The Weather in San Francisco and Corporal by Richard Brautigan

1098 Words5 Pages
Richard Brautigan’s short fiction stories incorporate protagonists that are recognizably fictionalized versions of the author himself. He writes in order to extract his own struggles of the past and the difficulties of discovering himself in the present. Through the characters in The Weather in San Francisco and Corporal, the portrayal of his optimistic view of life as a consequence of the rigors of daily life, and the use of symbols, Brautigan presents his personal story through the words on the paper.
The characters in Brautigan’s stories The Weather in San Francisco and Corporal exemplify similar interpretations of the author and his own life stories. As an author early on, Brautigan became “self-absorbed, deeply depressed, troubled by
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His determination persisted because his goal of becoming a general was all consuming. He continued to “[spend] the next few days cynically looking for paper”, which led him to the corporal stripes (Corporal 1). Those stripes of honor joined the others, hidden in the sock drawer. The boy didn’t want to be seen with any stripes besides the ones of a general. However, he never did get the general stripes. He instead, with confidence, “admitted defeat and entered it” (Brucker 7). His willingness to accept defeat with a head held high rather than sulking on “the disappointments that constitute so much of life” represents what Brautigan portrays as respectable (Brucker 7).
Through the usage of symbols in his writing, Brautigan expresses profound aspects of his life. Brautigan “[spent] lifetimes searching for an American utopia” only to continually be turned down and collect more and more debt (Contemporary Authors Online 3). He longed for success, friends, and happiness in life. Becoming a general in Corporal symbolizes success. The boy dreamed of becoming a general everyday while he sat and watched the other kids “[strut] military airs around the playground and on their way home from school” (Corporal 1). He constantly questioned why he couldn’t be like them. He never imagined that it could be so hard to achieve; however, those also were “the kids who wore the best clothes and had lots of spending money and got to eat hot

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