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The Portrait of Sammy as an Artist Essay

In Toni Saldivar’s review, entitled “The Art of John Updike’s A&P”, Saldivar states that “experiencing the dramatic irony of Sammy’s narrative by enjoying Updike’s allusions to Botticelli’s art and to Pater’s aestheticism enables the reader to see a romantic sensibility becoming modern by arriving at a certain form of consciousness” (Saldivar par. 20).

This kind of thought in the study of “A&P” allows the reader to see Sammy in a different, kinder light because it allows the reader to see Sammy, not just as a boy trying to show off, but as a young man who trying to express his celebration and his enjoyment of the beauty of his “Queenie” the best way he can. If we base the reading of Sammy on the author’s idea that he is a “modern artist”, albeit a very untutored and ignorant one, it becomes amusing that Sammy’s actions really are the closest he can get to paying homage to the beauty that he saw in his Queenie.

It doesn’t matter if the girl didn’t notice because the focus here is really Sammy standing up for the beauty that he saw in the girls; it is Sammy proving himself true to his Queenie that is enjoyable. The Color of Freedom: “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty “No longer a matter of crossing physical barriers, or avoiding entrapment by briars and barbed wire, the opposition that Phoenix encounters after she moves from the path to the road is racial in nature” (Moberly par. 19). That quote is, perhaps, the best way to discuss Welty’s story.

At first, old Phoenix is hampered by her environment but, the closer she is to “civilization” the worse her obstacles are. As Moberly stated, Phoenix, has beaten the physical odds of the woods and must now submit to the barriers of race in order to attain the medicine to heal her grandson. It is natural to encounter hardship due to physical barriers (as in the earlier parts of the story) but once Phoenix comes across white people she is forced to deal with obstacles that exist only because her color is different.

The hunter, for example, does not think twice about scaring her with his gun while the nurse treats her so condescendingly (making “charity” sound contemptible) that, for awhile she closes in on herself, trying, it seems, to shut out the nurse. The short story is able to provide a personal account to the universal cruelty that people can inflict on each other. The War that Never Ended: “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien That the Vietnam War changed the course of history and, perhaps, the identity of a nation is something that will not go through heated arguments, I think.

Literature, film, theatre, music and so many other media are fraught with stories, with narratives, with recollection, and with confessions that root themselves in this event. Tim O’Brien’s work “The Things They Carried” is no such exception. In “Salvation, Storytelling and Pilgrimage in Tim O’Brien’s the Things They Carried”, we are asked the crucial question “can imagination save us, uplift us, provide some small bit of rectitude, if only temporarily, or is it the very perpetrator of that old and terrible lie?

” (Vernon par. 29); the author of the article, Alex Vernon, says no, and I am inclined to think the same for, in the imagination, the war will continue, dark and deadly, unless a person decides to leave it all behind him just as “The Things They Carried” remains bleak, showing no great epiphany, no redemption up to the very end. Maybe this is why this story resonates in its recollection of dark times that robbed the innocence of thousands of soldiers and gave them only grief in return for their sacrifice of life.

Works Cited Moberly, Kevin. “Toward the North Star: Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” and the Slave Narrative Tradition. ” The Mississippi Quarterly 59. 1-2 (2005): 107+. Questia. 06 July 2009 < http://www. questia. com/>. This article discusses how the short story was, at first, studied without acknowledging its reference to Phoenix’s color. It progresses to discuss Phoenix’s harships caused by the racial prejudice of those around and her eventual salvation because of her love for her grandson and the “North Star”.

This article provides valuable insight as to how to tackle works like “A Worn Path”. Saldivar, Toni. “The Art of John Updike’s “A&P”. ” Studies in Short Fiction 34. 2 (1997): 215. Questia. 06 July 2009 < http://www. questia. com/>. Saldivar studies “A&P” in light of Updike’s art education and through the lens of an informed reader. It presents Sammy through a different light – that of a modern Botticeli. It is an interesting take on Sammy characterisation and provides more food for thought regarding his actions and what could be their eventual consequences.

Vernon, Alex. “Salvation, Storytelling and Pilgrimage in Tim O’Brien’s the Things They Carried. ” Mosaic 36. 4 (2003): 171+. Questia. 06 July 2009

< http://www. questia. com/>. In the essay, Vernon discusses Tim O’Brien and his personal connections with his short story. He discusses how it seems as though O’Brien continues to try to find reason in war experiences and notes how O’Brien’s later writings seem to show that he is slowly moving away from the experience. This article is somehow a reaffirmation on the view that the Vietnam War traumatised an entire generation.


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