TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT
ENGLISH AND LITERARY STUDIES
THE SHORT STORY
‘The short story lacks criticism and lacks form’. Justify this statement using any three stories from THE JAMBULA TREE AND OTHER STORIES.
The short was said to lack both criticism and form. These are some of the many false accusations that were levelled against the short story. These allegations, coupled with several others, have been responsible for the attitude of critics towards the short story. Critics considered the short story to be an inferior kind and did not think that it would be proper for them to indulge in critiquing it. According to them, the short story was below the dignity. They therefore did not pay it critical attention.
However, these accusations against the short story are false. It is very untrue to say that the short story lacks either of form or criticism. This is simply because saying the short story lacks form is equivalent to saying that the short story lacks style or patterning. This equally means that the short story has no underlying arrangement or a definite pattern. This is very untrue of the short story because evidence has shown that the short story can be arranged to come in a particular generic form such as comedy, tragedy, satire, and so on. Furthermore, the short story exhibits some peculiarities which make it a distinct form.
Similarly, saying that the short story lacks criticism is equivalent to saying that the short story cannot impact on the reader or the society and cannot effect social change. This simply means that the short story has no relevance whatsoever. This is equally untrue of the short story because just like the Novel and other works of fiction, the short story portrays the society and draws out lessons for the reader to learn or points out issues of relevance. The only difference is in its method of portrayal. Furthermore, since the