Essay, Research Paper
Santiago Ms. V. Troilo /BCC/T&R 11-12:15
ENC 1102/Pines Center Short Stories And Taste Essay
What literary elements make one short story superior to another? Steven Dunning believes that the superior story should combine a good narrative structure with a deep psychological reality. It is quite obvious that he values psychological reality over a well-written narrative. In this paper I will be summarizing Dunnings analysis of two short stories, “Appointment with Love” and “The Chaser” the article is called “Short Stories and Taste.”
According to Dunning’s analysis, “Appointment with Love” follows the structure of a well-written narrative by using many literary elements. The plot of the story is suspenseful, it has a shocking double twist ending that leaves the reader wondering what happened next, the characters seem very real and the reader can easily identify with them. The story also uses flashbacks to construct a background for the story’s climax. If the reader values a tight plot structure he/ she will believe that “Appointment with Love” is the superior short story. The writer uses meager stereotypes to describe the story’s characters. Dunning points out that this story is extremely flawed, both in the type of language it uses and the descriptions of the characters seem to contradict themselves. An example of these contradictions is the young pilot Mr. Blandford inability to see the correct time on a very large clock that he was close to. Military pilots must have 20/20 vision or better in order to fly an aircraft, so there should be no need for the pilot to squint. Dunning wonders how Blandford knew that Hollis was a woman’s name seeing as how the Webster’s dictionary lists Hollis as a man’s name. Dunning also questions the moral value of the story, and wonders how Hollis could be so self-righteous and conceited that she tampers with Blandford’s psyche by giving him the test. Dunning also believes that it is unrealistic for Hollis to ask Blandford to suspend his primal animal urges and search for a type of love that is deeper and more fulfilling. He is a man isn’t he? It is also unbelievable that Blandford is so lucky that he not only finds a woman with whom he has a deep psychological connection with but she is very beautiful. Dunning view’s “Appointment with Love” as inartistic, with a style that uneven and often inadequate. Dunning thinks the only redeeming quality of this story is it’s plot.
Through Dunning’s observations in his English classes he believes that “Appointment with Love” is the better story to derive a sense of literary taste from. I think that for this story the reader must be suspect of the realness of these characters. This is an entertaining story that leaves the reader wondering what happened after these to people meet face to face. I wonder if Hollis, after meeting Blandford, maybe she found him unattractive and decided to leave him, thereby contradicting own actions. It angers me that Hollis would have the audacity to test Mr. Blandford in that manner, which only proves that she is insecure with her own sexual prowess. It seems that she may have had many bad experiences with men in her past. I also want know how Mr. Blandford could be so moved by the words of a woman he does not know. In my opinion when love is involved, the words of a person are meaningless without any emotion towards the person who wrote them. The fact that this story has so many flaws is unimportant, but this is not the superior story of the two.