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Compare and contrast Great Falls and Hills Like White Elephants

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Compare and contrast Great Falls and Hills Like White Elephants
Essay Topic: Compare and contrast the use of point of view in two stories.
Stories Chosen: Richard Ford’s Great Falls and Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants Point of view is an important literary device that an author may use to help enrich the plot of the story. Different point of views (such as first person, third person, omniscient, ect) offer a different style of storytelling and can be used to great effect. Ernest Hemmingway and Richard Ford’s stories feature different point of views. “Great Falls” is told in first person with the main character, Jackie, serving as the narrator. In “Hills Like White Elephants” a third person point of view is used. These two different point of views create a vastly different perspective for the reader. Great Falls is a story about a young boy growing up in Montana. He lives with his mother and father, who live a simple rural life. The story begins with the narrator describing his life helping his father hunt and fish, before quickly shifting gears and exposing his mother’s infidelity. It is during this scene, where Jackie witnesses his father’s anger, his mother’s indifference of her crumbling marriage, and Woody’s near suicidal sense of chivalry that the first person point of view is most prominent. Jackie narrates his feelings and what he thinks others are feeling. An example is “She did not smile at me [sic] which made me feel strange” (Bausch and Cassill 570). By using first person narration Ford ensures that all audiences will interpret how Jackie experiences this situation the same. It is important to note that in this case the narrator is a young boy in a very shocking situation. This means that Jackie’s views might be naive and inaccurate. It is up to the reader to determine what is reliable. “Hills Like White Elephants“is about a man and woman’s interaction at a bar while waiting for a train to Madrid. The story is told in third person, and in a very detached sense. The reader is presented with



Cited: Cassill, R. V., and Bausch, Richard, eds. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. 7th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.,2006. Richard Ford "Great Falls" (pg 564) Ernest Hemingway “Hills Like White Elephants” (pg 661)

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