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Close Reading - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: A Close Analysis of the Story, “I am a Fool” by Sherwood Anderson On the surface level, the story, “I am a Fool”, by Sherwood Anderson seems to tell the readers’ that the first-person narrator is a fool. But a close analysis of the story ironically reveals that the narrator, a young man, ultimately appears to be a self-perceptive man who can perceive his own follies and grows into maturity…
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Close Reading

Download file to see previous pages... Telling the story from a first-person point of view, Anderson allows the readers to experience the young man’s self-perception of his action. At the very beginning, the readers come to know that the narrator has already grown into maturity, as he tells, “It was a hard jolt for me, one of the most bitterest I ever had to face. And it all came about through my own foolishness too.” (356) This self-judgmental approach ultimately establishes the narrator’s integrity. The readers realize that the narrator describes the events of his life in retrospect. The narrator tells about his compunction as following: “Even yet sometimes, when I think of it, I want to cry or swear or kick myself.” (354) Immediately after telling it, he also says that his only motivation behind narrating the story is to get relief from mental agony, as he say, “Perhaps, even now, after all this time, there will be a kind of satisfaction in making myself look cheap by telling of it” (356). Thus, the readers perceive the reliability of the narrator. Indeed, the first person point of view allows the readers to understand what is going on in the narrator’s mind. ...
Again, he comments about the educated people as following: “Such fellows don't know nothing at all. They've never had no opportunity.” (357) Another dishonesty which the narrator tells in the story without being ashamed the least is his deception to his girlfriend, Lucy Wessen. He assumes a fake identity and appearance in order to win Lucy’s love. But the narrator’s plan backfires when he learns that Lucy loves him for who he is actually. He hides his social status from the fear of being rejected by the young beautiful lady, Lucy. But he fails to understand that without deceiving her he would have been able to get her true love. The young man narrates all of his deception, lies and his past view of reality and life. Indeed such ashamed self-revelation allows the readers to understand who the young man was really in the past. Moreover, it is remarkable that the narrator often switches to second-person point of view in order to earn more credibility. He directly assumes this stance of telling the story apparently to allow the readers understand the error of his perception about reality what he held in the past. On one hand, the narrator says in the beginning that he has understood his past errors. On the other hand, he tells his past life as if he still holds those values. This dual stance may contribute to the confusion whether he is honest. But the narrator takes this dual stance only to allow the readers what his foolishnesses were in the past. The narrator was a fool in the past. He goes on telling his foolishnesses without being ashamed. Indeed, he is smart enough not tell about his foolishnesses directly. Rather, he tells what and who he was in the past and he simply lets the readers feel what the ironies of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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