Feed on

 I find the way that Ford creates the relationships in the two stories, “Fireworks” and “Rock Springs” to be especially compelling. I find it interesting that in both of the stories the characters aren’t necessarily doing horribly, but they just seem not the happiest at their current situations in life and if they are, it is because of the simplest of actions. The characters in “Fireworks” aren’t particularly close but the way they interact with one another is interesting. Starling having this almost jealous feeling when his wife is interacting with her ex, yet interestingly, does not say anything bluntly and it is all bottled up inside without really telling his wife how he feels about the two of them spending time together. However, in the end, Ford uses these characters and their specific lives to give the reader a happy ending. The reader isn’t given a fairy tale ending, but a realistic ending that is happier for those characters and their lives. The way Ford ended “Fireworks” but having Starling reassured by Lois in a moment so specific to them, was beautiful.

  In “Rock Springs” the characters are also weaved into these very specific relationships of simplicity. I enjoy the moments where there is happiness out of something so small, like the narrator’s drives with Edna in the beginning and how they, “drove to a rib barn and drank beer and laughed till after midnight” and the narrator sees it as “a whole new beginning for us, bad memories left behind and a new horizon to build on” (3). This story starts off, like the quote says, hoping for a new beginning full of happiness. However, in the end, Edna realizes that she does not want to be with Earl any longer. The characters do not have a big blow up where there is passion and anger, but rather Edna does care for Earl, she just wants something more. Earl is complacent and the demise of their relationship hurts him but he doesn’t become a terrible emotional wreck. I enjoyed how Ford ended “Rock Springs” as well. Earl comes to a realization that other people may have worse troubles and life isn’t about dwelling on troubles, but trying to get past them.

Through luck or design they had all faced fewer troubles, and by their own characters, they forgot them faster. And that’s what I wanted for me. Fewer troubles, fewer memories of troubles



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