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Stolpestad - English Essay

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Stolpestad - English essay

Making changes is not always easy, but sometimes necessary. Some people live in the same city as they grew up in and are happy to do so. Unfortunately there are also those who feel limited and uneasy living in the same place, they have been living in for many years, but who are, however, not capable of pulling up their roots. After having lived in the same place, doing the same things for many years, it can be difficult to turn on a dime. This is the case for the main character in the short story "Stolplestad".

In this short story the narrator is a second person narrator, who is writes to a "you". This "you", which the narrator addresses to, is Stolpestad, who's the main character in the short story. Even though it is Stolpestad he addresses to, the reader almost feel, that its spoken to him/her, when this narrative technique is used.

The short story is very affecting, and the reader can almost feel personally affected by the comments in the story, when it says "you". ("Was toward the end of your shift..." L.1) & ("This is your life, Stolpestad." (L.5)

It is difficult to judge, whether the narrator, who addresses to Stolpestad through the "you-form", is one who is completely absent in the text or present in the short story's universe.

There are certain clues that suggests that the narrator could be a part of the storied universe, as when he declares: "away we go" (L.9), because it says "we", but this could also simply be an expression that does not necessarily mean that they are two who take off on the job.

One possibility is that, the narrator is a police colleague who then is with "you" all day, or someone else, who follows Stolpestad. However, it is quite unclear who the narrator is, because the story gives no clear explanation for it.

Whether the narrator is a real performer character in the story or not, the tone of the protagonist Stolpestad is very negative.

The narrator looks down on his life, as clearly seen when it declared that his whole life has been lived on the same sad street. This shows that the narrator is by no means neutral but negatively judgmental. When the narrator simultaneously addresses through a "you-form", the reader can in several situations feel that the harsh comments are directed at him/her.

The reader will automatically identify with the person the narrator addresses to, because it tells with this "you-form", and thus involve the reader directly in the story of a very special way: "back to all the turns you were born, while life spent along the same sad streets" (L.11-12)

The viewing angle is the unknown narrator, who addresses through a "you". The viewpoint position, is therefore an outsider's perspective that stands and looks at the protagonist and commenting on what he does. Yet, the narrator, who sees Stolpestad so much insight and knowledge of him, that he can predict what, will happen in the situations around him. The narrator even knows what Stolpestad envisions, and what he thinks of: "[You] picture how the boy will have to find her" (L.84-85).

The narrator, who actually stands and sees everything from outside, is still in a position where he knows what is going to happen and therefore can give a warning of it - almost as if he has already lived through it all: "Everything gets a little worse from here" (L.16)

Although the narrator is able to go into Stolpestad's head and see, what he thinks about and predict what will happen, the point of view is still from outside.

This means that what is described by the narrator, only becomes a guess. As the narrator does not have direct access to the mind of Stolpestad, he narrator must guess, what the protagonist is searching for: "you idle slow and lawful past these houses as if to glimpse someone or something - yourself as a boy, perhaps" (L. 12-13)

The language in the short story bears the imprint of slang abbreviations, showing that it is a special you-narrator, who speaks and who can speak exactly as it suits him. Already the short



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