Short stories 1

“All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, “We Can Get Them For you Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman.

Albert:

  • “All Summer In a Day” is a sci-fi short story containing some beautiful prose, but I didn’t quite get the point of it. Rating: B
  • “Harrison Bergeron” read like what a dyspotian society would be for a conservative/right-winger/anti-communist. It asks the intriguing question, is it moral to handicap people for the sake of equality? At what point does the value of equality cause harm to society? Rating: B+
  • “Hills Like White Elephants” is something I read before in college. The understatedness of the story is interesting when you’re analyzing it, but not so much when you’re a casual reader. Rating: B-
  • “The Lottery” is the kind of suspenseful narrative I probably enjoy the most. The problem with nearly all good short stories, however, is that I wished I got to know the characters and the setting better. Rating: A-
  • “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” is absurd and funny and consistently surprising. The plot works well as a short story. Rating: A-

Kevin:

  • “All Summer in a Day” – A touching tale that might inspire you to appreciate our world a little more. It also offers a glimpse into human nature, particularly the unkindness of children. Rating: A-
  • “Harrison Bergeron” – If I hadn’t read AnthemFahrenheit 451, or 1984, I might have found this sadder than I actually did. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting read that I enjoyed. Rating: B+
  • “Hills Like White Elephants” – I really didn’t get this one, though I had a pretty good idea of what the two characters were getting at. But the SparkNotes entry for this story is quite interesting, particularly the bit on the Iceberg Theory, which I had never heard of. Rating: B-
  • “The Lottery” – This story immediately reminded me of The Hunger Games, though the former precedes the latter by roughly 60 years. I enjoyed the suspense and pacing, and I would probably enjoy a classroom discussion on the ideas presented. With stories like these, I sometimes wish an analysis was included at the end. Rating: A
  • “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” – Quite amusing, though it does have dark undertones. For me, this story strikes a strange, somewhat unsettling balance between comedy and tragedy. Rating: B+

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