Read online Boys: Stories and a Novella PDF, azw (Kindle)

Format: Hardcover

Language: English

Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub

Size: 13.63 MB

Downloadable formats: PDF

Pages: 178

Publisher: Syracuse University Press (April 1, 2004)

ISBN: 0815607970

Ashes of East End: A Gaslamp Cinderella Story

In the anthology Snows of Darkover, Marion writes (page 179) in the introduction to Mercedes Lackey's short story: Betsy Wollheim and I have chosen her [Mercedes Lackey] to inherit the Darkover series in the unlikely event that I ever become unable-or unwilling-to do any more of them. Using a dif (...) 16 Although Désirée’s final disappearance would have been a suitable ending to the story, there are still four short paragraphs which provide a clever final twist, slightly artificial or “somewhat contrived” (Seyersted 94) for the taste of certain readers, a disappointing trick for some (Baker 859), but “no mere writer’s trick” according to others (Wolff 37). 7 The surprise ending centers on Armand, who had his slaves light a great bonfire and throw everything that once belonged to Désirée and the baby into the flames. “Back in the drawer from which he took” his young wife’s letters, there was the remnant of one from his mother to his father in which she mentioned the fact that she belonged “to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” Although Chopin does not indicate that Armand “discovers” the fragment or that he reads the letter for the first time, most readers tend to infer that the piece of information which is new for them is also a genuine revelation for Armand at this point of the story. 8 The possibility that Armand could have known about, or at least suspected, his racial origins is far from being a standard assumption, although some scholars have dwelled on the chance that the “dark-skinned aristocrat [...] may vaguely remember his racially mixed mother” (Elfenbein 126). 9 10 Ellen Peel speculates at length on two of the many unsolved enigmas of the story and concludes: “L (...) 17It has been suggested that Désirée, and not only Armand, may have had black ancestors (Peel 233). 10 Although this circumstance cannot be totally ruled out (Koloski 116), it seems most unlikely because Chopin links the young woman to images of whiteness and contrasts her fair skin with “Armand's dark, handsome face.” The only observation that misleads readers into thinking that Désirée might be legally considered nonwhite is the reference to her “obscure origin,” just as they are deluded into supposing that Armand is “pure white” because his name is “one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana.” By playing with what something seems to be and what it turns out to be, the author underscores how simplistic the distinctions between “black” and “white” are in fact (Arner 1972: 140; Toth 1981: 208).

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Aunt Deborah

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