"Identities" by W.D Valgardson

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Literary Essay- "Identities"

In the short story "Identities" by W.D Valgardson, the author uses contrast to create tension in the story by placing the character in an unfamiliar environment and by contrasting the different areas of the town he is in. This contrast creates suspense in the story and it shows that stereotypes are dangerous to society.

As the main character goes through the town, the areas change and things change from being clean and neat to dirty and broken. In the beginning of the story "The houses all face the sun. They have no artificial divisions. There is room for everyone"(3). This describes an area that is clean and orderly, and that is a neighborhood for well off people who can afford to keep everything clean. As the character passes out of this area "a certain untidiness creeps in: a fragment of glass, a chocolate bar wrapper, a plastic horse, cracked sidewalks with ridges of stiff grass"(3). This contrast in the areas shows that the character is leaving the area where he lives and knows and is moving into an area that is less familiar and could pose a threat to him. This uneasiness is also foreshadowing because the cop who ends up shooting him feels the same way and it gets the character killed.

When the character leaves his neighborhood, he steps out of his comfort area and is vulnerable because the does not know the area. An example of the contrast creating danger is that he is wearing "blue jeans-matching pants and jacket made in Paris"(4) and has an unshaven face . This would make him seem as if he fits in that area, but he is driving a gray Mercedes. These two things conflict with each other and confuse other characters, which is why there is conflict at the end of the story. The cop feels uneasy because the man looks like a stereotypical thief, yet he actually owns the car.

In conclusion, contrast creates a suspense of sorts in the story because it shows the conflicts that may...
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