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Write Me Sometime

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danielle jager

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Write Me Sometime

A Guide to Literary Analysis supported by the short story "Write Me Sometime" by Taien Ng-Chan Step one Reflect on
Conflict The best way to analyze a story is
to ask yourself questions that could
help you further understand the
following steps that are critical to
your analysis. To begin any literary analysis you must first identify the conflict of your literary piece. This can be from identifying the main conflict of the text to underlying conflicts. within the largest conflict. Step two Seeing overall narrative
structure A literary analysis can often be confusing and difficult to do successfully. Many people are confused as to where they should start and what steps they should take. This guide will explain and support the basic steps using examples so that you can utilize them for a proper literary analysis. The narrative structure strongly influences the text and therefore is a crucial part in the literary analysis. The narrative structure could develop a bias in the reader, create an extra depth to the story and support the story. In "Write Me Sometime" The main conflict is the weak relationship the main character has with her father. It is noticeable in the story since the beginning that there relationship revolved around Saturday lunches. The first sentence states "Whenever I think of my father, I think of food" it shows that she does not have many other experiences with him. After more reading you find smaller conflicts within the central one such as the jealousy, resentment, and loneliness the main character feels towards her half-sister when his father begins to favorite her. She is left with a "taste of something sharp and grey under my tongue". The main character even attempts to end the sunday lunches out of the hurt she feels. After discovering the conflicts it is important to ask yourself questions like has the conflict been resolved? The story is left unresolved since the conflict of having a lacking relationship with her father is never strengthened. Even when she grows up their relationship still resolves around food and the communication between them is still placid. Even the underlying conflict of her sister remains and can been seen when she calls him, "only to be greeted enthusiastically by my sister's name". He shows favoritism towards his second daughter, enthusiastically wanting to talk to her and showing disappointment towards his first, leaving her with the same feeling she had as a child. Next you can ask yourself simpler questions like was the conflict implicit or explicit? Is there limited information to the conflict? Are you left to make your own assumptions? What is the cause of the conflict? The information in the text is limiting since you don't know why the conflict started besides the divorce of her parents. You never learn what caused the divorce or why the father favored his second daughter. You are often left to make your own assumptions that perhaps his first daughter reminds him of his ex-wife and he is more focused towards his new life which includes his second daughter. Despite this you find the conflict presents itself very explicitly. You are able to identify the central conflict easily throughout the whole story from the beginning when she says "As far back as I can remember, I saw my dad only once a week, when he picked me up every Saturday afternoon to go out for lunch." It is even prominent in the end "So I gave up and let him take me out for lunch" even when she wanted to do other things their relationships still revolves around going out for food. The reader must ask themselves questions about the point of view like how the point of view affects the story? When asking yourself this question it is important to consider the focus, mood, tone, and voice of the narrator. In"Write Me Sometime" the narrator's tone, voice, and mood appears to be sadly reminiscent. It is mostly limiting to her relationship with her father while growing up. "If I could just look at these pictures, I'd think that my childhood was made up of fifty two happy lunches a year. But somewhere along the way I stopped looking forward to Saturdays" the narrator is looking back on the time sadly by the way she grew up with him. This tone has an effect on the story by making it feel empty lonely. Responding to characters Step three When analyzing characters it is important to ask yourself a wide range of questions that
begin with the development of the character. First identify how realistic these characters are, ask yourself are they skeletal or do they come to life? The characters in "Write Me Sometime" comes across as flat. Very little information about them is revealed, you never find out their direct feelings or motivations towards one another with the exception of the min character. Even things such as jobs or names are unrevealed in characters such as the mother or step mother. Next identify how the characters develop, relate, and compare to the archetypal lenses The characters in this story fall into the typical archetype divorced family. The main character grows up not genuinely knowing her father and feeling the pressures of his new life. She noticed that her sister knew him well by there inside jokes of "calling grilled cheese sandwiches 'grouchy' sandwiches" or that she was familiar with him when she realizes that "my sister knew all the songs on the tape of chinese opera that my Dad liked to play in the car". Her mother even falls into the archetypal divorced mom whe she is always curious to what her father is doing. "But somehow I think that these lines should be kept open. My Mom thinks so too, oddly enough." It's seen here that the mom insist on the daughter staying in contact with her father and always ask what he has been talking about. Since this family falls into the archetypal divorced family it is easy to foreshadow the outcome by looking at the future of archetypal divorced families. Similar to the story the children often grow up without being close with there fathers but wanting to please them like she does, by influencing her dreams of growing up "When I found out my Dad flew all over the world to look at rocks and stuff, I wanted to be a scientist too." to looking for his approval on her current life "I write him about what I've been doing, how my classes are, what projects I've been working on". The archetype molded and developed the characters What literary devices are used to create the effectiveness of the narrative structre?
Is the narrator limiting or omniscient?
Does the point of view contribute to the stories effect?
Is the narrator limited to an identified person?
Is the narrator biased? You could further your literary analysis by asking more questions such as... You could further your literary analysis by asking more questions such as... What characters do you empathize with?
What is the symbolic relationship between characters and setting?
What patterns are associated with the characters?
What motifs appear within these patterns? Step four Looking for imagery and symbols When using this step identify the symbols and imagery by looking for repeated images. After recognizing these ask yourself what the value of these images are and how effective they were. Finally identify how these images were made clear. Imagery and symbols can be found in every literary piece so you should identify these to find the value of them and what they represent to the story To find some of the prominent symbols in "Write Me Sometime" visit the photo stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniellecjager/sets/72157631664547073/ The value of the images were used to represent her relationship with her father. It is shown in all the food they ate together and that that is how he gives her love even when she is an adult. The other images is her effort to make communication with him, writing him long letters which he hardly replied to or having brief phone calls. These images were effective to the story by supporting the conflict and the relationships of the characters. They were made clear through repetitive occurrance. Step five Listening for tone Finding the tone can relate back to the narrative structure. Describe the tone than answer how the tone attributed to the overall story and how did the tone change as the story developed? The tone in this story is sad. The main character is filled with the feeling of being replaced and the emptiness of not being close with her father. She hardly sees him "the last time I saw my father was about a year ago" and feels awkward when attempting to talk to him "greeted enthusiastically with my sister's name 'Uh, no,' I said. I felt almost apologetic". She feels bad that she cannot make him as happy as her sister can. This tone adds to the story by helping the reader understand the situation. Without this tone you would never know that she was unhappy with her relationship with her father. The tones slightly changes as she becomes more independent, like becoming a vegetarian even though her father doesn't understand, but the tone still has the same longing as it does in the beginning. Step six Exploring the significance of other literary lenses Next view the text through the different multipal lenses that you have learned When using these view points you can consider what literary elements and techniques are more effective and add to the story Step seven Connecting the story to other forms Finally connect the piece of literature to other things you have seen or experienced in your life. This can be anything from a song to a painting to a another book. It is important to explain how the two are connected "Write Me Sometime" is similar to another story titled "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann Marie Macdonald. They are related by the way the fathers act. In "Wite Me Sometime" the father shows strong favoritism towards his daughter and can only give love to the left out child through food. You can see this by how the only time she spent time with her father was during lunch "I saw my Dad only once a week, when he picked me up every saturday afternoon to go out for lunch". In "Fall On Your Knees" the father also shows strong favortism towards daughters that he likes but the only way he can show love is through discipline and harrasment. The two fathers are alike except in "Fall On Your Knees" he acts in a more extreme way. That is the end to a basic step by step guide! Remeber there are many other ways to explore and expand on your literary analysis just as long as you ask yourself a lot of questions and it is very important to support them! Good Luck! :)
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