I Got Somebody in Staunton Notes

I Got Somebody in Staunton Notes - I Got Somebody in...

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I Got Somebody in Staunton William Henry Lewis These are stories are about love, loss, and longing. Moves from the city to the country and we get the haze of heat—sweet tea, the blues, and the titles of the stories have been plucked from nature. Not told in a chronological way—each story is from a specific place and time with distinct vernacular voice—the young boy, the nurse, the cleaning woman, the social worker, and the restless college student washing dishes in the Bahamas. The greatest metaphor is the tires in the swamp—you think you can bury the tires, but they keep coming up. You think you can bury the past, ignore the past and not deal with one’s own past— but it keeps coming back up. Interwoven in these stories are individual voices in the story, but a collective awareness. Lewis doesn’t struggle too much in trying to tidy up the endings—most are left open-ended. You don’t get much judgment in terms of the character’s insecurities or their fears or their regrets or their imperfections. They remind us that underneath they are ordinary people dealing with ordinary lives. Shade Is the heat a character in this story? It’s almost as if the heat is the catalyst for the action in the story—the catalyst for the mother telling the boy about his father, the catalyst for the festival, the catalyst for the boys conception—it appears over and over. - “I came to believe that it was the heat that made things happen.” So we have the young boy who is 14 years old now and there is not much emotional connection between the mother and son, although the boy adores his mother—it’s not a “huggy” relationship —there’s some distance there. How do we characterize the seduction of the mother by the boy’s father—we get the sense that there was no love. It was simply the act—very matter-of-fact. She simply just gives him the information—this is characteristic of how she relates to her son. - “It was during such a summer, my mother told me, that my father got home from the third shift at the bottling plant, waked her with his naked body already on top of her, entered her before she was able to say no, sweated on her through moments of whiskey breath and indolent thrusting, came without saying a word, and walked back out of our house forever.” - “And I felt uncomfortable with it, the way secondhand shoes are at first comfortless. I grew to know the discomfort as a way of living.” At 14-years-old he decides to go to the Blue’s festival. In a very unemotional way she points out his father and then leaves him alone. Do we get a sense that the father knows him? He seems to
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look at him longer than his character allows. He may not know for sure that he is his son, but he may be wondering. -
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course ENGL 3354 taught by Professor Hogue during the Spring '06 term at University of Houston.

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I Got Somebody in Staunton Notes - I Got Somebody in...

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