Handling Troubles

May 31, 2010
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Short stories, A Village Singer and A Day’s Pleasure, compare and contrast in many ways. The author Mary E. Wilkins wrote A Village Singer, while Hamlin Garland penned A Day’s Pleasure. While the main characters have much in common, such as gender, they are also unique in their own ways. Each leading character has her own troubles to worry about and wade through. Both women made decisions, however their choices contrast one another. These authors have woven together some inspiring themes that people still learn from today. In comparing and contrasting these short stories each will come to life.

The main characters of A Village Singer and A Day’s Pleasure have many similarities, but they also have their differences. The main characters in both stories are women of the mid to late nineteenth century, who possess minds of their own. In A Village Singer Candace Whitcomb does not intend to lose her job as lead soprano in the church choir. So when it happens, she sets out to do something about it by disrupting her replacement’s solos. During A Day’s Pleasure, Delia Markham decides she wants to go to town the next day, and presents her well-backed-up case to her husband with resolve. In contrast to one another, Candace, an elderly lady, has no immediate family, while Delia is a younger woman with a husband and children to care for. Both Candace and Delia share many parallel and contrasting traits in their lives.

When coming up against similar hardships, Candace and Delia responded differently. After Candace found out she had been relieved of her position, she got angry. In the same way, when Delia arrived in town looking forward to a change of environment, she got disappointed and grew bitter. To have friends of many years disvalue you, or to go unnoticed by practically the whole town brought out the worst in both women. Responding, at first, with vigor and action Candace spoke her mind and did all she could to get back at those who had hurt her. While Delia merely let her loneliness, bitterness, and self pity stir and simmer inside while wandering the streets or sitting in the grocer’s chair with her baby. Both women dealt with the conflict around them in their own ways.

By the end of each short story themes discovered throughout make a fantastic tale. One theme found in A Village Singer is an admonition to respect the elderly. In this story the members of her church did not treat Candace with much respect, even those younger than her. How Candace forgave everyone in the end provides a good example for people of all ages. A Day’s Pleasure provides a great reminder that a little kindness can go a long way. Before Mrs. Hall invited Delia into her house, the thoughts going through Delia’s head did not look pretty. That little bit of kindness turned Delia’s thoughts around to thankful instead of bitter and hateful. Though the themes of both stories contrasted in content, valuable lessons came from both.

In these two short stories the main characters’ personalities and traits, their responses to conflict, and the overall themes of the stories can prove similar and contradictory. The main characters in both A Village Singer and A Day’s Pleasure experience many related trials and emotions, but do not have many similar physical traits, other than their gender. Putting conflict into the very beginning of their stories, both Mary E. Wilkins and Hamlin Garland catch their readers’ attention right off. Later, in both of the short stories, the comparable main conflicts occur, and Candace and Delia choose to react in very different manners. Through the effects of the main conflicts on the main characters, themes arise with very different, but powerful messages. When all's said and done, both A Village Singer and A Day’s Pleasure have diversity and resemblance between one another.


Resource

Garland, Hamlin. “A Day’s Pleasure.” University of Florida, 1 Sep 2009. Web. 4 Mar.
2010. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/>.

Wilkins, Mary E. “The Village Singer.” University of Florida, 1 Sep 2009. Web. 4 Mar.
2010. <http://home.comcast.net/~mewf_short_stories/VillageSinger.htm>.





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