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Small Potatoes

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by

Daphne Lau

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of Small Potatoes

She reminiscing her memories
Everything thing she sees reminds her of her friend
Her friend moved away (currently living in the city)
She’s remembering the good times and wants to have those memories again
She doesn't want to be separated from her friend for so long (wants her to visit the cabin again)
She wonders if she remembers her and the memories they had together
Summary
Language
Symbols
1. The Flowers
Nancy Lord's character, in the story, states, "I don't do it enough anymore, traipsing through with an eye for rose hips or spiders snare with its lump of fluttering, tormented moth." = a pattern evident throughout the story based on the symbolism of flowers
The flowers represent the intensity and lack of intensity within the friendship.
In the spring, the friendship blossoms as the flowers do; also, flowers have seeds, which signifies the future of the friendship.
In the fall, the flowers slowly die, as the friendship does too. = end of the story, she places dead flowers on the table as a way of accepting her friend may not return

2. The Seasons
In the summer the relationship flourishes
In the fall it slowly dies
It's nonexistent in the winter
Starts up again in the spring
Characters
Main character does not appear to change throughout the short story
She is sad, reminiscing about the happy past times she’s had in the setting with her friend
She was closely bonded with her before, but is currently drifted apart in terms of relationship
She strives for the relationship that she had before through memories
by Nancy Lord
Small Potatoes
Theme
Friendships may change overtime and even collapse as people mature and grow, and their personalities develop. Nothing stays the same.
Oppositions
Youth/Age:
In their youth, both women were idealists who loved nature
Their friendship blossomed with their adventures
- digging for clams
- working in the cannery
- building a cabin together
- chewing wild chives against the wall

Like Indian explorers, neither seemed to need anyone else.

But, as they aged, one remained in the wilderness (simple living, living off the land, idealism), while the other was more practical - would work in the city while becoming less and less drawn to wilderness.

Wilderness Friend
worked only for necessary money
garden
longed for her friend to return to share their fondness for the wilderness + have someone who completely understood who she was
City Friend
regular job
home in the city
responds late/has friends in the city
went less and less to the cabin, garden was ruined, and fence was falling
Belonging/Alienation:
In their youth, both women were free spirits who were adventuresome, worked hard in the cannery, and then played hard together in the wilderness of Alaska
Their friendship was understood and they felt most comfortable in each other's company
They dated men but never got married

Alienation occurred as one of the friends no longer returned to the cabin, in the wilderness, on a regular basis and never got in-touch with her friend again.

1. Has she forgotten her good life there?
2. Is she happier now in the city?
3. Is she too busy to care about her friend, her garden, and/or her cabin?

As her other friend longs for their carefree days together - she is lonely living the way she does by herself; nobody to share her joys with anymore.
- She is disappointed and discouraged because her friend doesn't show up when she says she will.
- Saddened, because her friend's cabin, garden, and fence, etc. are falling apart = their relationship
Lord's work is always very detailed and descriptive, as seen in
Small Potatoes
. Most of her published work is drawn from Alaskan material or themes. "It's not that I write about Alaska," She says, "Rather, this place is full of such extraordinary stories and landscapes, I'm most interested in exploring narratives and metaphors to comment in a fresh way upon what we, humans, are doing in, and to, the larger world."
Imagery
Visual aspects of the book, as seen by the main character, appear to the reader as dull, grey, colourless
The lack of vibrant colours in the characters physical world is contrasted by the colourful and joyous thoughts and memories
The setting is cold and lifeless = her relationship is over with her friend
Spring appears to be full of life because it is also the time when the main character was happy
Winter is sad and gloomy since she is no longer with her friend, thus making anything the main character sees bland in contrast to her memories
Symbolic power of the vegetation used in the story is significant = her friend was “content with small potatoes”, but it suggests that she wasn’t content with their relationship since they still drifted apart
Full transcript