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Choose one of the stories we have read and rewrite from a small part of it from a different narrative’s point of view. A Cat in the Rain: “I like the way it is” I said. “I get so tired of it,” Sally said. “I get so tired of looking like a boy.” Facing her as she sat on the dressing table, I saw her twiddling with her wedge style pretty brunette hair. I sighed and admired how lucky I was to have her in my life. Back home in Boston, Sally was the Home coming Queen at Central Boston High. We were childhood sweethearts from 6th grade. Sally moved to our neck of the woods in the summer of 1908 with her father Rev. Rex William from down South. Her mother Joanne Beatrice William left her father and took off to Hollywood’s world of glamour. Sally was uniquely odd from ordinary timid girls. She had keen interest in sports. I remember getting bullied by neighborhood boys for associating with Sally too much. Those were the careless and restless days.
My interest in Sally grew deeper with time. We both were seen together in every major social event in our town. We were the “Ideal match” for one another. I couldn’t possibly imagine life without Sally. A year after our graduation from Boston Central High School, I proposed to Sally and we were married the next day. Life couldn’t get more perfect than this.
Sally seemed anxious to have our lives filled with little angels. But it had been five years since our marriage and our garden was still “unblossomed.” The doctors back home tried every diagnosis but to no avail. Then we were led to an auspicious advice from a gynaecologist back home to seek services of Doctor Ivera Cupiccina, a renowned medicinal research scholar in Italy.
We moved to Italy with great expectations. Europe of course had gone through tremendous upheaval of The Great World War. Soon after our arrival in Italy, we rented a room in an apartment by the Bay. We wasted no time and arranged earliest possible appointment with Doctor Ivera Cupiccina. Sally was fluent in Italian since her mother side was Italian. I myself could understand some of it as well. The lab tests from Doctor Ivera Cupiccina came negative and Sally was perfectly healthy to conceive. It only meant one thing. I was impotent. This fact had me in state of denial for weeks. I loved Sally but I couldn’t give her the happiness she always longed for. I wished for once that Sally had not met me. I only wished for her happiness. For her to have a baby and to populate a boisterous home like she always wanted. “You look pretty darn nice” I said. Realizing I had been lost in the memory lane for quite a while now. Sally laid the mirror down on the dresser and walked to the window.
The story cat in the rain, provides an intriguing look into a couple’s life. Depending on the type of narration, it is possible to turn around a story and view it completely differently when you rearrange the style of narration. Originally the story was told from the 3rd person narrator. But I turned it around and changed it to 1st person narrator. The story when looked from the “American Husband’s” point of view is quite different than the original story yet the plot remains the same. It is entirely possible to have different point of views when you regard a story from a peculiar angle. Since two people do not think exactly alike, it is possible to reiterate the story from another person’s thought process while remaining in the same set of circumstances.
A number of stories we have read in class can be described as initiation stories. Choose one and write a short essay explaining how it works as an initiation story.
Cathedral is one of the stories discussed that can be regarded as an initiation story. It’s a 1st person narrative being told from a husband’s perspective of friendship between his wife and a blind man. The narrator is a nave young guy probably in his early twenties. The fact that he is nave is derived from his characterization of the blind man. He seems to have an uneasy feelings towards the disabled man when he discovers that the blind man will soon pay a visit to his house after his wife’s invitation. His views toward blind people were concocted with extreme stereo types. “My idea of blindness came from movies. In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed … A blind man in my house was not something I looked forward to (Pp. 184.)” The fact that his understanding of people is only limited to what he saw in the movies is an evidence of his ignorance towards understanding and accepting persons with some disability.
The narrator’s journey process begins when he starts to wonder about how his wife ever got to know the blind man in the first place. It all started few years back when his wife saw an ad to help a blind man perform some routine tasks at his job. She took the position as a temporary summer job. At the end of her summer job she kept in touch with the blind man through exchanging voice recorded tapes. The husband actually met the wife a few years after she befriended the blind guy. This fact somewhat makes husband jealous of the blind man. The wife requests him to make the blind man feel welcomed. “ If you had a friend, any friend, and the friend came to visit, I’d make him feel comfortable (Pp. 186.)”
The narrator, keeping up to his words to his wife, seems to adjust quite well to blind man after they meet. “Did you have a good train ride?(Pp. 187)” , said the husband. He, quite contradictory to his earlier view points toward blind folks, seems to welcome him and gives him good company. The Journey (meeting) is filled with cross introspection from both sides. The husband is not at all uncomfortable with a blind man in his house. In fact the blind man has proven to be a regular guy to the husband. “Robert (Blind man) had done a little of everything, it seemed, a regular blind jack-of-all- trades (Pp.189.)” Blind man on the other hand seemed to know a lot more about the husband than the other way around. When the husband asks the blind man for a drink , the Blind man replies “Bub, I’m a Scotch man myself (Pp.188.)” Blind man’s reference to the husband as “Bub” – short for bubba ( less intelligent being) – seems to indicate as if Blind man has already figured out the personality of the husband. The transformative experience occurs when the husband and the blind man are watching a late night TV documentary show about the cathedrals. The blind man asks the husband to describe how a cathedral looks like to a seeing person (supposedly to test him). After few failed attempts to explain how a cathedral looks like to the blind man, the husband gives up. He is not sure how to transfer such knowledge from a seeing person’s point of perception to a non-seeing person’s point of perception. Later the blind man tells the husband to draw the cathedral first with the eyes open and then with the closed eyes. The transformative process occurs when the husband is amazed when he realizes that he actually drew better with his eyes closed along with blind man’s hand assisting him. “His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper. It was like nothing else in my life upto now (Pp.194.)” The epiphany, or the moment of truth occurs when seeing guy realizes that a blind person can actually perceive world just as if he does if not better.
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