November 19, 2011 Literary Essay Assignment
“Charles”, “A Mother in Mannville”, and The Giver Essay
Most often in literature, common themes are an aspect that different works tend to share. As a matter of fact, the short stories “Charles” by Shirley Jackson, “A Mother in Mannville” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry, all discuss the message of deception. In each story, the protagonist dealt with the deception, and the motivation behind the deception was controversial as well. In the same way, the theme of deception was expressed to the readers.
In “Charles”, the mother or narrator was deceived by none other than her son Laurie. The motivation behind the deception in that Laurie might be seeking attention. For example, stated in the story, ‘“Well, Charles was bad again today.” He grinned enormously and said, “Today Charles hit the teacher”’ (pg.6). This quote shows that Laurie wants attention from his parents and will do anything to get it; even lie to them and be proud about it. As a result of the deception, the mother attends the PTA meeting in hopes of discovering Charles’s mother. Stated by the narrator, “At the meeting, I sat restlessly, scanning each comfortable matronly face, trying to determine which one hid the secret of ‘Charles’” (pg. 11). Clearly, the deception in “Charles” was caused by the attention seeking of Laurie and was a substantial cause of his behavior.
The writer in “A Mother in Mannville” was deceived by Jerry. In fact, Jerry was motivated to deceive the writer because he wanted to connect with her and create a mother from her. An example from the text stated, ‘“I think it’s 81/2,” he said. He looked at my hands. “Do you wear 81/2?” he asked. “No. I wear a smaller size, a 6.” “Oh then I guess her hands are bigger than yours”’ (pg. 64). This quote exemplifies that even though he doesn’t have a mother; Jerry tries to compare the...