L.A. Per. 2
June 5th, 2012
Social Commentary in Literature
Characters in pieces of literature are often influenced by the societies that they live in, and many authors do this to comment on certain social ideas. The story, “The Bass, the River and Shelia Mant”, the author focuses on how people in society should be able to take pride in who they really are and not feel the pressure to be something they are not. The author of “The Handsomest Drowned Man” wrote this story to show that people tend to make assumptions about people they do not know, based off of their appearance. Another story called “The Pedestrian” also has social commentary, and the author of this story is showing how society gets lazier as technology grows larger and smarter. These authors are providing situations and challenges of society by making social commentary through their literature pieces.
In the story, “The Bass, the River and Sheila Mant”, the author is making a social commentary that people in society should accept the way they are and not feel the pressure to be something they are not. Accordingly, the narrator in the story enters his canoe with a girl he likes and he makes a mental comment, “There was an extra paddle in the bow, but Sheila made no move to pick it up. She took her shoes off and dangled her feet over the side” (Wetherell). This quote from the story shows that Shelia Mant is a pampered, kind of stuck up girl. Knowing from the story that Shelia Mant’s family is rich, making her rich. Her being rich makes her high class in the social scene. Furthermore, the narrator learns something about Shelia Mant that makes a big statement, “[Why Shelia hated fishing] doesn’t matter. What does is that at that fragile moment in time I would have given anything not to appear dumb in Sheila’s severe and unforgiving eyes” (Wetherell). The narrator’s reaction that he took Shelia Mant’s thoughts into deep consideration is very understandable, considering that he...