Esmé Schwall's 'At The Gellért Baths'

1324 Words6 Pages
Kyle Kratzer Kristen Hoggat-Abader ENG 101 9/24/15 Essay 1: At the Gellért Baths Being married to a survivor’s daughter is comprised of many ups and downs, such as being blamed for things you do not even do. Esmé Schwall was a graduate from the University of Arizona and has travelled throughout the U.S, performing music, and teaching writing. Her story, “At the Gellért Baths” is about a young man who is married to a survivor’s daughter. From a second person point of view, it becomes very easy to see the idea of what he was thinking and going through during the story. The daughter wants to go on an adventurous, family trip to Hungary, but both the mother and father have a very different perspective on place they used to call home. Through repetition,…show more content…
“You” gives the reader a second person point of view. This allows the reader to be in the story, almost as if someone was telling them what to do, as if the reader was unable to think form themselves. Comparable to being a robot, controlled by someone or something else. In the same sense, this story gives the reader the same perspective. The reader is submerged in the story, and acts as the husband, but is not able to make their own decisions. They are being controlled by the husband’s words and thoughts, and can not stray from the path they are on. Of course the author knew all of this before setting down to write. She went in with the intention of incorporating the reader into the story. All the places Schwall adds “you” into the story, it adds more depth. By adding depth, or a new understanding of the writing, the reader feels the emotions of the author, or the character speaking. A good way to obtain this goal is by using the second person point of view. The second person point of view is a very difficult view to produce well in a short story. It doesn’t give you much time to really get a whole lot of meaning behind it, and produce good writing. It does, however, create very good imagery in the reader…show more content…
The imagery used in this story also helps to draw the reader in even more. No one likes a story that has no description, or does not paint a picture for the reader.” You’ll find a Super 8, drink warm vodka… Pulling her clothes of, her lips dry and sticking together… You can’t play your part.” (Shwall 344) The way she describes how the warm vodka is, how in turn it makes her drunk and her clothes start to come. How her lips are dry and sticking together. All of these sentences, and many more like it throughout the story give you a very clear portrait of what it would be like to be right there alongside the husband and wife. Another very important passage that Schwall uses is towards the end of the story. Schwall says, “ and you’ll remember his wet grin when he is older, and his memory is gone… the way the survivor gurgles and kicks at his blanket will make you think of the cold water pool, the slice of the water, distress and jubilation so similar in the chest.” (346) Here the reader reads about the husband reminiscing on the trip to the Gellért Baths. The scene itself is clearly in the future when the father is weary and old, needs a wheelchair to get around, and is living in a nursing home. The husband though sees the fathers grin, a wet grin at that, and thinks back to the baths. He thinks back to how the father looked jumping into that pool of ice cold water, and how it made him

More about Esmé Schwall's 'At The Gellért Baths'

Open Document