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.
This was the first time I have had to give any thought to which story I prefer. Previously I always picked the short story without hesitation. This week, I loved both stories and had a hard time choosing.
The differences character development is that The Virgin of the Small Plains didn't have a a true main character. I would assume the author would say that Abby was the main character since she appeared the most but she wasn't a typical main character. The Monks of the Abbey Victoria had an ordinary main character that they story revolved around.
One plot was a man that was conned into taking the fall for other men stealing a schedule of TV shows that they sold to the competitors for a premium. The other plot was about a nameless murder victim and the killers were discovered at the end of to story.
The settings were completely opposite. The Virgin of the Small Plains took place in a very small town in Kansas and The Monks of the Abbey Victoria took place in New York City.
The length of the story always makes me choose the the novel. I am more into the story because I know the characters. The short story was a close second because it was very clever and well written. It is the only short story that I liked that I read so far.
2. Do you attribute any differences between the short stories based on the gender of the author? If so, explain what differences you observed.
I attribute the amount of emotion included in the story to the gender of the author. The Virgin of Small Plains included well detailed emotions of how Abby felt when Mitch left and when he returned. It talked about how Rex never really got over Sarah.
The Monks of the Abbey Victoria talked about a husband cheating on his wife and he didn't seem to have he had any second thoughts about cheating on his wife. His only concern was about getting caught. I think that if a woman were writing the story, he would at least think about his wife and feel somewhat guilty for going out with another woman.
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 liked this story because I did not expect for him to be set up and have to take the fall for the other men stealing the schedule. I never saw that coming so I was satisfied because it had a good twist at the end but it still explained it enough to where I didn't feel like I was left "hanging."
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.
This was my favorite week of the story because The Virgin of Small Plains was my favorite story of the course. I also read The Monks of the Abbey Victoria which was by far my favorite short story. I have discovered that I typically prefer a female author of a male author which I did not know before this course. I didn't know how important the emotions were for me to be engaged in the story before I took this course.