Short Story Essay

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According to Edgar Alan Poe, a short story should be like a window into someone else’s life, in other words it doesn’t really matter what happened before and it doesn’t matter what’s going to happen after. The authors of the short stories I have read in class this year, using only that window, have made me feel sorry for the characters and angry towards the resentment the rest of the community shows them because they are different from others. Reading White & witchetty, the Dolls House and Josie has made me question my own values and beliefs.

The Authors have made me reflect on my own beliefs and my attitudes towards those people who are in some way different from others. Situations in these short stories are startlingly realistic; the portrayal of these characters’ feelings gives the readers a glance at their inner hurt. Ostracized and excluded, these characters’ suffering is an unfortunate and unnecessary bi-product of our society’s ideology.

In “White and Witchety” Christobel Mattingley writes of the exclusion of two Children whose soul difference from others is there skin colour. Charles White is a quarter-caste aboriginal but is as dark as his grandfather. Witchety, on the other hand is an albino. No one in the class teases them or calls them names but Witchety has no close friends and Charles is a loner. One day on a art excursion to a gallery Witchety and Charles meet briefly in a room full of aboriginal artwork it is an awkward atmosphere and Witchety escapes by running out into another room. Next they go to the Murray river Charles is wondering along the bank thinking about Witchety and how vulnerable she is. He looks at the river and sees its power and has a sudden urge to jump in he strips off and wades into the river until the water reaches his heart. Witchety appears at the bank and says “your lucky I can’t take off my glasses. Charles shouts at her to go away because he doesn’t have any clothes on and Witchety goes away. Later on when Charles...
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