Point of View
His mother attends these classes to reduce her high blood pressure. He escorts her there every week because she refuses to take the bus alone since integration. His mother is extremely prejudice and Julian was the total opposite. In Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter this story is about the life of Mrs. Dutta, an old, widowed Indian woman who had moved into her son’s American home two months prior. Mrs. Dutta struggles with not running a house and in the midst is writing a letter to a dear friend back home contemplating weather to be truthful or to be honorable to her family.
First I would like to review witch point of view is being used both stories. For the first short story Everything That Rises Must Converge, the story is being told from a third person point of view. The story has someone who is not any of the characters stating the events that are happening or events that had happened. Also the third person point of view is giving the dialog between and among characters. In this quote from the story it is evident that it is being told from a third person point of view “She said this every time he took her to the reducing class. (Burroway) This narrative persona is in fact close to the story because it knows how the characters in the story are feeling as well as their individual thoughts. For example “It gave him a certain satisfaction to see injustice in daily operation. ” (Burroway) For this specific story the Implied author does not seem to be close to the narrative persona. It is not evident who is actually telling the story and its’ events. The story is not told in past tense which would imply that Julian was the one in fact telling the story. For Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter this is also told form a third person point of view.
We can see that the story is not being told by any of the characters, and it shows the emotions and actions of everyone in the story. The narrative persona for this story is more close to Mrs. Dutta then other characters as the story mainly revolves around how Mrs. Dutta is feeling and her actions. The narrative persona shows a glimpse of the other characters emotions while focusing on Mrs. Dutta. “Mrs. Dutta, who had never, through forty-two years of marriage, addressed Sagar’s father by name tried not to wince. ” (Borroway)Both stories are similar by the fact that they have the same type of narrative persona.
In other stories such as What You Pawn I Will Redeem this is coming from a first person narrative. The story is being told by the main character and he knows little about the other emotions felt by other characters. For Everything That Rises Must Converge and Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter the distance would seem to be closer as the reader knows each of the characters’ feelings and their emotions. Secondly, we can review of the types of irony that is being used for each story. Every story has its individual way of conveying a message to its readers.
Irony is a way for the story to indicate an intention of that which is happening in the story. In Everything That Rises Must Converge the type of irony that is being used is dramatic irony. In the story we can see that when Julian’s mother gets hit by the African American women Julian doesn’t think it is a big deal. He repeatedly tells his mother to get up and that is what she deserved. Not knowing in fact that she was unconscious, non responsive, and possibly dead. In Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter this story would also have dramatic irony. In this story the family does not know that Mrs.
Dutta is rather unhappy living with her son in America. Mrs. Dutta always tries to hide her true feelings from her family, and is reluctant to tell the truth to her best friend in India, but the reader knows Mrs. Dutta’s true feelings. Also we can see how the voice affects the plot of each story. Since both Everything That Rises Must Converge and Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter have a similar voice, the plots in both stories are affected almost the same way. With the voice being from a third person point of view the reader is able to know the qualities of each character.
In Everything That Rises Must Converge knowing both emotions for Julian and his mother, we are able to see both sides of what they are thinking. This helps with knowing the actions that might take place next and also to know why the character responded in such a way. Julian’s mother is very prejudice, and since the reader is able to know her feeling we can see why Julian acted the way he did when he saw an African American man get on the bus. In Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter knowing Mrs. Dutta’s feeling about living with her son we can see why she is reluctant to share that information with her best friend as she thinks it would be un-honorable.
We can also see that the feeling is mutual with her son’s wife. This explains the harsh attitude against Mrs. Dutta and Mrs. Dutta’s need to hide things from the family. In both stories the plot is mostly linear. In both stories you have the characters going though time as normal with few flash backs of the characters past. In Everything That Rises Must Converge Julian and his mother get on a bus to get to the YMCA, and there was only the flash back of when Julian remembers his Grandfather’s house. In Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter it goes through Mrs.
Dutta’s daily routine but she has flash backs of when she lived in India. With both stories having a third person point of view, you have the narrative person telling most of the characters emotions rather than showing how they react to situations Lastly we can assess the themes of both stories, and how they are affected by the voice. With the voice being close to the characters in both stories, we can see how different situations may arise. The theme of Everything That Rises Must Converge is about the act of rebelling.
The voice shows how Julian makes different ideas up in his mind for ways to rebel against his mother. In Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter the theme in the story is the many differences between traditional Indians and modern Indians living in America and the conflict that this cultural divide can create. The voice shows the constant emotional battle the Mrs. Dutta has with herself and her daughter-in-law. With in both of these short stories we can see how a similar voice and point of view can be used for two completely different works. The voice and point of view are made to portray a cretin way to the reader.