Helen on 86th Street

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Wendi Kaufman’s True Meaning to Her Writing
“Helen on 86th street” by Wendi Kaufman is about a 12 year old girl who tries out for a lead part in her school play. The play was about the Trojan War and when results rolled around she had gotten a smaller part, and was extremely jealous of Helen who made the main role. Vita was going to play inside the horse with a really cute boy. While Vita was jealous of Helen, Helen was jealous of Vita because the cute boy accompanying Vita during the play was the boy she had a major crush on. Throughout the play Vita was comparing her life to the one her father was living. Her dad left them unexpectedly when she was a little girl, and they still to this day don’t know where he is in the world. Vita says her dad is on an Odyssey and hopes one day he will return home. Over the years she has been writing him letters and putting them in a shoe box tied shut in her closet. She does this because it allows her to put her true thoughts about her dad on paper and pretend she is really close with her dad and hopefully nobody will ever see them.

Vita writes letters to her dad quiet often about her life, but she does not truly send them. She does this because she doesn’t know where he really is out in the world or if he has a new family he cares about more. Even if she knew where he was, she probably wouldn’t send the letters because she holds fear inside of her and lets nasty thoughts overtake the positive ones. While writing the short story, Wendi used many context clues to portray these images clearly to the readers. She uses dashes to resemble a short pause. This pause is used so that the reader can see how when Vita is telling the story of her dad its emotional for her. She has to take pauses so she can process what she is saying. It lets her endure every word spoken from her mouth and allows her to finally grasp that her father may not be coming back home. Farther along in the piece it talks about how she wants to write to her dad...
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