The Great Leapfrog Contest and

1720 WordsOct 8, 19997 Pages
In the short stories, “The Good Corn” written by H.E. Bates and “The Great Leapfrog Contest” by William Saroyan techniques such as characters, point of view, setting and structure work together to explore the issue of personal conflict and establish tension between the main characters in each story. An examination of these techniques allow a more enhanced reading of the texts and in turn evoke a particular response from the reader. In the short story “The Good Corn” there are three main characters which are portrayed in such a way as to allow a tension and personal conflict to be created but only after the reader is positioned to respond favourably to the characters initially. Joe Mortimer and his…show more content…
This conjures images of a peaceful and thriving natural environment with no invasion of manmade inventions. However, as the personal conflict of Mrs. Mortimer’s sterility is developed the setting complements her feelings of worthlessness and loneliness as the reader becomes aware that the farm is in fact isolated and any outside contact with people is welcomed. This is demonstrated through the passage “Whenever the Mortimer’s caught sight of them [the children on the train] there was a sudden brightness on their faces.” Similarly, in “The Great Leap Frog Contest” the setting enhances the portrayal of Rosie as the underdog. The fact that the contest takes place on a highway that is made out of “dirt and asphalt” conveys an atmosphere of a fast-paced competition and it is painstakingly obvious that Rosie’s gender does not complement this setting. Hence, she is portrayed as an outsider not only because she is fighting a boy, but also because of the nature of her surroundings. Both short stories employ third person point of view to enable the reader to see into the lives of all the characters presented. While this doesn’t allow a more personalized insight into the main characters mind it does give the authors freedom to explore all of the
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