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Category Archive for 'Good Scent'

Butler, “Snow”

I have found through the reading of Butler’s stories that I am always transported. I am transported to a different time, or a different place. What I enjoy about his work is that it is both foreign to and familiar to me. What I mean is,  Butler knows that English-speaking people will read his stories, […]

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“A Ghost Story”

But that is a foolish, romantic notion.  I have no hesitation in telling you that.  The major died horribly in the jaws of this enticing woman.  And if you care about what I’m saying and you do not despise me for calling you foolish, even if I have no guile anymore and I call you […]

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Butler, “A Ghost Story”

  This story had me captivated. I enjoyed the directness of the 1st person speaker and how the voice drew me, the reader, into the story. There were many elements to this piece that I had not noticed before in Butler’s work. The first is how the story transitioned from a 1st person narrative to […]

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Robert Olen Butler’s “Mid-Autumn” features a Vietnamese woman speaking to her unborn child about their heritage and the heartache that came along with losing the love of her life, Bao. The narrative is told differently in contrast to other stories as the narrator takes on the voice of a woman. As opposed to his conventionally […]

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“In the Clearing”

Butler has certainly had me on an emotional roller coaster. Having this story immediately follow “Mid-Autumn” made it especially powerful and helped me to feel the scope of the tragedy that the Vietnam War brought on its people. Moments, like the one in the clearing where the narrator was feeling the fear, caught my breath […]

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Robert Olen Butler’s “Love”

Robert Olen Butler’s “Love” concerns a man questioning his identity as a Vietnamese man in American society as he copes with his wife’s coquettish behavior. In Vietnam, he was able to use his abilities as a spy to essentially wipe out any man who tried pursuing his wife. However, in America, he discovered his small […]

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“Mid-Autumn”

“My little one, I was once very young.  I was sixteen and I was very beautiful and I met Bao when he was seventeen.  It was at the most wonderful time of year for lovers to meet, at the Mid-Autumn Festival.” Butler’s “Mid-Autumn” gives off a failed fairy tale vibe, with a dash of hope […]

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“Mid-Autumn”

There are a couple of things I’d like to say about this story. It is clearly a Butler story, because all of the pieces tie into each other at the end. Unlike many of the other Butler stories we’ve read, though, this one is sort of an anti fairy tale. After we learn that the […]

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“Mercedes Kane”

I turned that report she wrote for me in and got an F.  The note at the bottom said: “You know you weren’t supposed to get help.” McCracken’s “Mercedes Kane” brings us into the world of a dysfunctional, immature mother, and a compensating, direly effected daughter.  When we are brought into the story, we see […]

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“Love” Butler

    “Love” was the title of Butler’s story.  This was ironic, because the Vietnamese man in the story didn’t scare his wife’s pursuers away, because he loved her.  He did it to control her.  He was so insecure of himself, he needed to keep this beautiful wife by his side in order for him […]

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