In Senior Picture Day, by Michele Serros, we are led through the story of a teenage girl dealing with the usual teenage girl insecurities. Most of the story is told through a flashback narrative, which explains much of the source of this girl's insecurity. Throughout this short story, there is an overwhelming sense of immaturity and self esteem issues as the theme. The tone used to to relay this theme however is very comedic and lighthearted. The author does not try to lecture the reader or force the issues dryly down our throat. To this end, Michele Serros effectively uses the literary techniques of point of view and setting to help the reader understand and relate to the theme she is trying to relay to the reader.
Point Of View
Point of view within literature is the perspective from which the story is relayed to the audience. In the case of Senior Picture Day, the point of view is received from two characters, the main girl narrating the story, and her best friend Terri. Through these two people, the reader is given a special insight into the theme, that of immaturity and low self esteem. By seeing this story through a young girl's eye, we receive an understanding of these topics previously incomprehensible to the level portrayed in this story.
The narrator, whose name is never mentioned, is an American girl, with Indian heritage. The way she talks and views herself in the beginning is as any other girl she knows, and this reflects in the way she chooses to call herself on the CB "I told her I had decided on Cali Girl as my Handle" (p. 520). She is the typical teenage girl, concerned with the typical things- her looks, boys, and how she presents herself. However, for as much as this story delves into self-esteem, issues, and how much this character deals with that, it never goes deeper. That is where the theme of immaturity plays in as I see it. The author portrays a typical teenage girl, who for all her narrative never mentions any topic more relevant than boys and her self esteem issues. Briefly she touches upon a very serious issue, that of her former friends dad having an affair "I heard that Terri's dad met some lady on the CB and left her mama for this other woman" (p. 522). However even this does not receive the serious attention it deserves- rather, she quickly reflects on this and asks "Who'd wanna leave a house that smelled like a pine forest and always had Pudding Pops in the freezer" (p. 522). This girl takes us through her life, and the very trying years of teenagedom, without ever really going into the meat of these years. Unfortunately, this point of view seems all too real- many kids dealing with these very important issues lack the maturity to be dealing with them. In the first paragraph, the main character lumps such an important lack of responsibility such as forgetting to take her contraceptives in the same group as forgetting to put on...