Choices In Short Stories

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Choices
In the short stories “A&P” by John Updike, “Searching for Summer” by Joan Aiken, and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker the protagoni, are all face drastically different situations: an embarrassment three attractive female shoppers, a post-war world that is void of sunlight, and a rural southern home in which heritage drives the family apart. The characters can be linked together through their response to conflict: they choose to act selflessly rather than selfishly. The selfless acts of the character in “A&P”, “Searching for Summer”, and “Everyday Use”, which spawn from a difficult choice and alter the outcome of story, all result in a loss for the protagonist but a gain for another character, and reveal the altruistic core values of
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Noakes. The couple chooses not to go back to the property after speaking to Mr. Noakes,“‘My Wedding dress,’ Lily said sadly. ‘It’s on our bed.’ They wondered how long Mrs. Hatching would keep tea hot for them, who would eat all the pasties. ’Never mind, you won’t need it again,’ Tom comforted her”(70). This quote shows that the couple put the sunlit property before themselves, even if they would have to lose something as significant as their wedding dress. It also shows their ability to combat their own desires, such as returning for the beautiful wedding dress, the hot tea, and pasties so that the unclouded land would be preserved. The next quote takes place as the young couple rides away from Mr. Noakes, “At least, he thought, they had left the golden place undisturbed”(70). This quote reveals that the couple had selfless and noble values, this also reveals that they are not rapacious-- they were happy with their short stay in the sunlit area of the Hatchings home. This quote also shows how their choice changed the outcome of the story, the golden place remained unharmed and Mr. Noakes was unable to take it from the Hatchings. Even though Lily and Tom were saddened by the loss of their dress and their inability to go back to the sunlit Hatching residence, they …show more content…
The first quote occurs during the argument that takes place over the quilts, “ This was Maggie’s portion. This was the way she knew God to work”(55). This quote shows that Mama chose to act justly and selflessly, she gives Maggie the quilts even though she will lose her relationship with Dee. In this moment Mama knows that she has done the right thing because she knows that God would have done the same. The second quote also takes place during the family argument, “...like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her”(55). This quote reveals Mama’s sympathetic nature and opens her up to fighting for the lesser child. This quote also shows that Mama carries regret because Maggie has been treated unfairly for so long, this drives her to act and ultimately causes Dee to leave empty handed and filled with contempt. Even though Mama loses a relationship with her daughter Dee by choosing to give Maggie the quilts, it reveals that Mama is a just and righteous person who cares deeply for her lesser daughter.
In the short stories “A&P”, “Searching for Summer”, and “Everyday Use” each character makes choices. These choices reveal the selfless values of the characters, because each character must lose something so

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