Short Stories and Poems A-Level Coursework

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¶ … Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin offers readers a first-hand look at the ravages of addiction (presented in the story in the form of heroin). Addiction is a way of coping with pain, as can be evinced by the principle character Sonny's conversations and actions. The story takes place with a background for racism, which is reflected by the murder of the narrator's father by Caucasian motorists. The despair and hopelessness of the characters and their surroundings contribute to Sonny's abuse of drugs.

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is an unflinching look at the effects of sexism, and the constant devaluing of women's opinions and ideas when compared to those of men. The narrator of this story goes insane due to the fact that she is essentially shut into a room she dislikes and not allowed to pursue the things she would like to with her life. Both her doctor and her husband consider themselves to be the authority figures of what is right for the woman; the ending shows they could not have been more wrong.

John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemum's" deals with the sexual repression of its female protagonist, Elisa. Her femininity is repressed by a simple life of farming. Elisa would much rather have the opportunity to be active instead of inactive, to pursue a life of fixing things or of asserting her own power (represented through her affinity for raising Chrysanthemums, while instead she is relegated (against her will) to the life of a simple housewife.

"Black Men and Public Spaces" is an essay/short story about a male African-American author's experiences with racial profiling and having people afraid of him because he is an African-American male. Dramatic scenes of the author walking on desolate streets at night and being accosted because of his race and sex at the workplace reinforce… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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Short Stories and Poems.  (2012, February 9).  Retrieved January 23, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/short-stories-poems/7701869

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"Short Stories and Poems."  Essaytown.com.  February 9, 2012.  Accessed January 23, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/short-stories-poems/7701869.