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Saki’s The Interlopers vs. Callaghan’s All the Years of Her Life

Saki’s “The Interlopers” vs. Callaghan’s “All the Years of Her Life”

In the story The Interlopers, Saki writes about

two families that have been feuding for generations. He writes about how “interlopers”

stop them from rivaling, and eventually bring the two of them to be friends

only minutes before they are eaten by wolves. He does this by using dramatic

irony. Through the character’s words he tells us what the two will do when

they get back to town now that they are friends. This leads you to believe

that the feud is over and everything is all right. The author then, however,

allows the characters to be eaten by wolves; contrary to the resolution that

could be concluded from the explanation and/or foreshadowing of the resolution.

Saki’s purpose for writing this story was probably to get across the point

that you should not hold long grudges, especially without knowing the reason,

or it might be too late to apologize. His unorthodox style of writing however

does achieve his purpose. The characters in his story finally make-up, but

then they are eaten and do not have

the chance to tell their families of

the news. If you could continue the story, you would probably be able to assume

that then the families continued to feud.

The story All the Years of

Her Life by Morley Callaghan, on the other hand, contrasts greatly with The

Interlopers in this area. In the story All the Years of Her Life, Callaghan

writes about a young boy who works at a thrift store and is caught stealing

merchandise one day. By th…

… middle of paper …

… to humble themselves

to better the problem.

I thought that the Interlopers was a well-written

story, the plot was good. The liked the purpose of the author and the way

in which he chose to achieve his purpose. The dramatic irony teaches me (the

reader) a moralistic lesson: not to hold a grudge, because you know not your

fate and might not ever get a chance to apologize. All the Years of Her Life,

on the other hand, I thought was a pretty dull story. It was well written,

but lacked originality with the plot. The author did much more than foreshadow

the ending, he pretty much just laid it out on the table for you; enough to

anticipate what would happen at the end at least. That is why it did not hold

my attention as the reader as well.

Primal Scenes in Americana and White Noise

Primal Scenes in Americana and White Noise

Written in 1989, Frank Letricchia’s essay on the overriding themes of Don DeLillo’s writing offers a short but concise praise of two of DeLillo’s major works: Americana and White Noise. Letricchia offers the thesis in his essay that “two scenes in DeLillo’s fiction are primal for his imagination of America” (Osteen 413). It seems that Letricchia is using “primal” not to denote an animalistic sense, but more along the lines of a basic need.

The first of these primal scenes takes place in DeLillo’s first book, Americana (Osteen 413). In a particular part of this novel, DeLillo describes the invention of America as the invention of the television (Osteen 413). One of his characters even describes it as having “came over on the Mayflower,” which Letricchia interprets as meaning not television itself came over, but the desire for a “universal third-person” (Osteen 414). Letricchia argues that television offers to modern Americans today what the Pilgrims’ ships offered to immigrants on the old days: something to dream about (Osteen 414). Even DeLillo writes that “To consume in America is not to buy; it is to dream,” which, according to Letricchia is to say “that it is not the consummation of desire but the foreplay of desire that is TV advertising’s object” (Osteen 414). Which is to say, it is not the advertisements job to make you buy something, only to make you want to buy it, a point I find to be not only accurate, but somewhat disturbing as well.

The second “primal scene” that Letricchia touches on comes from the book White Noise. In the book, there is a small but significant part in which two of the main characters drive twenty miles outside of town in order to visit a tourist attraction known as “The most photographed barn in America” (Osteen 415). While this is the surface subject of the passage, Letricchia asserts that the underlying issue at hand is actually “a new kind of representation as a new kind of excitement” (Osteen 415). In the scene from the book, the characters stand among crowds of people that are taking pictures of a very ordinary barn. One of the characters (Murray Siskind) begins a monologue about the fact that no one there has come to see the barn, but only “to be part of a collective perception” (Osteen 12).

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