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Fried Chicken

I always have an issue where I have to read Smith’s stories more than once in order to get them. I don’t know what was different about this time, but I automatically focused on the social structures between Mrs. Pegram and everybody else in her community. The first thing I noticed is the point of view. At first, I wanted to say that the point of view was omniscient, but (as we discussed last class) that is a point of view that a lot of modern authors don’t use anymore. It is more likely a limited omniscient point of view centered on Mrs. Pegram.

This is interesting because if the entire narrative voice is “her voice” or can be viewed as her voice, then she calls herself a murderer’s mother a lot of the time. This gives the whole story a slight tinge of guilt of raising such a child and the hopelessness that she feels that everybody else is classifying her as. Every interaction in the story (except for the last two people of the mother and her child) hinges on the fact that she is a murderer’s mother and how people react to that.

I feel that this is really important because it gives a depth that the story would not necessarily have if that element was missing. Or the tone would be different if Mrs. Pegram identified herself as a “hero’s mother” or a “knitter’s mother” or even just a “mother”.

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