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How Far She Went
Transcript of How Far She Went
Attended Georgia State University, majoring in Spanish.
Received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction (1984), and the Southern Review/Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award (1984) for her first collection of short stories, "How Far She Went".
Named the Writer of the Decade by Kennesaw State University (1999)
A rebellious teenage girl is sent away to live with her grandmother, abandoned by her father, her mother having died in childbirth. She seeks an escape, a way to shock her grandmother, by keeping the company of two older men and riding their motorcycles. When her grandmother caught them riding together, things took a turn for the worse. After she announcing that her granddaughter was a minor, and they could be arrested. the men chased after the grandmother, the girl, and their dog, shooting at them, forcing the grandmother to make a life or death decision for all of them. Main Literary Element What Would Foster Say? Geography Matters... Characterization It's All About Sex... If She Comes Up, It's Baptism ...So Does Season Is That a Symbol? Geography Matters... More Than It's Going To Hurt You: Concerning Violence ...So Does Season August Rural Georgia "...set off high-shouldered into the heat, quick but not far, not far enough-no road was that long..." Oppressive heat, representative of her inability to escape. Adulthood, coming of age, gaining responsibility and maturity. Summer More Than It's Going To Hurt You: Concerning Violence "She had raised her hand. Still wore on it's palm the memory of the sting of the collision with the girl's cheek; had she broken her jaw? Her heart? Of course not...takes more than that." "I hate it here!"
It's All About Sex... "Did they mess with you? With your britches?" "Her bare arms wrapped around the shirtless man riding between her thighs." "She's fifteen...you can go to jail" "She frantically cranked the glass up between her and the weapon..." "They got away, man...don't get your shorts in a wad..." He finished, he zipped... If She Comes Up, It's Baptism "Under the deck, they waited a little longer to be sure. Then they ducked below the water, scraped out from under the pontoon, and came up into free air." "The girl walked close behind her, exactly where she walked, matching her pace, matching her stride..." "She grabbed him whimpering; held him, held him under until the struggle ceased and the bubbles rose silver from his fur..." Is That a Symbol? "-lippy old smartass do a little work on her knees besides praying-" The Motorcyclists: stock characters, static, flat, embodying the predator stereotype. On a scale of one to ten, with one being the least literary and ten being the most, I would give this story a: On a scale of one to ten, with one being the most easily read and ten being the most difficult, I would give this story a: Nameless main character-referred to as "Sylvie's girl" or just "the girl." The locked Greer cottage The dead fish The girl's tight cutoff jeans, her "Every Inch a Woman" shirt. Throwing sticks at the laundry, missing both times. The dog The girl: a developing/ dynamic character, searching for herself, maturing as the story progressed, gaining an appreciation for the love her grandmother gave in the end. Recommendation? 7 6 The Grandmother: developing character, coming to love her granddaughter, becoming a fighter as the story progressed, forced to make a life or death decision with only seconds notice. Underlying theme of abandonment