Category Archives: Bia Lowe

Experiencing the Style of Narrations


  • What effect does the style of narration have on your experience of the plot or characters? Use two different styles to reflect on this, using any of the stories we have read this semester.

The style of narration allows us to experience a story in a certain way. From the readings we have done so far there has been a few different styles of narration and each one is unique and gives us different emotions due to their uniqueness. Two stories that I’ve read with totally different forms of narrations are, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” and Aarne Thompson’s “The Wicked Stepmother.” Bia Lowe’s story was in the first person point of view which helps us get inside the head of the narrator whom is the main character. This allows us as the readers especially for me to try to imagine what character is witnessing as well as experiencing rather than an outsiders view. For example, the narrator makes mention of “She is in every way my female deity,” “I was suddenly seized with a desire to court her,” and of much more of his emotions that occurred to him but makes us the readers feel/understand his emotions, somewhat like justifying how he feels about his mothers. In other words, Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write,” made me feel like I was part of the story and connect to why he may have felt a certain way or described somethings in such strange details. However, on the other hand, Aarne Thompson’s story “The Wicked Stepmother,” which is the Indian version of Cinderella was a third person point of view. This was very different because it was more of being told about something, the whole story was more of someone else’s experience being told to me rather than me experiencing what the character was feeling. I found it harder to connect to “The Wicked Stepmother” by Thompson more than “I Always Write About My Mother When I Start to Write” by Lowe because I wasn’t “in the footsteps of the character but rather I was the observer/watcher. For example, Thompson  mentions “That very moment she was changed into a goat,” upon reading this I did not feel that shocking emotion but rather it was more of “oh okay.” I feel like it the story was in a first-person narrative it would have made me feel more connected to the story than just an observer or someone who’s just reading it. If the situation was “That very moment I changed into a goat,” that feels more vivid and makes you feel apart of the story rather than being told it. In short, the style of narration effects the reader’s experience of the story, it’s like living and experiencing it or being told by someone else experience. (“The Wicked StepMother” By Aarne-Thompson


Homework posts on Lowe, Atwood, Glaspell, Chopin, and Faulkner

If you volunteered to post by end-of-day on Friday so that everyone can comment on your posts by 10:00am Monday, here are some ideas to get you started (choose one, or get inspired by one or two):

  • We really wanted to spend more time looking at the ending of Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” What do we understand about Mrs. Mallard’s desire for freedom in the story? Does she have freedom at the end of the story?
  • Think of the various details mentioned in Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers.” Point us to a few examples, including quotations from those passages. How do these examples become important details in the story? How do the men and women read these details specifically and details in general differently in “A Jury of Her Peers”?
  • Another way to consider the details in “A Jury of Her Peers” is to consider what the women do with details to understand the backstory as reading the scene; consider in a post the model for critical reading this short story presents. Alternatively, how is “There Was Once” a model for critical reading? What does the second speaker do with the Cinderella story, and how or to what extent is that something we should do when we read? What does it do in that story, and what could it do for us as we read critically?
  • If Margaret Atwood’s short story “There Was Once” and Anne Sexton’s poem “Cinderella” attempt to retell the fairy tale, what does Bia Lowe’s “I Always Write about My Mother When I Start to Write” do with fairy tales? We started discussing this in class. What aspects of fairy tales does it borrow, and what is the effect of this motif? Be sure to learn about what a motif is if you choose this option, and feel free to add it as your glossary entry for this week (but this only goes for one person, and the post’s author has priority!
  • What effect does the style of narration have on your experience of the plot or characters? Use two different styles to reflect on this, using any of the stories we have read this semester.
  • What connections do you see among the stories assigned from the start of the semester through Monday? Are there trends you can identify? Or contrasting situations/characters/styles that are worth noting in their difference? Be specific!
  • In thinking about William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” who is the narrator? is it a reliable narrator? Use evidence from the story to show why you say reliable or not.
  • What does gothic mean?  What is Southern Gothic, specifically? Wikipedia might be a good place to get a definition and explanation of what Southern Gothic is. How is  “A Rose for Emily” an example of this? You might add this term as your glossary entry word as well.
  • Finally, if you’re interested, argue for or against “A Rose for Emily” as a Valentine’s Day reading. What notion of love do you take away from this story?

These are just a few ideas that you might consider, and certainly not all of them will be addressed. I hope my suggesting them gives everyone ideas about other topics for discussion and other ways to read the short stories we have begun to cover in class. For your post, choose one of these topics, or venture off on your own topic, using any of these as a guide to make sure your topic is as focused. Use the texts to guide you, consider that your audience (mostly your classmates and me) will have read the same materials but might not have thought about them as much as you have or in the same way that you did, and enjoy sharing your ideas. On the nitty-gritty end of things, remember to include a title that reflects what you’re writing (it shouldn’t be able to apply to everyone’s post!), choose appropriate categories and tags (or add if you want a tag that isn’t there already), write at least 300 words, proofread, and publish! If there are links or media you want to include, please do.

Commenters: get ready! Everyone who isn’t writing a blog post will need to comment by 10:00am Monday, so make sure you’re ready with 100-150 words of insights and reactions to share with the class.

Feel free to comment on this post to ask questions or get clarification to understand this assignment better. I will answer, but feel free to answer questions for your classmates if you have the answer!