Short Stories - Analysis of Power (Ontario English Grade 12)

Topics: Control, Mother, Mother insult Pages: 4 (1153 words) Published: March 14, 2008
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. " P. J. O'Rourke, 1947 -

While reading "Revenge Gardening" and "Bambinger", one cannot help but notice the powerful albeit underlying theme of control within the stories. The authors use this theme, developing it as the plot carries on and the characters transform to create a sense of dynamacy and interest in the readers mind. The possession of control by characters in literature rarely remains static. It is always changing hands and calibers as the stories progress to keep the reader interested and guessing. Control has always been a popular theme in literature and this essay will illustrate its prominence and development throughout the chosen stories.

The above quotation is relevant to the theme of control because it illustrates how easy it is for control to be obtained. It shows that as soon as something is controlled by a seemingly ultimate power, there is always a way to recover the control. This gives a similar situation as the use of control in each of the two stories; control, although seemingly unshakable, is suddenly at question or risk of being lost when even the weakest of characters approaches. This gives the feeling of unpredictability in stories in which this is the dominant theme.

In the story "Revenge Gardening", the powerful theme of control is what drives the plot from start to finish. The mother, spoiled by the control she has had in the neighborhood for so long, is thwarted by the new residents next door when they decide not to accept her curtains. The curtains are a symbol and represent the power and control of Matthew's mother. The way the theme of control is handled in this story by the characters is how it is transferred during the plot's battle to maintain it.

"I wheeled my bike out of the garage and stopped dead on the driveway. Along our property line straggled a white, plastic, foot-high fence with plastic...
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