. She really did not like this turn of event but she did not have much choice. So she packed her things and requested her brother to come help her move back home. He happened to be going away urgently for a while so he sent his friend Larry to help her out. Kim was surprised to find that Larry was much better looking than she expected. The chemistry was instant. By the time he had gotten her home, they had already exchanged numbers and agreed to meet for a date.

At home, Kim was coldly welcomed back by her family. The only periods of consolation that she got was when she was away at work and the time she spent with Larry. He really into her; even preferred her name Joyce to the one she had given herself. She decided to drop the name Kim for her original name.

One day she got into an argument with her parents and they kicked her out. She called Larry and explains the turn of events. Without hesitation he asks her to move in with him while she looks for another way out. Needless to say, she soon finds herself expectant. Larry proposes on learning of this, and convinces her to quit her job in order to take care of the pregnancy. She yields and a few months later she’s with a beautiful baby and a very loving husband.

Second Story

1.Analyze an Extended Metaphor :
Write a paragraph about how the author uses of references to mules to add to the humor to the story and discuss why the author chose this metaphor for his story.

There are several instances in the story where the author makes references to mules to create humor in the story. For example, when Bud tells him that his father refers to him as mule, the narrator gets impressed rather than offended. This is partly because of Francis, the talking mule, whom he considered as a hero. According to the narrator, and wrongly so, mules are smarter than horses and donkeys - and even humans in some cases. He even goes further to imagine himself as a mule bridling itself against a wrong that held it. The same is revisited at the end of the story where he’s conversing with his mother. In the final paragraph he says

“There was nothing there that I could see clearly. Some grass, maybe, and some blurry shapes in the distance. Certainly not what she imagined. I stood there for a moment looking, shook my mane a little, and asked her when I could borrow the car.”

The author chooses this metaphor for the story because it is a well-known imagery to mean show stubbornness. The narrator displays characteristics of stubbornness on various occasions in the narrative. For example, when he’s woken up early by his father in order to get driving lessons, he’s unenthusiastic about it all. As a result he stalls through breakfast in an attempt to delay the lessons until he finally rouses his father’s anger. Similarly, after hitting the post with the car, he refuses to drive back to the housing, making his father to call him a mule, and rightly so.

2. Explain Motivation:

Most teens look forward to receiving their driver's license, and to the purchase of their first car. In a paragraph, explain why the narrator initially wants nothing to do with driving. What causes him to change his mind?

He is initially unwilling to learn to drive because he deduces that by the learning to drive, his responsibilities would multiply. He, for instance, would be forced to make weekend deliveries that no one else was willing to make. He as well did not have any interest in vehicles or any other machines in that case. He also had a delusional notional in his mind that leaning to drive would induct him into the adult world which he considered all work and no fun.

He later on changes his mind about it all after a discussion with Bud. Bud manages to convince him that one; mules are admirable creatures, but rather creature with no identity. Two, that working for his father was not a bad notion, but actually a good idea as it would help him earn money to buy his own car. Finally, learning to drive would give him more freedom as he easily go wherever he wanted.

3. Write a Personal Response:

Write about a battle you have had with a parent or authority figure who asked you to do something you didn't want to do. How did you respond—were you uncooperative? Reluctantly cooperative? What was the outcome? On reflection, would you handle the situation differently now?

On a personal level, I had similar fallouts with my parents when they attempted to make me attend piano lessons when I was much younger. I had zero interest in music, or at least playing musical instruments. I at first tried to protest, but when I realized that it was to no avail, I pretended to give in. I however would pretend to go out for the lessons, but would instead go spend time with my friends.
Needless to say, I was soon caught out and punished for you see, my parents had been paying for the lessons that I never attended. In hindsight, I should have attended the lessons as there was nothing to lose by attending really. Who knows, I would probably be having some useful extra skillset at present.

Third Story

And the Taxi Started Moving Again
The way the light strikes her lips – that’s the first thing I noticed about Mary. They are red, luscious, full… and a little bit more of red.. Because that’s what it does. I noticed from quite a distance off, and couldn’t take my eyes off her.

As the taxi neared the spot, my heart beat started to slow down. There were other people at the taxi stop, but she was the only one that I noticed. She’s that kind of beauty; the kind that makes everyone else fades away, even though most of them were much more physically bigger than her. The taxi slowed down. My heart came to stop. Would fate really grant me this? You see usually when a taxi I’m in stops to pick up another passenger, it is usually an odd guy or a plump elderly lady.

The taxis lurched to a stop. I burst out of my reveries to realize that I was staring at the strikingly beautiful young lady with exquisite red lips who had just boarded the taxi. “Hi, my name is Andy”, I said.
“What’s up, I’m Mary.” She smiled.
And the taxi started moving again.