A Short Story Form Based On Ford 's Idea

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‘Short stories want to give us something big but want to do it in precious little time and space’ (Richard Ford, 2007). Discuss how the form of the short story focusses on and elucidates a major issue, with illustration from, and analysis of, at least two short stories we have read or listened to on the module.

The following essay will discuss the short story form based on Ford’s idea that short stories want to use a small amount of time and text, to convey greater issues. By considering the short story form in detail, how it works and how that relates to different texts, the concept of elucidating major issues through smaller ones can be thoroughly investigated.

In the journal Short fiction in theory and practice, Ursula Hurley states
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The conflict shown in the short story between the narrator and her grandmother as they explore the island, and compare the places they are from, acts as a smaller symbol for the larger conflict between the places they discuss, and the heritage of the young girl.

Evelyn Hawthorne in the journal ‘Ethnicity and Cultural Perspectives in Paule Marshall’s Short Fiction’ (Hawthorne, 1986), implies that ‘the identity conflict of the Caribbean-American, as of other immigrants with a dual heritage, is an important issue which Marshall was one of the first to explore’ (Hawthorne, 1986, 45). This ‘identity conflict’ is portrayed through the young girl in the short story, who also has a dual heritage, her Caribbean heritage that her grandmother wants to teach her about, and her American heritage, which she tries to defend. As previously discussed, this larger conflict between the heritages can be seen through the conflict of the grandmother and the young girl. However, the specific dual Caribbean-American heritage conflict can be seen through the young girl herself and her thoughts, throughout the story.

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