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Falling Star

Because this story is, on one level, about education, the accents the characters speak with are important. Throughout the story, Bobby clearly has a thick, uneducated Southern drawl. At the beginning, when Bobby remembers when Lynn decided to go to college, he recalls her saying “just because you’ve never made anything of yourself don’t mean I have to do the same”, which shows that Lynn started out with with the same uneducated accent. Rash contrasts this old version of Lynn with the new, college-attending one when Lynn says of Dr. Palmer “just because somebody’s book-smart doesn’t mean that person can’t do anything else”, using “doesn’t” instead of “don’t”. As she worked to attain a level of education beyond that of her husband and probably most people in her town, Lynn began using proper English. There is a difference between level of education and level of intelligence (people who speak with uneducated accents can be intelligent), but Rash connects the ideas through Bobby’s actions. By slashing the tires without ever thinking that there may be security cameras, Bobby behaves, as Lynn puts it, like a “dumb son of a bitch”.

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