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Into the Gorge

This story reminded me of Return. There was a story that happened in the past and the story that was happening in the present to the same person. Those two stories intertwine to create a more powerful story. Only this time, the focus on the two stories were on slightly different people. The past-story was focused more on Jesse’s great-aunt while the present story was focused on Jesse himself. The interesting thing is that even though the past-story is focused on the great-aunt, it is still in Jesse’s point of view. Or at least influenced by his point of view more than his great-aunt’s point of view.

I am not sure if there is a triangle-drama-plot in this story. From what I can tell, there is a connection between Jesse and his great-aunt and the active plot is between Jesse and the state trooper, but I’m not quite sure how those connections make the dramatic tension in the story.

One Response to “Into the Gorge”

  1. Kaitlin says:

    I also noticed that this story was similar to “Return”. After I read the story, it struck me as odd that an elderly man who doesn’t really need the money he’s getting from the ginseng would attack a U.S. Park Service ranger who was arresting him basically for trespassing. Jesse’s reason is important because it dictates most of his actions in the story. Rash set’s it up in the beginning by telling the story of Jesse’s great-aunt, but, like in “Return”, he saves the key piece until close to the end. As he is running from the rangers, Jesse remembers how, even though his great-aunt died senile and naked in the woods, everyone treated her body and her memory respectfully. He has the thought that “old age [is] supposed to give a person dignity, respect”, neither of which were present in the young ranger’s treatment of him earlier.

    The paragraph on the back of the Lee Smith book says that we all find ourselves in one or another of her stories, but I find myself identifying most with this Rash character in the way he reacts to being treated condescendingly.