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Stolpestad By William Lychack Sometimes people can get overwhelmed with a feeling of stagnation. The feeling that whatever we do is for nothing and that everything we do is in vain. The short story "Stolpestad" from 2008 is written by William Lychack, and it is dealing with the feeling of stagnation and feeling useless and impotent. In the story we meet the protagonist Stolpestad who is a police officer, husband and father of two. After his shift has ended on a Saturday night, the mother of a nine year old boy calls him to go out on one last job for the night. He arrives at the address and he is asked to put down a wounded dog. Later that night, Stolpestad is approached at his doorstep by the little boy and his father. They came to tell…show more content…
161). He is running away to the woods to put an end to his stagnated life. The reader doesn’t find out if he is going to kill himself in the woods or if he wants to start his life over because of what happened to the dog, and what he unwillingly put it through by not being able to kill it the first time. However, the death of the dog is definitely a symbol of Stolpestad ending the stagnated life he has been living up until this moment. Stolpestad is throughout the story referred to as “you”. A story that is told by a second hand narrator is very uncommon in literary works and to me it sounds more like a language you would find in an instruction book or a guide. The story is also written in a very casual or “spoken” language, which gives the reader a more personal relation to the story: “And you ask if she’s his dog (…) and you go to one knee, touch your hand to the grass, and ask how old the boy is”. (l. 48, l. 50). The narrator is referring to Stolpestad here, but it engages the reader, because the narrator might as well be talking about us. As previously mentioned, the story is told by a second hand narrator, that does not show us Stolpestad’s motivation or thoughts of why he is going the things he does. Neither does the reader know what happened earlier in his life that brought him to end up in stagnation. This makes Stolpestad seem like a stranger and the reader doesn’t feel

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