Identities Wd Valgardson Analysis

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The short story “Identities” by W. D. Valgardson, tells the story of an up-class man being wrongly stereotyped resulting in his untimely death. The effective use of contrast in this story helps readers to understand the protagonist. Contrast is the strategy in which the writer describes the difference between two or more neighbourhoods, characters, or perceptions. Contrast is initially displayed in Valgardson’s detailed description of the protagonist's neighbourhood and the poorer side of town. The character's community is expressed as innocent, honest and spotless. The children ride "on plodding horses," bearing the image of an innocent, simple life. The area is described as the ideal reality, "with symmetry, with nothing left to chance, no ragged edges, no unkempt vacant lots, no houses rendered unique by necessity and indifference." Meanwhile, the poorer neighbourhood paints an opposing image with the description of "a fragment of glass, a chocolate bar wrapper, a plastic horse, cracked sidewalks with ridges of stiff grass." The story creates a divergent description through the narration of the other side of town as a place with "phone booths and seedy looking grocery stores". The vivid description allows readers to…show more content…
This contrast is exemplified through the character’s feeling and the consequent event. The lead’s incorrect assumption of safety adds to the reader’s understanding that he is usually perceived as irreproachable. The man felt a sense of relief in the sight of the officer, because to him, it would be absurd that the officer would be concerned about anyone else except the “gang members”. The policeman was unaware of the protagonists, but he was also unaware that the officer was inexperienced and scared as well. The contrast in emotions between these two characters ultimately resulted in the death of an innocent

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