Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blog 3: Sublimity Rachel Sale

Rachel Sale

Mitchell's short story Up in the Old Hotel was quite a momentum builder, only to be a let down in the end. I was fixated, as was Louie, as to what could possibly be on those top floors of the hotel.  I was extremely disappointed that there was not only anything up there, but Louie was not willing to go any farther than the 4th floor.  Mitchell's use of the floors as time made the story line a bit more complex.  Often the audience thinks of time as being on the same horizontal plane; Mitchell made the floors the barrier between times and the past was above the present and closer to heaven.  Maybe this was a reference to the ancestors that had already passed away and as Louie pulled himself into the past he pulled himself closer to his (death in the) future?

Louie's reaction to the top floors was also a let down to me as a reader.  For someone that appeared anxious to begin on a journey to the top floors (while still not taking advantage of any opportunity), he was very quick to state that he didn't want to see any more; he had seen enough and wanted to go no farther.  I feel that it was a sense of disappointment that cause Louie to react the way he did.  He had wanted for so long to see what was above his restaurant that when he got there and there was nothing, no significant ties to his past or really to anyone else's, he wanted to maintain some kind of illusion about what could remain on the floors above.

In the tornado story, the AP writer works with the subjectivity.  Even the titles hint that Bragg got more literature use and ways of looking at the story than the other author(s).  The AP writers even mentioned the devastation that took place in other areas of the country.  Bragg focused on the issues in Piedmont and came across with a story that told not just of a destruction to one family, but the damage that the tornado inflicted on the church, its people and even reaching into the community.

Bragg writes and expounds on the viewpoints of several people but puts the most hurt and aching heart into the perspective of the pastor and his wife that lost their daughter.  Through their story, he is able to look extrospectively at the rest of the people and the loss that they must have encountered.  Several people's tales and perspectives are given but Bragg makes the pain and damage the focal point for church goers, townspeople, pastors and farmers alike.

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