Prejudice In 'panache' And 'the Baker's Story'

1442 words - 6 pages

Kinsella and Naipaul deal with prejudice in remarkably different ways in their two stories "Panache" and "The Baker's Story". Through the use of setting, character, and tone, these authors try to convey their views on the ways that preconceptions can be proved wrong. "Panache" and "The Backer's Story" show how prejudice can be overcome in an idealistic and a realistic manner.In "Panache", Kinsella used a variety of contrasting settings, by comparison, in "The Baker's Story" Naipaul used a handful of similar settings. The first setting in "Panache" is the classroom at the end of the school year. This is a very important place, for it is where the group of young men have been taking a course on mechanics and it is where they learn the definition of the word panache. "His lecture was all about a French word called panache, which he says is, and I write down real carefully: the ability to exude the effect of a plume on a helmet" (Kinsella, p. 32). In the thoughts of the narrator as he contemplates about the word there is an element of foreshadowing. "I make sure I remember what he tells us but I figure I don't have a chance to use it for maybe a long time." (Kinsella, p. 32). The next setting is the boarding house where the men live while they work at the mine. The house is owned by an old white couple and the young men are not sure what to expect since they "…have ever been in a white people's house before - they even got three goldfish in a big glass jar" (Kinsella, p. 33). The group is pleasantly surprised of the way the couple treats them and is optimistic about starting work at the mine. "Boy, this is sure nice people, and things look good for us…" (Kinsella, p. 33). The third setting is the mine in which the young men are to work all summer and at first it has a large impression on the them "I never even dream there are places like this mine" (Kinsella, p. 33). They end up doing "odd jobs" until the day of Gunderson's accident.That night, they all gather at the bar in a hotel and collect money to buy Tom a memorial stone. All the miners try to be friendly towards Silas and Frank and constantly buy them beer as if they think that "if they buy [them] enough beer it gonna bring Tom Pony to life" (Kinsella, p. 36). The last setting is the tombstone store where Silas got to use the word panache sooner then he thought.By contrast, in "The Baker's Story", Naipaul used fewer settings to make his statement. The story takes place in Trinidad, where the narrator's mother brought him from Grenada when he was little. The first setting is the Chinese bakery in Laventille.This place is of great importance, for this is where the narrator learned how to bake bread. After the Chinese woman dies, and her husband gambles away the business, the narrator is left jobless. He walks through town, the second setting, but finding a job proves fruitless and at the time he never thought of owning his own business. "I cruise around town a little, looking for...

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