How Does Maile Meloy Create Conflict In A Short Story

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American novelist and short-story writer Maile Meloy creates a world of conflict and implied violence in the stories “Travis B” and “Spy vs. Spy,” two very different takes on life in the mountain west included in her 2009 collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It. In both stories, the characters struggle with violent or aggressive impulses, and in both, the characters’ socialization and adherence to class norms keep these impulses in check. Both stories have similar conflicts, and both are resolved in ways that do not include real violence. American novelist, playwright, and essayist Don DeLilo, also explores implied violence in his short novel Point Omega (2007), a story about a hawkish think tank expert and the journalist who wants to…show more content…
In both stories, the characters struggle with violent or aggressive impulses, and in both, the characters’ socialization and adherence to class norms keep these impulses in check. While some might argue that the stories lack real stakes or sufficiently visceral climaxes. In both “Spy vs Spy” and “Travis B,” the characters have impulses ranging from aggressive to violent. In both stories, social training and the characters’ relationships temper their actions. The brothers do not kill each other on the mountain, and Chet does not force his attentions on Beth. Meloy makes choices as a writer that allow her to examine the idea of violence without having to create big physical scenes to telegraph that idea. Some might call this pulling punches, but the lack of invented drama in the form of violent attacks allows Meloy’s conclusions to have a deeper resonance. The reader can really think about what the characters gain and lose and learn because the stories lack the distraction of bloody murder or conflict with the law. Some might assume the lack of blood is because Meloy is female. Annie Proulx, another prominent writer of stories about the west, most recognizably “Brokeback Mountain,” includes more real violence in her work,
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