Raymond's Run Short Story Literary Devices

516 Words3 Pages
Change can be good, both for a spunky young runner and a couple of bedraggled kidnappers. These characters feature vividly in Toni Cade Bambara’s “Raymond’s Run” and O. Henry’s “The Ransom of Redchief”. The two short stories share a common author’s purpose, as well as similar and powerful themes. However, the two writers utilize disparate techniques to convey these narrative elements. In the story, “Raymond’s Run” the author makes Squeaky a dynamic character who shows the reader the benefits of change. At the beginning of the story Squeaky is hostile to almost anyone she meets and is focused only on herself. Then, at the climax of the story, the race, she sees her brother Raymond keeping pace with her even though he has his hands at his side. This event causes her to rethink her whole approach to life. She says, “I almost stopped to watch my brother,” which is something that she formerly never would have done. Seeing her brother run so effortlessly fast - and yet with such carefree delight - changes her from being a cold and often heartless person to being a compassionate and caring person. She also changes in that she no longer wants to be focused on herself as a runner but on her brother Raymond,…show more content…
Henry uses situational irony to convey his theme in the story “The Ransom of Red Chief”. Two thieves change from wanting to hold a kidnapped boy for ransom to instead giving the boy back to his father, along with $250.00. They quickly realize that the boy, nicknamed “Red Chief”, is not who they expect him to be, and their whole kidnapping scheme consequently does not go as planned. Eventually, Bill Driscoll, one of the thieves, begs to let the boy go back home even though they have to pay the boy’s father $250.00. Bill says, “You ain’t going to let this chance go, are you?” When Bill says this, he conveys the author’s intended message: sometimes change - in this case, a change of plan - is necessary, especially if it means saving one’s
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