My Initial Reaction To The Various Forms Of Literature

1648 words - 7 pages

My Initial Reaction to the Various Forms of Literature

Literature is a complex subject. There are numerous forms of writing. Poetry, plays, short stories, fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, the list goes on and on. It is endless. Furthermore, interpretation of each of these works often varies tremendously. Many times there are no wrong answers. Other times, there is only one right. Analysis all depends on the author, the reader, but most of all the words written on paper. The assignment of the day brought to life the complexity that exists. From short stories to poetry, Shirley Jackson, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Black Elk with John G. Neihardt, and Joy Harjo reveals their souls as they give us their form of creativity.

        First, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson provokes mixed emotions. The story is very well written, and the sentences flow easily. The description of the characters and environment are created with more than a touch of realism. Initially, reading this story is like standing in the middle of the town watching children, not all that different from my own, stuffing stones in their pockets and listening to their mothers shouting orders more than once or twice. Jackson obtains the reader's attention and curiosity. What will the villagers win if their name is chosen? Indeed. Poor Mrs. Hutchinson should have stayed at home instead of arriving late. The winner doesn't gain money, food, or a prize. Instead, the victor becomes the victim. The black box represents the sins of the town. The author is saying there exists a morbid sense of enjoyment people experience when judging others. For instance, imagine four or five ladies having coffee together, and lady number one informs the other collective gossipers about the outrageous atrocities Mary Jo did last night. For the next half hour the women relish in casting stones Mary Jo's direction. Soon after, the entire town knows. It's all fun and games until your Mary Jo or in this case Mrs. Hutchinson. In the story, they celebrate the 'lottery' annually. A different individual is chosen every year, and there is no doubt that Mrs. Hutchinson has thrown her share of stones in the past. The crowd always needs someone to judge. This is an extremely morbid satirical tale but also very real, perhaps too real. The story is worth reading at least once. If an author can show me a picture just by using words, I can respect the artist even if I don't like the picture.

        Next on the list, Zora Neal Hurston touches our hearts and our intellect with her piece called "How It feels to be Colored Me". She does this by describing her life, her philosophy, and doing it her own way. Her story reminds me of a book I read once about writing novels. In this particular book, it states the author should never make the main character a wimp. Undoubtably, Hurston is no wimp. She presents herself as proud and strong. Even though...

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