I'm reading a lot of short stories in my American Lit class this semester, so I thought I would do a couple of roundups to share my thoughts on a few stories at a time. I used to not think I was a short story person, but I'm really starting to love them when they are done right. They can be just as powerful as novels, and some author's writing styles just fit short stories so well, (I'm looking at you Hemingway.)
You can check out my other posts on short stories too:
A Few of my Favorite Short Stories
Short Story Collections I Own
The "Revolt" of Mother, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Published in 1890, this short story deals with gender themes as you might have guessed from the tittle. We see mother go head-to-head with father and take a stand for what is best for her and her family. I enjoyed this story, and thought that it brought up some great conversation about the man as the head of the family and the decision maker of the family as well as how gender norms are passed down from generation to generation.
The Open Boat, Stephen Crane
This story deals was published in 1897 and deals with the theme of man vs. nature, which is an idea that I have been thinking about a lot lately because of this story and To Build a Fire by Jack London which I read back-to-back for this class. I preferred this one to the London story because Crane's story had some really philosophical and thought provoking passages about nature and mankind.
Barn Burning, William Faulkner
This was my second experience with a short story by Faulkner. A lot of what we have read in this class so far has been Southern Literature and that's not my cup of tea normally. This story was really interesting, and I'm still not sure what I think about it. Faulkner's short stories seem to be very layered and complicated, which is something I enjoy about his writing. The more you read the story or think about it the more layers and themes you discover.
John Dos Passos U.S.A Trilogy Excerpts
I read a couple of excerpts from Passos' novels, which was my first experience with Passos. Holy Moley people- there is no punctuation! A whole novel with no punctuation and a non-standard form? I don't know if I could do it. I like how the excerpts painted a portrait and tone of Corporate America and wad a take on the infamous "American Dream" but there is no way I could read a whole novel, much less three, that were written that way.