Reading To Mr Torres Analysis

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In Barbara Neely’s and Julia Alvarez’s short story narratives of Spilled Salt and Reading to Mr. Torres, they are comparatively filled with similar themes that connect the stories in very reflective and uncanny ways. Both of these stories contain the theme of forgiveness, a theme that’s apparent in both main characters in how they deal with it. These narratives are also heavily immersed in themes of trying to deal with the past in different ways. They both deal with atrocious crimes committed by one of the main characters from both narratives which affect the two main other main characters within the stories which lead to both characters in a search for truth. However for all their similarities there are a number of differences to the narratives …show more content…
Torres, these characters represent a clear difference between the two short stories. For Mr. Torres he expresses clear guilt for his actions of the past as it is clear that for all his crimes he did not pay for them in any way, in fact lives a comfortable life. His remorse truly shows in part two of Alvarez’s short story that when Patty began to probe him for information by purposely misreading some of his letters. This causes Mr. Torres great stress as he becomes more frail and worn down with each reading. Eventually when he falls ill and he is taken to the hospital he leaves a note asking Patty to throw out the trash, referring himself because of all the things he’s done in the past as trash which shows a genuine and true guilt. As for Kenny in Neely’s story, he seems to avoid the guilt by reverting back to a childlike mental state however, rather than show penance he behaves as if he didn’t commit a monstrous act that his mother Myrna knew about. Despite being questioned continuously Kenny never answers his mother about why he did what he did which shows that Kenny is either incapable of comprehending the full magnitude of his actions or he simply tries to brush it under the rug like it never

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