Love has many definitions and can be interpreted in many different ways. William Maxwell demonstrates this in his story “Love”. Maxwell opens up his story with a positive outlook on “Love” by saying, “Miss Vera Brown, she wrote on the blackboard, letter by letter in flawlessly oval palmer method. Our teacher for fifth grade. The name might as well have been graven in stone” (1). By the end of the story, the students “love” for their teachers no longer has a positive meaning, because of a turn in events that leads to a tragic ending. One could claim that throughout the story, Maxwell uses short descriptive sentences with added details that foreshadow the tragic ending.
“Love” by William Maxwell is a short story that tells the tale of a young elementary school aged boy and his classmates who are in love with their fifth grade teacher, Miss Vera Brown, but the love for their teacher is not exactly the same as her love for her students. The students liked their teacher and saw her as one of the best teachers in the fifth grade. Her fifth grade class was very polite to her and never acted out. They gave Miss Vera Brown plenty of presents like an apple on her desk before class started, flowers, and a movie for her birthday. They liked Miss Vera Brown so much that they wanted to keep her as their teacher throughout their middle and high school years. Until one day she did not return for the rest of the of their fifth grade year causing the students to become worried that something happened to her. During their first year of middle school, two of the students, Benny and the Narrator, rode out to see Miss Vera Brown at the place she was staying. When they arrived at the house, they saw Miss Vera Brown laying on her bed sick and realize...
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...sad mood. Maxwell shapes his story around Miss. Vera Brown death and gives out hints that her death will occur, in order relate back to his main theme.
Overall, “Love” is about death and the students love for their teacher, even though it is not what it is played out to be. Maxwell demonstrates this through his tone, point of view, word choice, and sentence structure, in which coordinates with the overall theme of death. He uses his sentence structure to show the perspective of a fifth grade student. In addition, he also uses short descriptive sentences to show how a fifth grade student would tell a story. Maxwell also uses specific word choice that adds detail to his short sentences, in order to foreshadow Miss. Vera Brown’s Death. Each of these formal features helps shape his essay around the theme death, in which involves close attention in order to understand
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