Crisis/Resolution Analysis: “The Great Silence” By: Ted Chiang

This story is narrated by a parrot, which I found oddly unique and definitely not something I would normally read. Overall, Chiang was able provide big ideas and direct questions. “Why aren’t they interested in listening to our voices?” and “Aren’t we exactly what the humans are looking for?” (Chiang, 231). Chiang definitely pulls his audience in, and at times I felt like what I was reading was real. As if, this was non-fiction. A way for Chiang to open our eyes and put those thoughts/ideas into our heads. Maybe even wanting us question our own thinking? The story is delivered in sections and gives with it different mysteries that in the end, all combine as a whole. In the beginning sections, an example about the African grey, Alex is explained about how this parrot demonstrated to humans how parrots can understand concepts; such as shapes and colors. As well as a parrot’s unique contact call, how they can learn vocally, and empathizes with humans for assuming we weren’t “bright” from not recognizing a parrots intelligence right away. Next, Chiang dives into Hindu and the parrot describes the Hindu concept “the universe was created with the sound “om””. (Chiang, 235). We learn that parrots have their own myths that are at risk of dying with them, even though we are never actually told what that is exactly. But… maybe that’s the point? I am not sure if I am responding to this part correctly, since this story is different from the typical plot arc. 

As for the resolution, I feel there is no straight to the point conclusion. Aside from the parrot accepting their fate, and the upsetting realization that it cannot be changed. Not placing blame for humans being the reason for their extinction, “They just weren’t paying attention.” (Chiang, 235). The ending is not a happy one, but simply a message the parrot left with us that amplifies the sadness of the undeniable truth. Repeating what Alex, the African grey said to the researcher right before the parrot’s death, ‘You be good. I love you.” (Chiang, 236). 

But… What does “You be good. I love you.” (Chiang, 236) reveal? What does it mean?

I feel that could be the parrot barring farewell, with forgiveness. Repeating the same mantra as Alex. Sending the message out there for us to hopefully hear them. Since mankind is so focused on seeing what else is out there, instead of seeing what is right in front of us. Question is, how will we be able to forgive and love ourself? 

By: A.Stuebbe

Ted Chiang. Exhalation : Stories. Vintage, 2019. EBSCOhost,

Style Analysis: “The Black Cat” By: Edgar Allen Poe

What in the…

Alright, I was at a loss for words through most of the story and at the end I fist-bumped the air like nobody’s business. Like holy freaking crap, the emotions Poe evoked from me were irrevocably insane. My jaw fell straight to the floor when he axed his wife… like what in the heck?! Talk about an escalated plot twist! The tone I got from this story is ironic. While the narrator is trying to convince the audience that he is sane, all the while going into detail about his horrific behavior. In the beginning he states “From infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition” (Poe).  Ironic, right? He is the COMPLETE opposite of what he is telling us.  All of the grim events that he inflicted, like stabbing the eye of his cat and then killing it and murdering his wife; he then went on with casual indifference. Acting with out a care and showing no remorse, even as he carefully and meticulously tombs his wife’s body in the wall. By the way… I noticed that after he murdered HIS WIFE, he then refers to her as “the corpse” or “it”. As if she never was and held no importance to him. The ending is also ironic, because the narrator is overly confident with his “burying the wife” skills. Tapping on the wall where his wife resides, unbeknownst that the cat (beast) he so dreadfully despises will meow back and cause his evil deed to be revealed. 

The mood is pretty on point, going with ominous and horrific. Poe provides dark language throughout the story, and even named the cat ‘Pluto” which means roman God of the Underworld. I mean, that right there is gothic and dark. There is superstition with the black cat and the house fire, providing symbolism with the wall left standing with a mark that looks like Pluto when he was hung. The symbol being revenge. Along with superstition, we were then introduced to another cat who resembles Pluto. It is obvious this is horror fiction, because of the narrators cruel intentions and murderous crimes. I even felt half-crazed just reading this, tapping into the mind of an unstable, violent individual. 

Here I just wanted to drop a few examples of figurative language I found in the text. Yes, I know there is more. For this though, I just wanted to keep it short and sweet.

 SIMILE – “But my disease grew upon me — for what disease is like alcohol!” (Poe). Obviously comparing alcohol to a disease, amplifying the negative effects of alcohol. Perhaps Poe has experienced the ill effect of alcohol firsthand, since the narrator in the story is consumed by it from beginning to end. 

HYPERBOLE – “The fury of a demon instantly possessed me.” (Poe). Clearly exaggerated, but another way to show his violent side from his indulgence of alcohol. Showing us his short fuse and bad temper, allowing his rage to take over. A way to let the audience know that he was so angry, he was seeing red. 

PERSONIFICATION – “I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire.” (Poe). Fires do not not literally cry, but it provides us a way to envision the sound that woke him up. Giving sound effects to create the atmosphere being told. 

By: A.Stuebbe

Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Black Cat”. 1845.

Setting Analysis: “A Rose For Emily” By: William Faulkner

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. This story intrigued me with the non-traditional theme, the mystery and gothic elements to it. I would say the movement for this story is Modernism, but also could be Naturalism. For modernism, noting from the time stamp of when it first appeared in 1930, but also because it portrays outside of normal tradition. Provides the readers with a sense of disorientation from Emily and the confusion throughout the town. This was also post Civil War. Faulkner had two of the main character embody characteristics of the decades-old feud. Emily portrayed as the “South” and Homer portrayed as the “North”.  As another thought, this could be paired into Naturalism as well… that era was diving into psychology, human behaviors and their outcomes.  The story begins in the year of 1894 in the beginning of the flashback. 

What year is it?

  • This is not a set in stone answer since it spans throughout Emily’s life. The story provides a flashback at the year of 1894 when she was relieved from paying taxes. We can surmise that the bulk of the story takes places the decade and few that follow it. Ending when she died at the age of 74.

What Country and region does it take place in? 

  • The story takes place in America, with the fictional city of Jefferson, Mississippi in the southern county of Yoknapatawpha. 

What is the political climate?

  • The town believes in the hierarchy that Emily’s family represents. Emily has been isolated due to the patriarchy from her father, when she has her breakdown to her illness; her money and social standing are what protects her. When Emily falls in love with Homer, the town cannot seem to understand or accept how she can be with someone that is a lower class northerner. 
  • This is also based Post Civil War from when there used to be slaves, but the African Americans are still not being seen as equals.

What is the culture like?

  • The era from the story is very different from our present day. So, what would be acceptable now, would be frowned upon back then. This story follows southern tradition and societal rules. Portraying the victorian era with women and the gossip that spread from Emily’s lack of husband and children. Back then, women were to be married in their 20s and already start to have kids. Emily being in her 30s went against the “established” tradition. I believe Faulkner used this perspective of Emily as a way to show that rules can be broken and that she embodies “change” in a sense. 

What specific things are apart of the surroundings?

  • Her house was stated that it is intricately decorated with cupolas, spires, and scrolled balconies, has fallen out of date and into disrepair. Also, the fact that it used to be white, suggesting the house has yellowed with age and that the paint has chipped to reveal the material underneath. 
  • The parlor: so old it “smelled of dust and disused” (Faulkner) and also “was furnished in heavy leather furniture” (Faulkner). 
  • When Faulkner mentioned the men sprinkling lime around her property to get rid of the bad smell.
  • “As they crossed the lawn, a window that had been darkness was lighted and Miss Emily sat in it, the light behind her, and her upright torso motionless as that of an idol.” (Faulkner). 

By: A.Stuebbe

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily”. New York. The Forum. 1930.