Thursday, May 22, 2008

And That Goes For You Too

Back in my younger days, I studied a Katherine Anne Porter short story. All full of imagery, it was, and what was going on in the main character's head and how does the author show, rather than tell, her mindset? It was so obvious, and didn't the critique ruin the story for me? Such is the world of literary analysis. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

In the story, a young lady attends a boxing match after having an argument. Of course, her lack of horror at the brutality of a beating represents her transference of anger to the punched out boxer etc. etc. and can't a blind man see where Ms. Porter was going with this?

It was an obvious outcome because it happens all the time.

Sara Tinsley was merely acting out an updated version of a classic short story. It's so unfair that she should face charges when her story is so old, yet still relevant in these modern times.

It seems that Ms. Tinsley's partner beat the snot of out her, which may explain in part her reason for seeking a divorce from Harry. In retaliation, she stabbed his precious lizards.

Take that, ye feckin' bastard, she may have shouted as she plunged a steak knife into Fred and Ethel. She couldn't very well plunge that knife into himself, could she? She'd be up for murder, and that's taking things to an extreme.

All would have been well if she'd checked the little creatures for a pulse before disposing of the evidence. As bad luck would have it, Fred was not quite deceased, so when his nearly lifeless body was discovered in the dustbin, Ms. Tinsley was hauled in and charged with cruelty to animals.

Sure Harry's in tears over the loss of Ethel, and the $1000 veterinary bill for Fred's life-saving surgery. He can't be all that sorrowful that his about to be ex-wife pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated cruelty to animals and has to go to court.

Chances are, if she had stabbed Harry in the heart and then presented at hospital covered with bruises, no grand jury would have found cause to charge her with murder. But it's those poor defenseless lizards, you see, and she'll have to go to face up to her guilt and be sentenced and pay a fine that she can ill afford.

Transference of anger and retribution might seem like a good idea, on the surface, but it always leads to trouble. Ms. Tinsley should have gone to a boxing match...but then again, she'd already been in one.

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