27 February 2018
Different Plot, Same Concept
In the stories “Brooms for sale” by Thomas Raddall and “Mirror Image” by Lena Coakley, the way the authors wrote their stories were noticeably similar. “Brooms for sale” is about a hardworking woman who lives in a rural countryside town and travels to the city to sell handmade brooms for extra cash but struggles on her journey home because of a massive storm that takes a toll on her wellbeing. Whereas “Mirror Image” is about a girl who was in an accident and would’ve died if it wasn’t for a brain transplant that saved her life, and after her and her family try to get used to her new body and her new way of living. Even though they both sound like they have extremely different storylines, some features of each story are akin with each other like the point of view each story is told in, the conflict and character personalities.
The authors in these stories both chose the same way of telling the story. The point of view in the story mirror image was told in third person and so was “Brooms for Sale”. The way a person perceives and experiences a story is based mainly on which view the author wants to portray the story in. When a story is told in third person the narrator does not participate in the story, the overview everything. So in “Mirror Image” it is evident that the story is third person when it said “Alice and Jenny lay on top of their beds…” (118). This shows that a character from the story is not the narrator, a third party that oversees everything is talking which only leads to it being in third person. It is also visible in “Brooms for Sale” when it said “Greta was a young widow then, with a boy aged nine” (117), this shows once again that it is a third party speaking and not one of the characters in the story inevitably leading straight to a third person narrative.
Another similarity these two stories share is the conflicts. Both stories, “Mirror Image” and “Brooms for sale”, have a person vs. self conflict in them, even if that conflict may not be the main one it still makes a difference in the plot. In “Mirror Image” the person vs. self conflict stems from the fact that after Alice’s brain transplant she had a hard time getting used to her new body as “mirrors in unexpected places would make her start and lose her nerve” (112). She had to learn to love her new body on her own and that counts as a person vs. self conflict. In “Brooms for Sale” there was also a same type of conflict but in very different context. Greta, the main character, while on her dangerous journey back from the city in the massive snowstorm she constantly wanted to give up and “lie down on the ice and let that cold white powder go on brushing her face and soothing her fears and worries” (121), but she would then think about “a picture of the lonely boy at the neighbors house, with his nose against the glass” (121) which is trying to signify that she is thinking of how if she doesn’t make it home and give up now her son wouldn’t have a mother so she kept persevering to get home safe. This whole conflict was with her own feelings and brain, so it counts as a person vs. self conflict. The context in which these conflicts happened were very different, but the type of conflict was the same in each story.
The character traits of two characters between these stories are very similar. Greta from “Brooms for Sale” and Alice from “Mirror Image” both share qualities of being a strong independent woman. Greta “did all the farm work herself, tending the cattle, ploughing, seeding and harvesting” (117). This shows how hardworking she was. She had the “heart of a man” (117) which means she was strong mentally and didn’t need another man to do all these tasks for her. Alice also showed traits of being a strong independent female as she had the overcome her fear of her body by herself as it was a personal internal fear. She figured out how to love her new body by looking at the positives instead of the negatives. In both cases, being a strong woman really helped their characters overcome many issues.
In conclusion, while both stories were drastically different regarding their storylines, other aspects of the short stories were noticeably similar, like the point of view the story was told, the conflicts within the story and some character traits shared between characters from two different stories.