"Spotted Horses" and "Mule in the Yard" are two short stories by William Faulkner that deal with comedic animal chases. Although both provide entertaining examples of Faulkner's work in very similar settings, on the scale of literary value, "Spotted Horses" rises above "Mule in the Yard" in depth and insight. This superiority is result of both it's narrative style and character development, which causes "Spotted Horses" to produce an overall more powerful effect than "Mule in the Yard".
The most notable and important difference between the two stories is the contrasting narrative style. In "Spotted Horses", the story is told in first person point of view by a narrator who observes the major events of the story but is involved in only a minor fashion. His narration provides the audience with a look at the town and it's inhabitants through the eyes of someone living in the county of Mississippi. This adds a realistic dimension to the image of the story. It is also through this narrative style that Faulkner weaves humor into "Spotted Horses". The narrator shows the story in a comic light simply through his words right from the introductory paragraph. For example, the audience is introduced immediately with a casual "Yes, sir. Flem Snopes has filled that whole country full of spotted horses. You can hear folks running them all day and night, whooping and hollering, and the horses running back and forth across those little wooden bridges ever now and then kind of like thunder." (349) In contrast, "Mule in the Yard" is told in the objective viewpoint. With this type of information, the reader can only observe what is seen and heard. Therefore, it follows that the re...
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...rmstid, comforts Mrs. Armstid, and then gives Mrs. Armstid advice on how to get her money back. The narrator of "Spotted Horses" brings an attitude of "regularness" to the story because he tends to look upon these characters as regular folks, yet finds the humor as well as the tragic within them. This is more than "Mule in the Yard" can accomplish with its more simplistic basis.
Both "Spotted Horses" and "Mule in the Yard" are very entertaining stories by William Faulkner. Despite their common theme of animal chase, setting, and character, a more powerful story is found within "Spotted Horses". While "Mule in the Yard" is well written and full of comedy, it does not delve as deeply as "Spotted Horses" does. "Spotted Horses" proves broader in scope due to it's in depth narration style which provides particularly effective humor and development of characters.
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