This Is a close analysis essay of a random 9 page selection from Spring 2014 Narrative, focusing on an Interesting, but flawed sliver of life of a man named Wayne. I shall point out the good and bad points, and argue them, concluding with a final observation to ponder. The Day of the Dead, has a decent vocabulary structure, but a few passages were lowed down by a few obscure words.
The use of “leased” slowed me down In the first paragraph, and “The dogs were blinkers, or so the Hattiesburg man had said”, In the second paragraph and “The lemon was the first to play dumb, blink. “, and “acting too birdie” had no meaning for me, missing a clear definition and further slowed the story. A very descriptive piece, with passages like “The field was slick with dew, and he had his Jeans tucked down Into his boots” kept me going, but the Informality set In with Wayne already had a hen quail from his flight pen” now Informing me of the liberal use o f hunter’s slang.
In the dog psychoanalysis session in paragraph 3, wasn’t Wayne being a little too presumptive In paragraph 6, the shock value of Wane’s wife and Indiscretions were bizarre, but effective Like a Danville Steele romance novel, but now had me wondering what the plot is, if there is one, Suspense begins in paragraph 8 with a “hawk pecking at that hen, then a scene change to his grandson Justine football game, leaving us to wonder the outcome of he hen and hawk, and now the game too.
It takes till paragraph 12 to find out we are in Mississippi. Finally in paragraph 20 we find our first reference to the title of the story, “A black girl in a black dress was sitting on the trunk of a sedan parked next tuition’s Ford, laughing into her cell phone. Her face was painted white, and Wayne took her to be a vampire or some other back-from-the-dead telling. “, then a scenario change to a The author has a penchant for “hooks” to keep us begging for more.
Now we have 3 cliff hangers to ponder, the dogs, the hawk/hen, and the white faced girl. “How” can we stop now, we have to keep reading. Gibson says he is a little earnest. Paragraph 28 brings us to Wayne wondering why coach wants to see him, adding yet another hook, and illuminating his now all too obvious hook style by reverting to driving home, an armadillo hunter, and his other Mexican neighbors. Character development is one thing but now I am chomping at the bit as we are now 2/3 through the story and there is still no plot.
A few paragraphs later we learn the hawk was of no consequence (never mentioned again), the coach’s conversation solved, and the addition of Louis Carpenter, with a lesson on racial acceptance. After Wayne decides to Join Louis to reinforce racial equality, even at the risk of embarrassing his grandson Justine, “another scenario change” brings us back to Wane’s childhood, on his father’s shoulders hunting quail. And then, nothing, the story ends, no vampires, no zombies, and no score for the last game of the season and Justine last game of high school.
A big letdown, maybe, a hodgepodge, for sure, but we were dragged along for the ride quite aptly, and on our part, most willingly, with so many scene changes to keep us riveted to the task, only to dash our hopes of perhaps a few cattle or even at least an armadillo drained of blood to whet our appetites. Or at least some other sinister connotation to fulfill our need for closure to the white faced vampire girl, the only reference to our now pointless title, now lost in oblivion.