An Analysis of the Short Story 'Stolpestad'

Topics: Short story, Fiction, Narrative Pages: 3 (1198 words) Published: May 26, 2013
Everyone have had days where everything feels dull and repetitive, maybe even feel that you could predict what was going to happen next, because it feels as if you have done it a million times before. The main character of the short story ‘Stolpestad’, written by William Lychack in 2008, lives a life where every day feels exactly like this. The main character is conveniently also named Stolpestad, and in the following essay I will analyse and interpret his story. Stolpestad is an American police officer working in the same city he grew up in. Already as the story starts Stolpestad is portrayed as being close to a depression. It is nearing the end of his shift when he gets the call to go help a kid with his dog. It turns out the dog is sick or injured and needs to be put down. Stolpestads state of mind is expressed as he is driving to go help the kid: “Just a calm quiet spin around to this kid and his dog, back to all the turns you were born, your whole life spend along the same sad streets” (ll. 10-11). Stolpestad reminds himself of how miserable he thinks his life is, living in the same boring streets where he has lived all his life, doing a job he seems to find very tedious. The repetitiveness of his life gets portrayed again as he arrives at the scene, he seems to know everything that is going to happen next, as if he has done it a million times before: “She’ll ask you if you’d like some water or lemonade, if you’d like to sit a minute, and you’ll thank her and say no and shift your weight from one leg to the other” (ll. 58-60). Stolpestad eventually decides to put the dog down with his own personal pistol so he will not have to do any paperwork. He also decides not to shoot it in the brain, but in the neck by the collar so the wound will not be as visible. All this seems as if he is trying to make his job as easy as possible, by choosing not to do paperwork, and to shoot it in a less visible place so he does not make the owners mad. This...
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