WL Paper 2 - Pham1 World Lit Paper 2 Stephanie Pham H...

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Pham 1 World Lit Paper 2 Stephanie Pham February 26, 2010 H. Wilson Word Count: 1368
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Pham 2 Stephanie Pham H. Wilson IB English- WL Paper 2 February 26, 2010 “Family Ties” Clarice Lispector addresses a spectrum of universal themes in her collection Family Ties. Various truths about the human condition and experience are prevalent throughout the short stories. In “Family Ties,” Lispector presents an awkward interaction between a daughter and a mother who are concluding the latter’s visit. The story, which gives the whole collection its name, explores the bonds that hold families together. In the text, Clarice Lispector conveys the idea that even though relationships between family members may lack intimacy, the ties that connect families together are still powerful due to feelings of obligation. She creates this theme by employing literary devices such as diction and characterization. The best method of critical analysis is to examine this is through close reading of an except and writing a commentary. Lispector first generates the estranged feeling between mother and daughter through her diction. Catherine is taking her mother to the train station in a taxi and when it swerves in traffic, the two women accidentally crash into each other. Their reactions are atypical, because they are both surprised by the contact. The older woman lets out an exclamation, “as if overtaken by some irremediable disaster,” and looks at her daughter wondering “[if] some disaster [had] befallen Catherine too” (116). In fact, Catherine does consider the body contact somewhat of a
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Pham 3 calamity, as her response to it is to “quickly rearrange the suitcases and her handbag in her attempt to remedy the catastrophe as quickly as possible” (116). After the initial surprise, the two women are anxious and quiet because they have nothing further to say to each other even “after their composure [has] been restored (117). In this excerpt, diction is crucial because it conveys the uneasy tone to the reader, who can infer that the two women are uncomfortable with each other. Typically, physical contact between a mother and daughter would be ordinary and would not provoke such staggering reactions like it does for Catherine and her mother, who both
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WL Paper 2 - Pham1 World Lit Paper 2 Stephanie Pham H...

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