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Folk Art

The title is clever – Lily’s statues are folk art because they are colloquial, but also because they are representations of people, who we sometimes refer to as “folks”. The conversation format of the story brings the reader directly into the story, but therefore requires that he be more than generally characterized (the addressee of the story is a male art professor not named Ray Goody) because normal human conversation consists of specific comments as both parties reveal information about themselves. If Professor Not-Ray-Goody wasn’t involved through Lily’s direct questions and repeats of his answers, the conversation would just be a monologue. Monologues are generally prepared and delivered to large audiences, so by avoiding a monologue, Smith keeps her story personal and spontaneous.

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