“Reading Blind” by Margaret Atwood is a short story that explores the idea of losing one’s sight. The protagonist, John, is a man who is slowly going blind and must come to terms with his deteriorating vision. Throughout the story, Atwood uses descriptive language to paint a picture of John’s experience as he loses his sight.
The story begins with John noticing that he is having trouble seeing things that are far away. He tries to ignore it, but eventually he has to admit that his vision is getting worse. He visits the doctor and learns that he has a degenerative disease that will eventually lead to complete blindness.
John tries to carry on with his life as best as he can, but the disease progresses and he starts to lose his sight. He can no longer read or drive, and he is forced to rely on others for help. John slowly comes to accept his blindness, and the story ends with him learning to appreciate the things he can still do.
“Reading Blind” is a moving story about loss and acceptance. Atwood’s use of descriptive language allows readers to feel as if they are experiencing John’s journey alongside him. The story provides insight into the challenges that blind people face, and ultimately shows that there is still beauty in life even when we can no longer see it.
Voice is used in all of these tales; and it has an impact on how everyone expects stories to operate. According to Atwood, a good tale should have features similar to those that children desire from stories read or heard by them. A story must include elements of mystery, proper development, unexpected twists, and “an impeccable sense of timing” for it to be successful.
A story must also be “plausible enough to be believed,” though not necessarily true. In the case of “ Reading Blind,” Atwood is able to create a believable and yet mythical world in which a woman is visited by three men who may or may not be ghosts.
While the story is rooted in reality, Atwood allows her readers to suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy the tale. This is done by providing just enough detail to make the story seem real, but not so much that it feels like a history lesson. For example, we are told that the protagonist lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada and that she works at a library. However, we are not bogged down with unnecessary details about her life.
By providing just enough information, Atwood allows readers to fill in the blanks and use their imaginations. This is what makes “ Reading Blind” such an enjoyable and entertaining story. It is a perfect example of how a good story should be crafted.
It also has to keep the attention of the reader, and it should create a feeling of urgency and excitement in the narrative. Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “The Lesson” effectively reflects the voice that Margaret Atwood discusses in her essay. The tale is narrated through the perspective of Sylvia, a young woman from the ghetto who serves as our narrator.
Sylvia is a tough and street-smart kid, who is often uncooperative with Miss Moore, the woman who tries to teach her and the other kids in the ghetto about life lessons. In “The Lesson”, Bambara uses Sylvia’s voice to show the harsh realities of growing up in the ghetto, and how children like Sylvia are often left behind because they don’t have access to the same resources as children from wealthier families.
Sylvia’s voice is full of anger and resentment towards Miss Moore, which is evident from the very beginning of the story. When Miss Moore first arrives to take the kids on their “field trip”, Sylvia immediately starts making fun of her. She says, “Miss Moore looked like one a them women on TV tryin to sell you somethin come in a box ain’t nothin but air” (Bambara, 1).
This shows that Sylvia is not only unimpressed with Miss Moore, but also that she is skeptical of her motives. She doesn’t believe that Miss Moore actually cares about them or wants to help them learn. This skepticism is borne out of the fact that Sylvia has never had a good experience with authority figures—she’s always been let down by them. As the story goes on, it becomes clear that Sylvia has been failed by just about everyone in her life.
Her mother works all the time and is never home, her father is an alcoholic who beats her, and the only other adult figure in her life is Miss Moore—who, as far as Sylvia is concerned, is just another person who’s going to let her down.
It’s not until the end of the story, when Sylvia finally starts to open up to Miss Moore, that we see a different side to her. Up until this point, Sylvia has been resistant to everything that Miss Moore has tried to teach her. But when she finally realizes that Miss Moore actually does care about her, she starts to listen.
This change in attitude is evident in the way she talks to Miss Moore at the end of the story. Instead of the sarcastic and angry tone she’s used throughout the story, Sylvia speaks to Miss Moore with respect. She says, “I been mean to you like I is to every other grownup comes around here talkin they want to do somethin for us kids. But I ain’t never had nobody take me nowhere before so I reckon I misbehaved some” (Bambara, 14).
Sylvia finally understands that Miss Moore is different from all the other adults in her life—she’s actually trying to help them. This realization leads Sylvia to change her attitude towards Miss Moore, and start learning from her.
In “The Lesson”, Bambara uses Sylvia’s voice to show the harsh realities of growing up in the ghetto, and how children like Sylvia are often left behind because they don’t have access to the same resources as children from wealthier families. By the end of the story, however, we see that there is hope for kids like Sylvia. If they can find someone who cares about them and is willing to help them, they can start to break out of the cycle of poverty and violence that traps so many people in the ghetto.