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‘Saving sourdi’ is about a struggling Asian family living in the south. The main characters that are Sourdi and Nea who have grown with each other and seem inseparable are suddenly faced with separation after Sourdi reaches a marriageable age. Nea lives under the impression that Mr. Chhay Sourdi’s husband is an evil man and is willing to do everything to save ‘Sourdi’. The writer’s main message is that family comes before everything else. There is little ambiguity in the style used by the writer when at the beginning one is led to believe that the wife is the main character. However as one reads on, the husband role becomes more and more frequent.
The writer creates character in Saving Sourdi by show and tell (pp.118) by the use of various writing techniques such as description, narration and dialog. In saving Sourdi, all characters tend to be very different from each other. Nea, who is Sourdi’s younger sister, is characterized by being controlling. This is in sharp contrast from her role of being the younger sister because she has assumed the roles of the older sister. Nea is adamant that things stay as they were when they were little kids but that ideology is interrupted by mother arranging a forced marriage of Sourdi to a wealthy old man.
The author sets the characters in that their personal opinions regarding issues affecting them are in sharp contrast with each other. Sourdi is not happy with the arranged marriage for her sister bit does nothing to stop it. Nea is skeptical about the old man Mr. Chhay who she views as having stolen her sister from her. Nea is motivated to liberate her sister from Mr. Chhay. Throughout the entire story, the author creates time distortion leaving the reader to guess the exact ages of the characters in the story.
By closely looking at the story, we find that Sourdi is only 11 years of age. In the beginning, the impression created by the author is that Nea is somehow 6 years of age. However, Sourdi shows more maturity than her sister despite her sister having the impression that she will be the heroin and save her sister from Mr. Shhay. The author tries to create the impression that instead of Nea trying to help her sister grow up, she is the one who exhibits naivety and inexperience hence should concentrate in growing up herself.
The setting of the story is such that the author tries to invoke the reader’s mind to relate and interpret images based on their own associations and ideas. One of the fundamental joys in reading is being able to exhibit one’s personal experiences and ideas in the story. How the interpretation and images and shapes in the story entirely depends on the reader.
‘Lady with the pet Dog’
The story is told of a forty year old man by the name Dmitri Gurov who is mesmerized by a young woman walking along the streets of Yalta with her Pomeranian dog. Although Dmitri’s personal view with regards to women is not the best as a result of having a shrewd and promiscuous wife, Dmitri is intrigued by the lady with the dog. Dmitri comes to learn of the lady’s name which is Anna Sergeyevna and her reason for being in Yalta. Anna and Dmitri get close and a relationship develops and Dmitri is found to be criticizing himself for being old and ageing.
The writer’ style with regard to the Lady with the pet Dog is such that the writer writes in third person. This kind of style introduces an aspect of ambiguity while at the same time involving the reader in the book. The reader is able to identify with the events and occurrences in the story as if they were actually happening to him or her. The writer delivers a romantic tone by using the two characters Dmitri and Anna and their activities that lead to an intolerable bond to deliver the same.
On the other hand, the Lady with the pet Dog exemplifies the author’s subtle yet powerful style. The author conveys emotional complexity by the use of few words preserving the intensity of his characters in the story. The author writes in such a way that it is like he is writing a canvas introducing an intimate feeling from the reader. The use of color in the story conveys changing spirits of the characters. An example of this is when Dmitri’s hair is described as graying hence he starts developing a habit of wearing grey suits whereas the sea of Yalta is described as having the color of soft warm lilac hue and having a blue streak from the moon.
The writer gives the reader the perception that Dmitri is an ageing womanizer who is forced to enter back into the twilight of his womanizer days. In duping Anna, Dmitri discovers that he stands to lose and that he has just duped himself. Dmitri could also be seen as a person who has succumbed to the innocent romanticism of his young lover. The writer suggests that Dmitri’s attraction to women is as a result of confusion and faint hope regarding the future.
The writer presents Yalta as a romantic oasis and a place for unknown color, freedom and intimacy for both Anna and Dmitri which they could not find anywhere else. Anna’s perception with regards to Dmitri’s view regarding her is that she thinks Dmitri thinks of her as a common woman. Dmitri on the other hand thinks that Anna sees her as a kind, exceptional lofty man. This is as a result of them perceiving that their relationship is based on past disappointments and future hopes.
To successively understand this story, the reader is compelled to guess what happens prior to the occurrences in the story and to predict what will happen afterwards. The author introduces the aspect of ambiguity in the story specifically when the author says that Anna rekindles Dmitri’s desire for life while at the same time complicating and tarnishing Dmitri’s view of home. The story’s ending is on an ambiguous note when Dmitri admits of living two lives.
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