Essay on Character Analysis: Stew

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Mary Gaitskill uses a third person perspective, along with crafty diction and insightful allusions to keep her reader’s in suspense through her piece of “Tiny, Smiling Daddy”. It is with these tools that Gaitskill is able to slowly change our perceptions of the narrator from likeable to confusion and ultimately ending in dislike. “Tiny, Smiling Daddy” is told in the third person limited point of view through the father, Stew. This point of view is vital to our understanding of events, in that the progression of the story evolves only through Stew’s recollection of memories giving a very limited perspective. Using this style of writing puts a lens, so to speak, on how the reader is going to read the story, there are no outside details…show more content…
He cannot accept the fact that she is no longer that kitten anymore. The father’s name is Stew, but stew as a noun is a cooking technique in which you include many different ingredients into one pot and let it simmer, or stew, until all the ingredients meld together to get one product. Gaitskill writes her story a jumble of Stew’s memories to tell this story, but Stew’s memories are actually just a bunch of ingredients simmering slowly progressing themselves to a unified thought giving himself his self-realization, the stew at the very end of the story. The magazine that the entire story is based off of is called Self, which Gaitskill uses to foreshadow Stew’s self-realization. On the very last page Gaitskill finally unveils the truth behind the relationship of Stew and his daughter; it is him. He was blaming Kitty throughout the whole story for her foul-ups as a daughter, but finally the story reveals it is actually Stew’s fault; it is his “self”, not the daughters that truly destroyed the relationship between them. The magazine serves as a bridge between “Stew’s” world and reality, these pages about him open up the repressed memories in him “self” the truth, of his “self”. By naming the magazine Self, it also gives the reader a hint to what the real cause of the dismembered relationship really is, acting as a witty foreshadow. These foreshadows help drive the story’s development. Gaitskill is very clever in how she
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