The Richer the Poorer

Topics: Fiction, Short story, Narrative Pages: 3 (1015 words) Published: May 18, 2008
"The Richer, The Poorer"
What is a short story? “A short story is a work of fiction that develops a single idea” (Dowling Central, n.d.). Dorothy West, an author of many short stories, has entertained and taught many lessons throughout her writings. This paper will discuss West’s short story, “The Richer, The Poorer.” In addition, this paper will examine the entertainment value of this story as it relates to the lesson it teaches to the reader by discussing the literary elements found in “The Richer, The Poorer.” The first element that this paper will discuss is the plot. “The plot shows how a conflict, or struggle, develops and is settled” (Dowling Central, n.d.). In “The Richer, The Poorer,” the conflicts are internal and external. For example, the exposition of this short story explains the lifestyles and desires of the characters. Bess is the type of person that “lived each day as if there were no other” (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, 106). She did not see the urgency in the lifestyle that Lottie wanted her to live. On the other hand, Lottie pushed experience aside because she did not want to live her life “skimping and scraping” (LaRocco & Coughlin, 106). Many events happened in “The Richer, The Poorer” that shows the human against environment conflict. For example, Lottie’s work environment changed. Her boss’s son took over the company and saw no need in keeping her on the job; therefore, Lottie retired at the age of sixty. She sought new employment but was unsuccessful. The work environment evolved into new technology. Lottie, unqualified, could not compete with the younger, more capable applicants. At this point, the plot climaxed. Lottie did not know what to do with her life. She faced another conflict, human against herself. After offering Bess a place to live, Lottie had to renovate a spare bedroom. This means that she would have to spend her hard earned money. Once she completed the renovation, she was pleased with the results and wanted to renovate the...
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