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William Lychack's Short Story

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Hero or villain? A question asked many times, and we actually never know, until the very end. The hero usually proves himself at the very last, and makes everybody happy, but is Stolpestad this kind of hero, or is he actually a villain? That's what I hope to make a conclusion of.

William Lychack's short story, Stolpestad, features the policeman, Stolpestad. Stolpestad's life has turned into a routine. Every day he goes to work, waits for shifts to end and gets home tired. The life sounds sad, boring and last but definitely not least depressing.

One day, Stolpestad get an assignment. The assignment is to help a boy with his dog. When Stolpestad arrives he concludes, that there is nothing to do, to help the dog - the dog is just waiting to die, it's too damaged. He talks with the family, and they decide that it would be for the best, if Stolpestad makes an end to the dog's miseries. After that, Stolpestad calls his wife, like every day, and tells her that he'll be late - but Stolpestad just goes to the standard bar. The wife knows it, and therefore she always calls the bar, to tell him someone asked for him at home, so that he'll come home.

The story is written with the narrator bound to the main character. The narrator is unable to shift between characters - but it's impossible for us to know what Stolpestad feels. He's always referred to as "you" or "Stolpestad". This type of narrating style makes it like the real world. Like it's only people we see, but we don't know what they think, or how they feel.

If I had to describe how we see the main character, you could say that the main character is being watched.



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