Essay on Ranch Girl

1063 Words May 16th, 2011 5 Pages
Tamarah Phillips
SOS: Creative Writing
Reader Response # 3

Ranch Girl by Maile Meloy from Contemporary American Short Fiction

The story is told in second person, which gives the reader a sense of being in the story, at the same time being an observer. It begins with telling you where you stand in the socio-economics’ and in the eyes of your peers. “If you’re white, and you’re not rich or poor but somewhere in the middle, it’s hard to have worse luck than be born a girl on the Ranch. It doesn’t matter if your father is the foreman or the rancher – you’re still a ranch girl, and you’ve been dealt a bad hand.” (551) The story goes on, telling you where you where you live on the Ranch, who your father is (the foreman on Ted
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The narrator shuts down after Andy’s death, although it might be because of his death she has more options than if he had been alive. The narrator feels cheated, alone since he died, but she continued through high school where her science teachers (who saw through her ignorant façade) encouraged and bothered her to go to college. In the first course in college, the professor accuses her of plagiarism because she can write. The feelings of frustration and anger, feeling cheated out of a life with Andy to be left alone. The narrator feels the expectations of others enshrouding her, something that would not have been if Andy Tyler had not died in that car crash. “You are so lucky to have a degree and no kid,” Carla says, “You can still leave.” (558). The narrator has the world around her telling her how she can still leave, how she has nothing to tie her to the Ranch, or to Montana anymore. She can go. “But none of these things seem real; what’s real is the payments on your car and your mom’s crazy horses, the feel of the ranch road as you can drive blindfolded and the smell of the hay….But out there in there world you get old. You don’t get old here. Here you can always be a Ranch girl.” (558) The tangible things that tie someone to a place has nothing on the emotional ties. Andy Tyler might have died and left her alone, but he still ties her to the Ranch by his memory. The stolen life taken by

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