Boys & Girls Essay

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Frank Smith Stoltz, Lori COM1102 - Writing About Literature 22 July 2012 Boys & Girls In the stories "Boys" and "Girls" by Rick moody and Jamaica Kincaid, respectively, the differences between them are as strong as those of cultural, racial, and sexual boundaries. However, what makes them similar is how they were created using similar literary techniques such as iconism, stream of conscience and ambiguity allowing the short but powerful pieces to cut right through to the soul of the reader. Rick Moody’s short story “Boys” is an experimental work that was inspired by “a fellow writer Max Steel, who used the phrase ‘Then the boys entered the house’ at a reading” (Meyer 297). “Boy’s enter the house” is a phrase that is repeated throughout the piece marking a subtle transition in the lives of the characters in the story. The door might symbolize transformation in the story and is described as “the most essential gesture in a boy’s life” (Meyer 297). Later, on page 300 the author refers to the door as ”the threshold that has welcomed them when they haven’t been able to welcome themselves”(Moody 300). We get intimate details of the boy’s life and the narrator helps us fill in the blanks using limited omnipotent narration. Jamaica Kincaid’s story, in contrast, is in second person, the mother is the narrator. Writing in second person is taboo in literature making the piece novel and avant-garde. Both pieces are experimental in the fact that they use the stream of conscience models as the story flows all in one paragraph. In the case of “Girl”, one big sentence spliced together with semi colons. The story “Boys” has a line in it that breaks the rules; there is a line in it that switches to second person leading the reader to the conclusion that the narrator is the mother. On page three hundred Rick moody writes “an absence of boys; blissful at first, you put a

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