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Stolpestad - by William Lychack

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Stolpestad - by William Lychack

Does the point of view of which you write in matter? Is the reading experience the same, no matter the narrating view? And what can make a man become so emotionally dead that he feels distant from everyone including himself? These are the questions which will be answered in my interpretation of "Stolpestad"

The short story, Stolpestad, is about a man whose life has become pure triviality: He goes to work, waits for his shift to end, makes excuses about working late to postpone his arrival at home, he gets home and goes to sleep.

Then one day, just before his shift ends he's being asked to help a boy out, with his dog(The dog can be compared with Stolpestad: it just lies there, it has given up on life, it's just waiting for its life to pass on, but no matter what, even after being shot, the dog stays alive. It's exactly the same with Stolpestad, he's doing nothing with his life, he's actually bored of it and he wants his life to end, but his life isn't passing either). When he arrives he can tell from the situation that there's nothing he can do, as the dog is pretty hurt and about to die, except for putting down the dog humanly - by Stolpestad. When the decision is made, Stolpestad takes a look around the house, then sits down and calms the dog and shoots it. When done, he drives to the nearest city, dialing his wife to let her know that he'll be late, and goes to his favorite bar. As his wife isn't complete unaware of what Stolpestad is doing, she calls the bar and lets the bartender know that's there's a callout for Stolpestad, his wife is trying to summon him, as the father of the boy whose dog he shot earlier is calling for Stolpestad. He drives back home to meet with the father. When Stolpestad comes home, he's greeted by the news that the dog he shot earlier did not die, and even that does not compel any emotions to the surface. But maybe the narrating angle has a say in this matter.

The story is written with the narrator bound to the main character and it's unable to shift between the characters and to see the emotions of Stolpestad, in the story he's always referred to as "you" or "Stolpestad". By using this form of narrator, we, as readers, get the same kind of feeling and experience if we ourselves were to watch someone. The main character - Stolpestad - is observed, and the observer is incapable of letting any emotions rise to the surface, this also symbolizes Stolpestad's life, because he seems to be a spectator of his own life, and doesn't emit any emotions. The fact that he's trying to come up with excuses for not coming home on a daily basis indicates that he doesn't have any affection whatsoever for his family, and that he doesn't want to spend too much time with them. Also because he always just waits

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