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This Essay Is An Analysis And Personal Response To "The Whores Child", By Richard Russo

1099 words - 4 pages

Response to "The Whore's Child"Everyone lives in a world that is created within his or her brain. What we hear and what we see is different for every person; we give meaning to our perception and change it to make it fit to what we expect, and what we need to survive. Often we lie to ourselves and do not see the simple facts of something that happened in order to go on. "The Whore's Child," by Richard Russo is a very realistic piece that uses different literary elements of short stories to introduce us to sister Ursula, an aging nun who, through a college writing class, discovers the lie she had been telling herself over a lifetime, and also helps her professor discover some truth about his own life. Ursula is the child of a prostitute and a pimp. When she was young, she was sent away to convent school full of nun's, where she was abused and mistreated because of her background. After her mother dies, she joins the deity and grows up to become one of the nuns she hated so much. Using narration and character, "The Whore's Child" ironically shows how the characters live lies, and that a third persons opinion is often needed in order to connect the dots.The narrator in this story is a first person, observant narrator who we get to know as we go along the story. He is a college professor who teaches a writing class and has written and published at least two books. He is popular among students, has a wife and children who do not live with him anymore, and he has a mistress who probably caused the wife to leave. In "The Whore's Child," this type of narration is used in order to limit the amount of information we get about Ursula. All that we learn about the nun's past is through what we read from her stories through the narrator's eye, and from the meetings the narrator has with her. We do not get to know the inner thoughts and feelings of Ursula, but we learn a lot about the way she is and how she acts. Since we read everything in the stories she writes, we cannot know what is real and what is a lie. "My whole life has been a lie," as she says, tells us that what she is, is not real. Because of that all we read about her is not real and just something she imagined so that she can survive. It is only through the student's eyes that the truth is revealed, and we notice that her high image of her father was false and that she cold not see the facts herself. "So [...] I was writing a fictional story after all." This final line shows the irony in the story since what seemed to be an autobiography turned out to be a fiction of Ursula's mind. This type of narration from the teacher's point of view also lets Ursula be in the situation where students analyze her life. After each installment, the comments of the students affect her as they are analyzing the way she is telling her story. This made...

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