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Copy of "Small Potatoes" by Nancy Lord

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qin zhang

on 22 December 2014

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Transcript of Copy of "Small Potatoes" by Nancy Lord

"Small Potatoes" by Nancy Lord
Character and Plot
Rural Alaska
Internal Conflict
: (the narrator vs. herself)
Struggles with the fact that her friend is leaving and how much her friend has changed. The author uses flashbacks to compare and contrast the friendship they had before and after the conflict.

External Conflict
: (the narrator vs. her friend)
The conflict is the two characters both want different things.
The protagonist:
contented with living in a simple lifestyle
Her friend:
wants personal achievement in her life.

First Person Narrative
Story is told through the Protagonist's mind
Interior Story

Protagonist (the narrator)

Grew up in Boston
Shy and introverted.
A dynamic character that matures through the conflicts she experiences.
Close friendship with her girl friend, like “sisters who shared a coded language”.
Had many failed relationships in the past, due to problems in communication.
"Its real uptown," we said. "We better watch out that we don't get citified." (pg. 196)
Compare and Contrast
" Every trip you take away more, emptying the house of those things that make it most yours. Load by load, you’re moving away.” (Pg. 194)
Character Conflict
(Title Analysis)
Speculated Endings
Skit 1
Skit 2
• Each season represents a stage in their friendship

• Represent the friendship between the protagonist & her friend, as in the beginning of their story, their friendship blooms like flowers in the spring, wilts in the fall, and dies in the winter.
Symbolizes their friendship.
“Perfect for boiling" , content with mundane things
“I go on, holding to the vision, but I know now that you’ll never be satisfied again with small potatoes.” the narrator mentions after her friend moves to Anchorage.

Wyeth painting
“It reminds me of a Wyeth painting, with its patina of fog and seclusion.”
It shows the narrator’s seclusion from her friend and the outside world.


“I wonder if you still think about
the day we walked the bluff’s edge, weaving back around the ravines and then on out to the points of land where firewood rippled in the sea breeze. Eagles rode the thermals above us, and we watched two at play, diving at each other and once locking talons while they tumbled above us.”
“Only a couple of weeks ago, the trees and bushes were still lunging around, frothing with fevered leaves and seed, stretching, the grasses dizzy over my head. Now the exuberance is gone, leaving jaundiced alders, berries fallen or pinched to skin, grasses pale and brittle as though the frost has sucked the green resilience out of them."

Antagonist(the narrator's friend)

Grew up in Midwest, moved to Alaska from the Mid West to escape from the city.
Shared a close relationship with the protagonist in the past.
Bonded with the narrator really fast
Had similar interests as the protagonist ( both love nature)
Character Analysis
( Happy ending -- set in the friend's office in Anchorage)
( Sad ending -- set during Christmas in Alaska where the Narrator lives)
Moved to Alaska for the scenery and the vast amount of untrammeled land.
Struggles to accept her friend's abandonment.
Enjoy the scenery and living on low salary
Constantly reminisces about memories with her friend.
A dynamic character, undergoes internal & external conflicts.
Character Analysis (Motivation)
The Role of a Single Potato
Antagonist- the narrator's friend

Round character, moves to Alaska from Mid West to escape from the city.
Becomes tired of the mundane, bland lifestyle where she has to do everything by herself.
Job with a high salary and possible professional achievement motivates her to move to Anchorage.
Close relationship with the protagonist now drifts apart.

The friendship starts
Their friendship blossoms
The narrator's friend moves to Anchorage for the job, ans their relationship wilts
The friendship dies due to the separation
“They were all good men--yours and mine—but then you and I would always find ourselves together again, across one of our kitchen tables, drinking tea and talking. Every time it was as though we were able to communicate in the same language again, after having tried to get by with foreigners.”
As people mature and start seeing the reality, they might have to sacrifice friendship to reach their goals.
Full transcript