This type of essay highlights the differences and similarities between two or more elements in dissimilar stories by either the same or different authors. It is used for demonstrating what divides and unites similar things or concepts, especially if the subjects are frequently misunderstood for one another or are unfairly grouped together. They share diverse similarities with other types of essays, but they also differ in numerous ways whereby that is the core of comparing and contrasting. By doing that, the reader can understand each subject by using the other as a frame of reference. For example, a comparison between “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, 2001” by Alice Munro and “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” by Zadie Smith stories exemplifies a contrary essay. Alice Munro literary styles are better compared to Zadie Smith’s ones in different ways such as her text organization as depicted in the analyses of their narration stories.
Alice Munro and Zadie Smith’s Story Analyses
“Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Hateship, 2001” Analyses
The story is a collection of nine short tales by Nobel Laureate Alice Munro that explores the intricacies of the human heart, in people dealing with massive transformations and life-altering circumstances in their interpersonal relationships. All of the tales in “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” serve as a reminder that human relationships are rarely easy, but when they are, the rewards can be nourishing and long-lasting. While the secrets of the heart may never be fully comprehended, the bonds people develop with others in a relationship frequently help them bear the weight of the unknowns. Munro said, “Moments of reconciliation and kindness are worth having, even if the separation has to happen sooner or later (Munro).” Alice Munro’s 2001 collection of short stories portray her feelings and writing style, which is direct and precise. Broken trust, mortality, and mental illness are all openly discussed in these stories providing readers with a realistic insight into life’s sorrows and truths.
The story begins in a small Canadian town’s train station with Johanna Parry’s inquiries about having furniture transported after purchasing a passenger ticket from the station agent. She then purchases a beautiful wool dress from a local dress shop, and Johanna tells the woman who owns and operates the store that she will most likely be married while wearing the outfit (Munro). The story’s focus then changes to prior occurrences where Johanna had written Ken a letter to express her gratitude for the complimentary remarks about her in a letter to Sabitha.
The story is told in the third person and written in the past tense. Even though the narration is written in the third person, it is always limited to one character’s point of view at a time. The first scene, for example, is written from the perspective of the station agent, whose internal thoughts and observations about Johanna are relayed to the reader through narration (Munro). The second scenario, which takes place in a dress shop, is told from Johanna’s point of view. The events in the letters are then told from the views of Sabitha and Edith, then the events in Gdynia are told from Johanna’s perspective before switching to Ken’s. The author’s style in writing the story depicts that she is systematically organized as she deals with one character at a time.
“Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” by Zadie Smith Analyses
“Miss Adele Among the Corsets” is a hilarious character sketch with a story. The scene is situated in downtown Manhattan, on Broadway, and the “Naked Cowboy” is seen amusing visitors on their way to watch The Lion King. Miss Adele, a middle-aged drag queen, goes to a lingerie shop to replace her busted corset (Smith). The plot veers dangerously between melodrama and farce at first before spiraling out of control. Miss Adele’s life is a show, and she puts on a spectacular show. Smith’s skills are at their most enjoyable in “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets.”
“Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” is as opposed as stories may be. It portrays the essence of a fading drag queen while also dealing with the loneliness and discrimination that can infect anyone’s life, known or unknown. When she has to undergo sarcastic comments from the shareholders in the Clinton Corset Emporium, as well as right-wing proclamations from a talk radio show in the backstory, she is confronted with racism and misogyny (Smith). At the exact moment that her memories remember the denigration she was confined to by her homophobic family in the ‘god-forsaken state of Florida.’ Zadie Smith stories are fragmentary, and most of them are character profiles hence numerous pieces have the feel of experiments, while others have the potential to become chapters within a more outstanding work. Therefore, “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” is one of the stories in Grand Union and hence has a typical organizational structure as the others.
Alice Munro and Zadie Smith’s Comparison
Alice Munro fiction has a strong geographical focus, which is one of its distinguishing traits. Her characters are frequently confronted with deeply ingrained beliefs and traditions. She may be considered to capture the spirit of every man in her male characters (Baştan 37). Her feminine characters, on the other hand, are more nuanced. Much of Munro’s work exemplifies the Southern Ontario Gothic literary genre. She has recently focused on the tribulations of midlife, women alone, and the aged in jobs such as “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (2001).” It is characteristic of her writing style for characters to have an epiphany that focuses on and pays tribute to an incident. Her style juxtaposes the spectacular and the mundane, with each undercutting the other in ways that elegantly express life. Many critics believe Munro’s stories have the intellectual and analytical depth of fiction and that she is better than Zadie Smith.
On the other hand, Zadie Smith’s work is peppered with asides and digressions about the subject at hand. These strategies are employed to break up the intensity of the story and build a more intimate connection with the audience and the author (Baştan 39). Furthermore, Smith frequently incorporates the phrases of her colleagues and even individuals she has met to create a conversational tone in the story. This writing style makes her less suitable than Alice Munro since she may not sound apparent to a primary reader.
Comparing and contrasting stories from different authors is critical in understanding various literature aspects and writing styles. Alice Munro and Zadie Smith’s Story Analyses bring out a clear understanding of different writing styles used in short stories. For example, Alice Munro’s writing style and her indented passing of specific central ideas are better than that of Zadie Smith’s style. This is because the latter primarily focuses on the past and her colleague’s thoughts, making her story hard to comprehend.
Baştan, Ajda. Women Characters and Writers in Contemporary Literature. Astana Yayınları, 2020. 37-48
Munro, Alice. “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage,” 2001.
Smith, Zadie. “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets;” Review Books a New Short Story. The Daily Telegraph, (1st ed.) 2014