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Maybe it is just my short attention span but I am not typically the type of person that enjoys reading books. This however is not the case with these 2 short stories that I will be analyzing in this essay. I found The Nose by Nikolai Gogol and My Life with the Wave by Octavio Paz very interesting to say the least. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the outlandish parts of them. I will be looking at several different elements or themes if you will from both readings.
I will be analyzing the genre, style, mood and structure. The fantastical genre, style, mood and structure made The Nose and My Life with the Wave so entertaining and funny. These elements caused me to want to keep reading just to see what happened next. First, I want to take a look at and understand the genre for The Nose and My Life with a Wave stories.
Both The Nose and My Life with the Wave are short stories.
Short stories are different from regular readings in that they are more compact than the usual books. Short stories usually have only one main characters with a few additional supporting characters. Short stories are fictional and frequently concentrate on the creating a certain mood however, a book can have multiple plot twist and elements, with a variation of main characters. For example, in The Nose the main character is Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov but is introduced through a supporting character, Ivan Yakovlevich’s memory: He had realized that this nose belonged to none other than Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov, whom he shaved every Wednesday and Sunday.
In My Life with the Wave we do not know the name of the main character because it is done in a first person narrative however there is only one main character throughout the entire story. The story starts out: “When I left that city, a wave moved ahead of the others.” (Paz 305) And ends with “In a restaurant in the outskirts I sold her to a waiter friend, who immediately began to chop her into little pieces, which he carefully deposited in buckets where bottles are chilled.” (Paz 309) It sure seems to me that these readings are fictional and sometimes sound fantastical.
Both of these readings are very unique in their style. Both stories are very detailed, descriptive and involved. Descriptive style writing attempt to paint a picture using words of a particular person, place, or thing. They could be categorized as fantastical even. Let’s take a look at the meaning of the word fantastical. Fantastical is described as, to play freely with a creative imagination. One example of fantastical in the readings of The Nose is: “How could it really be that a nose which was on his face yesterday, was now walking and riding, and in uniform!” (Gogol 15) From the reading, My Life with a Wave the narrator speaks of the wave saying: “She began to complain of solitude.” (Paz 308) How could a wave possibly complain about anything? This sure seems like a very creative imagination to me. One can’t however keep from smiling or evening laughing out loud at the outlandish writings of these short stories.
The outlandish characters of the nose and the wave and the things that the writers had them doing set the whole mood for the stories. The mood was light and funny. I think that the writers chose the style that they did in order for the stories to be light hearted and not taken so serious. The effects of this genre and style just makes your mood be happy. One can’t help but smile and laugh at the outlandish events within these 2 stories. An amusing part of The Nose was when Major saw the nose run into a building: “Two minutes later, the nose did in fact come out. He was wearing a gold embroidered uniform, suede breeches, and a sword.” (Gogol 15) This is hilarious to me that a nose is dressed as a person and ran into a building. In My Life with the Wave the narrator attempts to create a light hearted and amusing moment when he says: “Nothing is comparable to sleeping rocked in those waters, unless it is waking pounded by a thousand happy light lashes, by a thousand assaults that withdraw laughing.” (Paz 307) Can you picture a wave withdrawing laughing? It is almost comical. While both of these stories are amusing and outlandish they are very easy to follow along with because of the structure.
Structure has to do with the way the stories are laid out and organized. It is the background of the stories. You can think of structure as a map of the stories construction. The structure of both The Nose and My Life with the Wave would be considered linear. However My Life with the Wave is also considered to be narrative because in My Life with the Wave we do not know the character’s name: “When I left that city, a wave moved ahead of the others.” (Paz 305) Both stories have an arrangement of events in the order that they happened so this would be a chronological structure of events. An example of an arrangement of events in The Nose is in the beginning of the story it states: “An unusually odd event took place in St. Petersburg on March twenty-fifth.” (Gogol 11)
As wild as both of these stories are neither of them use any dream sequences or flashbacks. The structure of the stories made them easy to read in one sitting. In Conclusion, the fantastical genre, style, mood and structure made The Nose and My Life with the Wave so entertaining and funny. Both The Nose and My Life with the Wave are short stories. Both of these readings are unique in style as well as fantastical. Both of the authors of these readings must have a very creative and fun imagination. The peculiar characters of the nose and the wave and the things that the writers had them doing set the whole amusing mood for the stories. The mood could not help nut to be was lighthearted and funny. Both stories had a linear arrangement of events. The events were in the order that they happened chronologically.
The chronological order is how both readings, The Nose and My Life with a Wave was able to hold my attention and made it very easy and enjoyable to read. While both of these stories were very amusing and each had an outlandish character they are very easy to follow along.
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