English: First-person Narrative and Fish Cheeks

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Toby Chang
Professor Legrande
English 1
21 May 2014
Family Love Lasts Forever Each person has his or her foretimes. No matter it is good or bad, delighted or painful, it is a true story of one’s life and the past cannot be changed or wiped away. There are two essays in the book Brief Bedford Reader, “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou and “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan, both authors tell the reader their own story. Maya Angelou and Amy Tan, who were growing up in different environment and communities, have different experiences and different ways to tell their stories. Compare the two authors Angelou and Tan, Angelou is more effectively on using description to depict her sense of isolation from the isolation from the dominant culture in the time and place of her story, in comparison with Angelou; Tan is more effectively on using narration to tell her story. In “Champion of the World”, Angelou tends to have more elements in her article. Her depiction is meticulous. At the beginning of the story, she first introduces uncle Willie’s store as the environment settings and use it as a basic setting throughout the whole story. Afterwards, Angelou starts to picture the people’s behaviors in the store. For example, “Women sat on kitchen chairs, dining-room chairs, stools, and upturned wooden boxes. Small children and babies perched on every lap available and men leaned on the shelves or on each other.” (93) She depicts the image of the store before the fight begins. After that, the voice from the radio starts to appear in the story. Moreover, the author also uses multi-angle description to tell the story to the readers. In addition to the first person view, Angelou uses third person narrative on the radio narration. At the time when the radio is broadcasting the fight, she has not forgotten to insert some setting description about the situations in the store, for example, “there were only a few calls for RC Colas,
Dr Peppers, and Hires root beer,” she makes the



Cited: Angelou, Maya. “Champion of the World.” The Bedford Reader. Ed. X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kenndy, and Jane E. Aaron. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2009. 93- 96. Print. Tan, Amy. “Fish Cheeks.” The Bedford Reader. Ed. X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kenndy, and Jane E. Aaron. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2009. 99- 100. Print.

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