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    My absolute favorite part about this beautifully written story is without a doubt the point of view and voice. How outstanding for Butler to have been able to so convincingly capture the voice of a main character with whom, theoretically, he has almost absolutely nothing in common with. By this I mean, it is not often that we characterize thirty year old vietnamese women to be anything like fifty year old white men from the midwest. This is what makes the story interesting.
We discussed a lot in class about how we must make an effort to provide the readers with details that will convince them the character is more real. For example, if I were writing a story about a middle-aged lady pining after her glorious days at Sweet Briar College, I better include intimate details as to why Sweet Briar is worth missing, and not just let the reader try to piece those details together on their own. I think that this is accomplished so flawlessly in this story.
Even though at times the narrators voice seems to be a bit to undereducated and naive sounding to me, there are points in which intelligence and a sort of quirky sarcasm shine through, and this overrides our fear that the narrator is just stereotypically foreign. This is seen specifically at the end of the story when she mentions that “as it turns out, New Year’s ever seems to be a Jewish holiday.” I quick and quirky understanding of the world and culture around her allows us understand and trust our narrator throughout the story

Another thing that I love about this story is the time span in which it takes place. I think that it is a struggle, trying to decide where and for how long a story will take place. How long should we stay in one scene? What parts would be important to the development of the story? Should they flashback to this time or actually experience it in the line of the narrative? I am sure Butler pondered on a few of these questions as he wrote this story, but the fantastic thing is that he didn’t need to embellish with other moments in the character’s relationship. He did not need to move them to another location, or spend time having them discuss something unnatural and irrelevant in order to quench some sort of dramatic thirst sometimes found in writing. This story is simply a snapshot of the beginning of an  adorable and touching romance. It is a piece in time, almost like a story one would tell their friends during a round of heartfelt conversation. You do not have to explain your entire life story to your friends when you fill them in on events and experiences, because they already know those things and they are irrelevant to the consequences of story as a whole.

    I certainly believe that I struggle with providing unnecessary details in my stories, and next time I am facing this struggle  this is a story I will look to for advice.

 

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