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Question: English Literature coursework on “Stories of Ourselves”

“Choose two stories and show how the writers present the theme of conflict in each case. What does it show us about characters and their situation?”

“To Da-Duh, in Memoriam” by Paule Marshall [1967] and “Ming’s Biggest Prey” by Patricia Highsmith [1975].

Answer: The stories that I’ve chosen have some similarities and some differences in the way the writers present conflicts.

In “Ming’s Biggest Prey” Highsmith presents the theme of violent conflict. She shows us a competition for Elaine’s attention between Ming - her cat - and Teddie - Elaine’s boyfriend. In this story, Ming is represented more like a human than a cat. Personification is used; Highsmith always says “Ming” or “he”, but never “cat”. Ming is presented in the story more humanly than Teddie, who seems more like an aggressive animal. The story is written with a 3rd person narrator, but we still have a feeling that it’s told from Ming’s point of view.

We are told early on that “Ming detested people” – Highsmith uses a sentence of just three words because she wants to highlight Ming’s feelings. Conflict starts because Ming is very jealous of Ted...(short extract)

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  • Subject: English Literature
  • Course: English Literature
  • Level: A-Level
  • Year: Not applicable
  • Mark: Not available
  • Words: 1205
  • Date submitted: January 30, 2018
  • Date written: Not available
  • References: No
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 8285

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