A Matter Of Differences Essay

1418 words - 6 pages

The two short fictional works of “The Day I Got to Xi’an” and “Willow Waist” have many obvious differences when looked upon closely. The stories “The Day I Got to Xi’an” and “Willow Waist” are obviously different in the way each man and woman act around each other, character’s mindset, and flashbacks. One of the most obvious and glaring difference was the way in which the man and woman of each story acted toward each other. In “The Day I Got to Xi’an” the man treats the woman very poorly and is always nitpicking her. He even goes on to say that he didn’t want to leave her as he felt some pity. In “Willow Waist” the two characters are much more calm and gentle towards each other. A second and clearly distinguishable difference between the stories is the character’s mindsets. In “The Day I Got to Xi’an” the man comes off as extremely disoriented and frazzled with his thoughts and he cannot seem to get a bearing on what is happening. However, in “Willow Waist” the man seems to be at peace and take what he is doing in stride, as opposed to questioning his own actions. A third difference that seems to be obvious is the way in which each man flashes back to the woman each sees. “The Day I Got to Xi’an” becomes quite confusing when the man has a flashback of his meeting with Xiao Tong. He becomes so confused and confounded that he even questions whether he even met her in real life, or if his whole trip was just wild thought. The man in “Willow Waist” has a much different realization when meeting with the woman. He seems to remember like it was yesterday and that nothing had changed with how long has passed. At first glances these differences appear to jump out, however the story also contains many underlying and significant differences.
The first underlying difference that “The Day I Got to Xi’an” and “Willow Waist” contains is the themes in which each portrays. The theme of “The Day I Got to Xi’an” is not that easy to pick up on after the first reading. The theme is to be happy with what you have and not always search for something better. From the beginning of the story the man is never satisfied or thinks very highly of the woman he is visiting. He seems to a constant traveler and can’t stay in one place too long as he is always looking for greener pastures, although he keeps looking and he never seems to find what he wants. The man in “Willow Waist” is in a much different situation from the looks of it. The theme is more of the idea that time changes, but people do not. As the man is talking to the woman he remembers from the time that they met very clearly and begins to reminisce. While the man in the first story is constantly on the run and searching for something new, the man in the second story is much more satisfied with the old and wants things to be like just like old times. This is just one of the underlying differences that can be inferred after analyzing the major themes in each of these stories.
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