Short Story Review

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The structure of Every Tongue Shall Confess is much different from The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, and pretty much all the short stories I’ve read so far. The use of the segmentation helps provided details about Clareese’s past experience with Deacon McCreedy and feelings to spiritually save her patient Cleophus. The structure is nontraditional. The narrator is presently at church where she is an actively involved member, reflecting on past encounters, her Aunt’s illness and patients at work. You can feel the resentment she has towards Deacon Mcreedy when Clareese thought “But she could forgive him-if Sisters could even forgive Deacons- for she could have understood that unmarried man might have needs, but what really bothered her was how he ignored her (page 271)”. You can also sympathize with her situation “She didn’t want to sing. Didn’t feel like it, but she thought, I will freely sacrifice myself unto Thee: I will praise Thy name, O Lord, for it is good. (Page 281)” The stories continues shifting and flashbacks told more about Clareese’s character and helps you see why she felt the way she did versus Clinton just telling us why he feels the way he feels. The structure of the story helps you understand the setting. It help that characters that appeared flat had significances. It helped identify the multiple conflicts. I enjoyed reading the story. I could relate to the narrator’s willingness to serve God. Packer, Z.Z. (2006). Every tongue shall confess. In Shreve, Porter & Nguyen, Minh B. (Eds.), 30/30 Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years (pp.270-282). New York, NY: Pearson Education,

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