Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Different Road by Elizabeth Strout

This week I chose the short Story "A Different Road" by Elizabeth Strout.

This short story started off discussing how an elder couple named Kitteridges had changed so much. It then started off by explain how each Henry and Olive were before the horrible experience. Through out the short story it kind of jumped back and forth from the present to the past so you could tie them together and follow along to figure it out as you went. At the beginning Olive sounded like the old lady next door that just judged everyone and the way they raised their kids compared to her own. She seemed bitter and ungrateful. Before the horrible event, Henry was described as the happy go lucky type. He was always helpful if you ever needed anything. One night the Kitteridges went to dinner with their friends the Newton’s. On their way home Olive had to use the restroom. She begged Henry to stop at the hospital so she could use the restroom. While in the hospital the nurse insisted she get checked out because they had a lady the night before die from a reaction to eating crabmeat and that is what Olive had at the restaurant.

Henry waited for her in the car until the game that he was listening to on the radio had ended then he went in the hospital to check on her. When he went in there were two men in ski masks trying to steel drugs so they put Henry in the bathroom with the Doctor and Nurse and taped their arms behind their backs. While Olive who was only wearing the paper hospital garment was waiting for the Doctor to come back to examine her heard foot steps approaching finally saw the men in the ski mask. They walked her to the bathroom where the others were and told her if anyone talk they get there head blown off. During this time Henry and Olive fight about Henry mother, their son Christopher and say things that you only really say out loud when in a crisis.

After the crisis Henry had time to reflect on the situation and it really bothered him with everything that was said at the hospital between him and Olive. He finally realized that the lady that judged their friends daughter as trouble for cheating on her husband had feelings for one of the men in ski masks at the hospital.

Differences in character, plots, settings and themes: Between the two stories I read this week they were both wrote by female authors and I feel had the same amount of passion or feeling behind the story. Consider how the length of short story vs. novel impacts the story: I thought both stories this week really gave me enough information for me to follow the story line and solve the mystery or know what was happening next. Unlike in past weeks some of the short stories really just jumped around or didn’t really tell you what was next. I really enjoyed both stories this week.

Which did you prefer in a given week and why? What did you like or dislike and why?: I can’t chose one story. I like them both this week because I was able to follow along and felt like I got enough information to solve the mysteries or crimes at the same time the author did. Maybe this is because both my stories were written by women. I did find the Guardian Angel a little more interesting just because every other book has had the main character a man and I think the author did a good job showing that women can do just as good of a job at a man’s job as a man could.

Differences between the short stories based on the gender of the author: The reason I chose it was because it was written by a woman and wanted to compare the two women authors this week. I don’t believe gender played a role for my and the stories I read this week because they were both women.

Did the mystery in the short story work for you? – It was ok, once you figured out what the author was doing by jumping from present to past I was able to enjoy it more. But I really enjoy the Guardian Angel more this week. I really think V.I. did a good job showing how a woman could do a man’s job.

Satisfied or unsatisfied by what happened in the end – I was satisfied by the ending of my short story because you could figure it out by what was all previously said in the reading. I have found the different types of writing by the gender interesting. I really didn’t think it could be that big of a difference until you read a couple wrote by female authors and by male authors. The last three will be tough to pick because I have been trying to pick some short stories that I have read about on other blog’s now they are all picked over.

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