Sarah Cole

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English 331
19 July 2010

Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story
The short story, “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story” by Russell Banks is raved as one of his most famous. A story told most in the first person, describes the sudden beginning and end of the relationship between Ron and Sarah. Ron, the main character, narrates the story from his memory of ten years earlier. Ron provides the reader with a very vivid image of how different he and Sarah truly are. So vivid in fact, the reader can not help but feel pity and shame for Sarah.

From the reader’s point of view, Banks triggers an immediate emotional reaction to Ron. It is easy to immediately get a distasteful feeling for Ron’s over confident view of himself, even though he attempts to downplay the arrogance. The feeling of disgust continues as he begins to describe Sarah. Ron’s memory of Sarah from ten years earlier is described as “unattractive” and “very homely” (149). As the reader, it is important to have a vision of the characters, but I feel that Ron is malicious with his descriptions. Based on my emotional reaction to Ron, I begin to read the story with an expressive theory of art. It is easy for Banks to cause the reader to question their feelings and emotions as they follow Ron and Sarah.

As the relationship details unfold and the reader is able to get the full picture, we get a glimpse of Ron’s softer side. When Sarah approaches Ron at the bar “on a dare”, he invites the conversation (153). Ron is interested in Sarah, truly interested in who she is and where she comes from. Engaged in conversation he overlooks her appearance and see the woman inside. Ron could have very easily ended the conversation as quickly as it started, but she intrigues him from the start.

The meetings and meaningful conversation continue for several more visits as Ron and Sarah begin to form their friendship. Ron is interested in Sarah because he wants to understand the woman she has become. Over...
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