Essay PreviewMore ↓
For my second reading selection I chose Where or When, also written by Anita Shreve. There are two main characters, Charles and Sian. Charles sees Sian's picture in the newspaper because she has just released another poetry book. They knew each other 31 years ago when they both attended a camp at The Ridge. Charles (known as Cal to Sian when they were younger) feels compelled to be reunited with her. They correspond with each other for a time and are reunited the Thursday following November 30, about two months from the first letter. Together they find what it is they thought they shared when they were 14 years old. There are many more complications now in their lives such as husbands, children, and tradition. They search for ways to overcome these problems and find the innocent bliss they once had reveled in. The struggle is not easy and ends unfortunately tragically.
There are two prominent female roles in this story, Sian and Charles's wife, Harriet. Sian's eyes "are nearly navy, with flecks of gold" (89) her skin is pale, and "there are wrinkles in the corners of her eyes and below them, her forehead unlined-high and white." "She dresses in black, all the time, simple and straight, because then everything goes with everything. Her voice is deeper than she expected and she speaks slowly. She removes them from their case, clear glasses with thin wire frames, and puts them on. He did not know she wore glasses."(90) "Her neck is long and white, there are small discoloration's, like freckles but not, on the backs of her hands and inside the neckline of her blouse. Her nails are cut short, unpainted."(92) "Her hair is loose and wavy; he remembers it as kind of pale bronze"(23) Sian is a professor and a poet, she has a few books out, this last one consisting of some thirty poems in a slim volume with a paper cover in a matte finish. She is married to a man named Stephen, and has only one child, a daughter Lilly, who is three years old. She, at one time had a son, "His name was Brian and was killed in a car accident six years ago when he was nine."(97)
Sian's attitude in general is guarded and throughout her life she appeared to not ever be truly happy.
How to Cite this Page
"Where or When by Anita Shreve." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Where or When by Anita Shreve For my second reading selection I chose Where or When, also written by Anita Shreve. There are two main characters, Charles and Sian. Charles sees Sian's picture in the newspaper because she has just released another poetry book. They knew each other 31 years ago when they both attended a camp at The Ridge. Charles (known as Cal to Sian when they were younger) feels compelled to be reunited with her. They correspond with each other for a time and are reunited the Thursday following November 30, about two months from the first letter.... [tags: Papers]
1134 words (3.2 pages)
- The Merriam Webster dictionary defines setting as “the place and conditions in which something happens or exists or the time place and conditions in which the action of a book, movie, etc takes place. In the short story collection called, “Games at Twilight and Other Short Stories”, written by Indian novelist, Anita Desai there is a huge focus placed on setting which plays a huge role in the development of the story. This essay would be based on three short stories from this particular collection; ‘Games at Twilight’, ‘Studies in the Park’ and ‘Pineapple Cake’.... [tags: ravi, anita, pineapple cake]
1291 words (3.7 pages)
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant The author and her times Anita Diamant, author of the historic fiction novel, The Red Tent, is a devout Jewish-American living in Newtonville, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter, Emilia. She has written five books about contemporary Jewish life, The Red Tent being her first novel. Diamant may have been influenced by the recent resurgence of creating Midrashim, or stories that attempt to explain the Torah by examining its subtexts. Modern women have taken a keen interest in this practice, hoping to expand on the minute biblical mentions of women like Dinah. Form, structure and plot The Red Tent is organized in a seemingly complic... [tags: Red Tent Anita Diamant Essays]
4949 words (14.1 pages)
- Themes of The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai The novel, 'the village by the sea' by Anita Desai is about how Hari and Lila struggle for the survival of their family in the absence of their drunken father and ill mother. As portrayed in the beginning of the novel, the opening scene is described to be an unstable environment. This is reflected by the setting of the waves and how they are portrayed to be 'unstable' as the author uses phrases such as 'high tide' and 'low tide' to show the instabilities of life and its changes.... [tags: Village Sea Anita Desai Essays]
937 words (2.7 pages)
- Diaspora and Syal’s Anita and Me Diaspora, a term used to describe the dispersion of a people from their original homeland, has become an increasingly pertinent topic of discussion in contemporary society. Nalini Natarajan in the essay “Reading Diaspora” argues that “the phenomenon of diasporic populations is by no means new, but its scale in the twentieth century is dramatic” (xiii). Natarajan also argues that the nature of contemporary diasporic experiences, due to the global reach of technology and media is significantly more complex and ambivalent than earlier diasporic experiences.... [tags: Diaspora Syal Anita Me Essays]
2965 words (8.5 pages)
- Anita Desai is a writer of novels and short stories, mostly about conflicts among characters of different generations and backgrounds. Her short story called “A Devoted Son”, she writes about just that. Anita’s unique heritage is what made her so good at writing stories with conflict and culture. She has a quiet power that explores the struggle of many things. Her inspirations for writing “A Devoted Son” is that she wanted to capture the duality of human nature, that everything is complex, yet art, music, and literature can render it so that everything become clear.... [tags: duality of human nature]
529 words (1.5 pages)
- How Do You See It. (Three Messages From the Short Story A Devoted Son by Anita Desai) There is an extremely wide variety of cultures throughout the world. It’s pretty obvious that from one country to another there will be some pretty major differences. The differences are pretty evident as well, you don’t need much help to be able to point out some differences. Even though there are many differences between cultures, they do have quite a bit of similarities as well. There is a lot more to people than we think.... [tags: Family, Short story, Fiction, Son]
1113 words (3.2 pages)
