The Richer The Poorer
By: Tasha • 982 Words • March 17, 2010 • 3,996 Views
The Richer The Poorer
"The Richer, The Poorer"
What is a short story? вЂњA short story is a work of fiction that develops a single ideaвЂќ (Dowling Central, n.d.). Dorothy West, an author of many short stories, has entertained and taught many lessons throughout her writings. This paper will discuss WestвЂ™s short story, вЂњThe Richer, The Poorer.вЂќ In addition, this paper will examine the entertainment value of this story as it relates to the lesson it teaches to the reader by discussing the literary elements found in вЂњThe Richer, The Poorer.вЂќ
The first element that this paper will discuss is the plot. вЂњThe plot shows how a conflict, or struggle, develops and is settledвЂќ (Dowling Central, n.d.). In вЂњThe Richer, The Poorer,вЂќ the conflicts are internal and external. For example, the exposition of this short story explains the lifestyles and desires of the characters. Bess is the type of person that вЂњlived each day as if there were no otherвЂќ (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, 106). She did not see the urgency in the lifestyle that Lottie wanted her to live. On the other hand, Lottie pushed experience aside because she did not want to live her life вЂњskimping and scrapingвЂќ (LaRocco & Coughlin, 106). Many events happened in вЂњThe Richer, The PoorerвЂќ that shows the human against environment conflict. For example, LottieвЂ™s work environment changed. Her bossвЂ™s son took over the company and saw no need in keeping her on the job; therefore, Lottie retired at the age of sixty. She sought new employment but was unsuccessful. The work environment evolved into new technology. Lottie, unqualified, could not compete with the younger, more capable applicants. At this point, the plot climaxed. Lottie did not know what to do with her life. She faced another conflict, human against herself. After offering Bess a place to live, Lottie had to renovate a spare bedroom. This means that she would have to spend her hard earned money. Once she completed the renovation, she was pleased with the results and wanted to renovate the rest of the house. As a result, the character reached a resolution. She realized that she missed experiences in life. She no longer wanted to live that lifestyle and realized that BessвЂ™s lifestyle was not sorry after all.
Another literary element is character. West uses a direct presentation to describe the characters of вЂњThe Richer, The Poorer.вЂќ Direct presentation is the author telling the reader by exposition the features of the characters. For example, вЂњLottie had a bank account that had never grown leanвЂќ (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, 106). This excerpt explains that Lottie was determined to save her money. On the other hand, вЂњBess had the clothes on her back, and the rest of her worldly possessions in a battered suitcaseвЂќ (LaRocco & Coughlin, 106). This statement explains the difference between Lottie and Bess. Bess did not worry about her future wealth. She was concerned with the present. West also showed the character types of Lottie and Bess. Lottie was dynamic character. Her way of life changed at the end of the story. вЂњI know IвЂ™m too old to kick up my heels, but IвЂ™m going to let you show me howвЂќ (LaRocco & Coughlin, 1996, 110). However, Bess remained the same throughout the story. As a result, West characterized Bess as a static character, one that remains the same.
Theme is also a literary element in вЂњThe Richer, The Poorer.вЂќ The theme is вЂњits central insight, concept, or controlling ideaвЂќ (Jackson Dade Schools, n.d.). The thematic message of this story is the richness of experience. Money is not the meaning of wealth. It is not the meaning of life either.
Point of View, a literary element, вЂњrefers to the way a story is told, the perspective