Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters and Eleven On Top

The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters

1. Compare and contrast the short story you choose in a given week to the novel we are reading that week. Consider differences in character development, plots, settings and themes. Consider how the length of the form, i.e. short story vs. novel, impacts the story. Which did you prefer in a given week and why.

Here I go again talking about how the short story was TERRIBLE. Short stories are just not my thing. The plot in “The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters” was actually really good for the first part of the story. Then it went to when they were older and the rest of the story bored the socks off of me. The story started off with two daughters that assumed their father murdered two people. I was very interested in finding out if there suspicions were correct. Then the story went to when they were older and they never talked about it again. All it talked about was their senile and violent father. I think that maybe a person with older parents would like this story more. I thought this was the worst story of all of them so far by a long shot. The character development was great in the first part and I started to feel like I was really beginning to know the characters. Then the story jumped ahead many decades and the main character was very different and cynical so I don’t know why he bothered with going into so much detail when she was a child. The plot was very good in the beginning and then just dropped off in the middle of the story. The setting was well described and in a family home with many marital problems between the problems. Then the middle aged daughter returned to take care of her very sick father that she had very much animosity towards. I am glad that “The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters” wasn’t a page longer. The story was such a let down because the main plot was never touched on for the second half of the story. I much prefer “Eleven On Top” to “The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters.”

2. Do you attribute any differences between the short stories based on the gender of the author? If so, explain what differences you observed.

Both of the authors this week were women. I assume that Joyce Carol Oates is a middle aged woman herself that has witnessed someone going through old age. I do not know how old she is but I assume she is older than Janet Evanovich. Either that or Janet Evanovich has stayed more in touch with her youthful side which makes her more appealing to me.

3. Review each short story. What did you like or dislike and why? Did the mystery in the short story work for you, i.e., were you challenged, surprised, satisfied or unsatisfied by what happened in the end.

I am sure by the time you begin reading this section, you know that the story was not my style. J The first half of “The Blind Man’s Sighted Daughters” worked very well for me. I was engaged and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened. The second half of the story was what made it the worst I have read so far. I was left completely unsatisfied because they never touched on the murder mystery for the second half of the story. I guess they did a little but not very much. The father did say that he wanted to go to confession so a reader might infer that he wanted to confess to both murders. I did not assume that because who knows what he wanted to confess. The second half of the story was just about a daughter taking care of her very mean and senile father. That is not a mystery in my opinion. I felt like I had to make myself finish this story and I was very glad that it was over. I was completely unsatisfied with this story due to the second half. I also thought the title was very misleading because when I read the title, I assumed it would be about someone that was born blind and had children that were still young.

On another note, I thought “Eleven On Top” was the best book that I have read for this course. I was surprised that Stiva was posing as Spiro. I didn’t even pick up that it might be him until it was spelled out for me. I was still assuming it was Spiro until Stiva admitted to be pretending to be Spiro. I was very satisfied with this story. The only thing that would have made it even more satisfying is if they told us which guy she picked in the end. Then I would give it an A+ instead of an A.

4. Reflect on the rest of the course, including your thoughts, reactions, observations, etc about the online discussion, the novels and anything else that strikes you as relevant to the course and your experience. DO NOT REPEAT WHAT YOU HAVE POSTED IN THE ONLINE DISCUSSIONS.

I really enjoy reading the novels for the course. I did not feel overwhelmed with the amount of reading this week. I do not like reading the short stories because I feel that I am wasting my time because every one of them has been a let down so far.

5. Add anything else that you think is relevant to the course and your experience. I'm not looking for anything specific here, only what may be important to you. If you don't have anything to add in this category, that's okay. I won't deduct points and it won't hurt your grade. However, interesting, compelling thoughts or observations can enhance your grade.

I really am trying to get my posts in earlier in the week but I was not able to finish the book until yesterday. Yes I realize that we are suppose to read it the week before but I do not feel like that is a realistic time frame for a person with a job and taking another course. I promise I really am reading as much and as fast as possible. I happen to read about the same pace as a snail!

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