- After analysing certain interpretations in "Anita & Me" I agree with Meera Syals opinion that if you judge people in groups; you do not understand humanity. I think Syal has used typical stereotypes so that viewers can relate to issues and prejudices that relate to them also. As an Asian herself, Syal has portrayed the old-fashioned traditional views of Asian families within her Indian characters in Anita & Me. In Anita & Me, Meena seems to experience a clash of both Eastern and Western cultures.... [tags: Film]
574 words (1.6 pages)
- Anita Desai's novel, The Village by the Sea, is a vibrant narration of perseverance and hope in distress. It is a saga of changes and adaptation, a little of evil and more about the goodness of nature and human kindness. Based on true events, it is a story set in a small coastal village Thul near Bombay. The two main characters of the novel are a brother and sister duo, 13-year-old Lila and 12-year-old Hari. They have two young school-going sisters, Bela and Kamal, a chronically ill mother and a good-for-nothing drunkard father.... [tags: Desai Village Sea Book Analysis]
1019 words (2.9 pages)
- Anita Brenner In 1905 Anita Brenner was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her parents left Mexico in 1910 when the Mexican Revolution started. Anita was educated in the United States but never forgot the homeland that she loved. Anita's family moved back and forth from Mexico to Texas during the revolution, and then in 1916 they permanently settled in Texas. Anita understood what it was to be displaced from her homeland in times of war. Anita was of Jewish decent, her father had immigrated from Russia in the late 1880's her father and mother met in Chicago then moved to Aguascalientes.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1105 words (3.2 pages)
Charles wife, Harriet is a housewife. She takes care of their three children, does the baking, "mows the lawn, keeps the exterior tidy and painted."(20) Harriet has "short, nearly black hair, and her jeans are tight along the back of her thighs. She has on an aqua sweater. She has plans for any given day and seldom deviates from them, she is almost never late, and at the end to the day can add up the experiences, the completed tasks and find among them some satisfaction."(20; 29-31) Her attitude towards Charles is that of indifference. Although in some of the ways she acts it shows that she cares for his still. She reaches out for him when they are in bed "he feels then her fingers, her hand reaching for him."(165) She gets angry when he is late returning from what should be just a short errand. Anger is sometimes based from fear. Harriet is seems to be well aware of what her marriage is like and what it's lacking. This story is written from Charles and Sian's perspective, so no real sense of what Harriet thought of herself is ever given. Their economic status is of upper-middle class. They live in Rhode Island near the water in a house that is "too grandiose and impractical." (20) They are adding an addition to the house "that was to have been a new kitchen for Harriet then later become an office."(20) Harriet seems to be more dependent, she doesn't work and relies on Charles, whereas Sian is more independent, she takes care of herself, and Lilly and she works as a professor and author.
Since the main focus is about Sian the author is showing all dynamics of a woman. She is an individual who can support herself without the help of a man. She doesn't just stay home; she has two jobs and is a very strong character type. She is still dealing with the loss of a son, a husband who isn't happy with himself or his life and a farm that is falling apart. I don't think the view on Sian in this book is anything but positive. What Sian and Charles are doing is not acceptable however. Cheating on your spouse under any circumstance, even a loveless, lifeless, relationship is not acceptable. Everyone deserves happiness and Charles and Sian feel that they don't have that kind of happiness except when they are together. There are other measures both could have taken so as not to hurt their families in such the magnitude that is evident in the end. Sian has stepped out of the traditional role of women in a few aspects, she has two jobs, basically runs the household, brings in most of the income. In other aspects she does not have a possessive husband, in fact her husband never even carries on a conversation with her. He keeps to himself and never lets her in. The author is female; again this makes a difference because the female role is pivotal. She is in charge, she is strong-willed and not just the feeble female, granting her husbands wishes and desires.
The end of the book was quite dismal. Sian's husband shoots himself in the arm; Charles hits a sheet of ice driving from the post office "the railing gives with ease, splintering into a thousand bits of wood. The Cadillac sails in a magnificent arc, a graceful arc, out towards Portugal."(236) And so is the end of his life. "Timing is everything."(236) The narrator is Sian but at times it takes on a third person he/she tome. Mostly it is Sian who is telling the story. Her point of view is used because in the end there is no one left to tell it. At other times it is omniscient. It is this way to show Charles inner thoughts that Sian could not have had access to.
I enjoyed this work of hers but to be quite honest I read it the same day I finished Strange Fits of Passion. That book was so good and it was still on my mind when I was reading Where or When that it took away from the story. By the time I got to the end I realized how good the story really was. Lots of times when I just finish a book I analyze the characters and contemplate what I would have done in a situation such as that. I feel sympathy and the other emotions that the person in this situation might be feeling. If it is a good book I become completely submerged in it. I can sit for hours until it is finished and then feel vacant because I wish that it could continue. This book raised the question in my mind about how you truly ever know that you are in love with a person. Perhaps Sian and Charles thought they were in love with each other because it was something new and exciting. What they had at home wasn't all that they had hoped for and this was an escape. Prior to this there was no mention that they were planning on leaving their families and neither of them did for several months. Did they truly love one another or were they just trying to recapture their youth, a younger, more innocent and free time? The stories were both distinct and yet had may qualities that they shared. Both women were strong in their life situations, both had husbands less than adequate, though Mary did have it tougher, both are dealing with emotional strain and both took desperate actions that turned their lives around. There are many similarities in these books; the settings take place near an ocean in a New England town. The ending of this book couldn't have been more suitable. It led up to this and was foreshadowed in their actions. Cheating, driving far distances to meet, secret phone calls and letters, lies to their families, this outcome was realistic and best suitable for this story.