Nov 16, 2020 in Literature

authors' message and tone of 4 short stories

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The Authors' Message and Tone of 4 Short Stories

The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

In this short story, the author tells about four men a correspondent, an oiler, a cook, and the captain. Their steamer sank, and they appeared to be in an open boat in the sea. All of them hope to see the land, where somebody might save them. From my point of view, the essence of the author's message is that each of us should appreciate and love own life as long as we are alive. The story of four men helps one trace inner life revaluation. Once having got in such a difficult situation and not knowing whether they can stay alive, they begin to realize the value of life and its fragility. The author skillfully describes the inner state of every man conveying their feelings and thoughts. However, the inner psychological tension of each of the characters the author conveys in a rather laconic way. In the text, we do not encounter the symptoms of panic, screams of madness because of the realization that it is impossible to predict the outcome of the situation. Each of the men hopes for salvation and, at the same time, is afraid of what will happen next. It is no accident that "there were no hurried words, no pallor, no plain agitation", as the author tries to describe the situation in a peaceful manner.

He makes an excellent job of transmitting the inner tensions of the heroes. Crane alternates the description of their inner state with the help of conversations that they hold. The author describes the essence of the inner unrest of each of the men by multiple using of the following phrase: "If I am going to be drowned - if I am going to be drowned - if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods, who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?" (Crane). This short story is dedicated to the issues of life and death as well as the realization of the value of life.

Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

I think that the meaning of the author's message in this short story is the question of justification of abortion as a procedure that is associated with the murder of a child. On the example of the two main characters, the author describes the situation when they must make a difficult choice. The couple decides the fate of the unborn child. The young man insists on an abortion, while his girlfriend doubts whether to do it or keep the baby. At the end of the story, she agrees with her lover to make an abortion because he assures her that they will be all right and be happy (Hemingway). However, I think that the reader is left with a sense of understatements. He/she faces controversial questions: Was it worth agreeing on abortion? Did the girl have the right to decide whether the child will live or not? The author emphasizes a total confusion and certain irrationality of this situation.

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

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I think that this story is of particular interest in view of the fact that the author uses third-person narrator - the townspeople. The story tells about a mysterious inhabitant of the town by the name of Emily Grierson, whose life was full of mysteries and secrets. As I see it, the main idea of ??the author is to show the mentality of urban residents. There is a large number of stereotypes and prejudices of the townspeople. Faulkner depicts their desire and aspiration to condemn those people who are different from them. The townspeople believe they have a right to condemn others. The author demonstrates the naivety of the citizens who think that they know everything about everyone who lives in their town. Although, as it turns out, it is not the case. Miss Emily Grierson, in whose apartment they find the corpse of her husband, Homer Barron, is an example of this. She was keeping the dead body for many years. The narrative tone of the story provided by a third person allows the author to convey the specifics of the citizens attitude to those who differ from them. Faulkner describes their general surprise at the sight of the dead Homer Barron with the phrase For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin (Faulkner).

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor

This is a very interesting story. At first glance it may seem that it only refers to racism which is demonstrated by the mother of the main hero (whose name is Julian) and Julians indignation caused by the racism of his mother. However, it seems to me, that the essence of the author's message lies in a slightly different plane. It is about the relationship between the mother and her son, who cannot express their love for each other wasting valuable time on different quarrels, in particular with regard to the issue of racism. Almost the whole narration is riddled with the neutral or descriptive tone of the author. However, at the end of the story one might observe a sympathetic tone of the author. OConnor expresses sympathy for the mother of the main hero: One eye, large and staring, moved slightly to the left as if it had become unmoored. The other remained fixed on him, raked his face again, found nothing and closed (OConnor). Moreover, the author shows sympathy for Julian who loses his mother and will always feel guilty for her death: The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorrow (OConnor).

Works Sited

Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Web. Available at

O'Connor, Flannery. Everything That Rises Must Converge. Web. Available at

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Hemingway, Ernest. Hills like White Elephants. Web. Available at

Crane, Stephen. The Open Boat. Web. Available at


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