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Short Stories and Great Expectations

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Short Stories and Great Expectations

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  • October 2011
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Short Stories Exam Essay
Short stories are entertaining tales, not very high in details, about an assortment of people, places, events, etc. While reading the short stories, I found that the main characters, the narrator of “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, Leroy in “Shiloh” by Bobbie Ann Mason and Julia in “Country Husband” by John Cheever, all experienced their worlds through different scenarios that caused isolation throughout their story. Isolation consists of a character, or person, taking themselves into their own world and how they want to see it. Personally, I isolate myself from having fun with friends to go into my room, with complete silence, to do my homework in a relaxing environment. Sonny experiences his life with immature control over his brother, Leroy experiences his life as an outcast, and Julia experiences his life in frustration. All of these characters lack confidence, within their lifestyles, that eventually leads to isolation. In the story “Sonny’s Blues, the unnamed narrator shows his life with an immature control over his brother Sonny. After losing contact with his brother, and later, the death of his daughter, the narrator decides to contact his drugged-out brother Sonny in prison. The narrator then goes into the Army and comes back for their mother’s funeral and the narrator reminisces on a promise he made to his mother to look after his brother; this is where his naïve control over his brother begins. As they talk at the funeral, Sonny reveals his aspirations to become a jazz pianist which is immediately dismissed by his brother. Sonny is then sent to his sister-in-law’s family’s house to go to college but after the family’s hard time with all his practice and skipping school repeatedly to play piano, Sonny leaves and joins the Navy. After his return, the brothers fight and don’t see each other for an extended amount of time, until Sonny comes home and invite his brother to his concert. The brothers unite and find that music...