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English 1900- Friend of My Youth

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ENGL 1900
Jay Gamble

English th00 Feb.27 , 2014 Everything is (understood through) narrative Alice Munro: - Established Munro Books in Victoria, B.C - Considered to be one of the masters of the short story - 1 Canadian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (last year Oct.10 ) th “Friend of My Youth” Responses: - Very well written with different perspectives - Felt for Flora. - Nurse Atkinson: unappealing individual, bossy, arrogant, pretentious - Robert: gets away with a lot, doesn’t have much of a personality to speak of - Men are virtually absent in the story - Very female centric world - Narrator: we assume that the narrator is a woman because it is all about women. Your professor sat in the middle of the class today to: - Break the student/teacher boundary - Changed the focal point of the class - The narrative is so powerful that they can’t escape the power and authority - Attempted to disrupt the narrative of the classroom - However it cannot be disrupted because the narrative is so powerful - Who would be the author of this narrative (of the course situation)? o The professor - Who would be the narrator? o Everyone is constructing the narrative of the classroom and the course itself Major themes and ideas of the short story? - Narrative - Relationships - Deviation from norms - Traditional (small town) image - Religion - The mom is preparing for marriage - Relationship between the narrator and her mother  tense because what the mother sees as good and righteous, the daughter thinks differently. There is a generational conflict with this relationship. There are different views on female sexuality. - The mother suffers from throat constrictions and paralysis - Paralysis can be seen as a major theme in the story. o She becomes imprisoned by marriage (narrator) o Imprisoned by gender and gender roles - Narrator’s father  absent in many ways, has no role - There is also Robert who is silenced - Domestic sphere that we are dealing with here - Why is Nurse Atkinson disliked? o Takes over (house, husband) o Arrogant o Because the narrator doesn’t like her o “people, they, everyone” is mentioned that do not like her o There is a huge amount of gossip going around regarding her o We dislike her because of the way she is portrayed o End up judging her because of the amount of gossip piling up - This narrative is constructed as a kind of gossip - Narrator o The focalizer (the one who sees)is the narrator at first but then it shifts to the mother Opening paragraph: - Forgiveness and hopefulness is mentioned - Who needs forgiveness? The narrator. And is hopeful in getting forgiveness from her mother because of the bad relationship - The root of this story is guilt. The daughter feels guilt in the way she treated her mother as she was dying Third Paragraph: - She is saying that she had a terrible, negative image of her mother but now she sees her mother for real “When my mother was a young woman…in the Ottawa valley.” - Why is this important? o With her pupils  Can be read as students or her eyes o This is where we have the shift in focalization o We begin to see
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