"Embroidery" - Mcphee

Embroidery by Ray Bradbury Literature terms to review Conflict-struggle between opposing forces (internal/external) Mood-the feeling or atmosphere a writer creates for readers Symbol-an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning. Theme-a message about life or humanity nature that a writer wants to

communicate to readers Exercise 1 Give an example of a novel/story with an internal conflict. Give another example with an external conflict. In one sentence for each, describe what the specific conflict is. Think of a song by your favorite artist. What mood does this particular song create for you and why? Use at least one specific lyric to reference the mood.

Narrow your life down to three symbols. Name them and tell the significance as to how they represent you. Name the best movie youve seen and the worst. What is the theme for each? Exercise 2 Read Ray Bradburys Embroidery on page 160 in the textbook.

After you have read, list: 1. conflict type 2. mood 3. one important symbol from the story 4. the theme. (You MUST have two citations from the text for each one.) EMBROIDERY Ray Bradbury

Summary In this segment of the short story, three women sit on a porch in anticipation creating an embroidery piece. They are all thinking of an unspoken event which is occurring at 5:00 (there is no direct hinting of what is going on, but it cant be good). They all remain silent and attempt to change the subject by talking about shelling peas for dinner. The narrator isnt being very direct with explaining the womens emotion, but you can tell there is a lot of anxiety and denial. Symbolism is the whole idea behind the embroidery they are working on. The beautiful bright flowers and the look on the mans face slowly being destroyed is an example. One of them accidently ruined the piece which made them attempt to fix it, but it was definitely too late. The whole idea of symbolism for the 5:00 time and the agony behind it is unclear, but then again we only get a segment of this short story.

Although the tragedy is unclear, the reader gets a good enough idea on how important this event is. It seems to be a huge life event, because the whole story is clued into the women trying to distract themselves from whatever 5:00 is bringing. The women are obviously in denial, a clear sense of dread is hinted into the narration. Plot-Line Analysis The author gives small clues identifying the women have a tragedy beginning. To show symbolism the author expresses the unspoken tragedy. Minutes before the destruction around them began, their hard work began to destroy also. The author uses symbolism through this segment with small details; he never directly explains the womens worries or emotions. The conflict driving the story are the womens unspoken emotions. All three women are awaiting mass destruction which is

unknown to the reader. Character Development The three womens mouths twitched over their work. This quote shoes how these women are focused in on their work in attempt to drown out the reality of their situation. They attempt to forget about reality and work on embroidering. They eventually get into a state of denial, and hope nothing will occur. Narrative Devices Perhaps were foolish. One of the women said this in nearing the arrival of 5:00. She was attempting to ignore reality, but is starting to face it once the time gets closer to 5:00. Although were unclear of the event, we know it will be a huge catastrophe. We all know as readers that the event will be quite destructive by the

way the women are trying to bury their behavior under embroidery but still giving their anxiety away. The narrator hints toward something that will be personally impacting all three women. At these words, hushed, they all busied themselves. This displays the women trying to distract themselves from the harsh reality of the situation. The women, like most in rough situations, are in a way closing out and trying to block out the situation. They are denying the event will occur and focusing on something that seems to make them happy. Analyzing The whole story is about three women reflecting back on their life and embroidering their most cherished memories. All three women were embroidering similar things like flowers and the happiest things they could think of (flower, a man, a road, a

sun, a house). They are sewing because they know that their lives will end soon. There is a lot of references to 'using their hands to shape their own life'. The most obvious one is 'I believe that our souls are in our hands. For we do everything to the world with our hands'. This means that we need to take responsibility for our own lives. The mistake in the embroidery and the woman ripping out the whole pattern foreshadows the end of these women. How everything they cherished, good memories will destroyed soon. Going back to the 'I believe that our souls are in our hands', they question why they didn't do anything to stop this event from happening. In the end the bomb wipes out everything. The message I believe Ray wants to say is 'why didn't we stop it from happening when we could?' We must take action and live our lives to the fullest or we'll regret it.

It shows their desperation and how they have accepted their powerlessness. Understanding Context Ray Bradbury wrote this during the Cold War.why does this help shape understanding? Also, the story has a political agenda behind it as well as being fictional. It was written during the arms race of the fifties between the US and Russia when an atomic bomb hitting either one of these countries was highly viable. As mentioned earlier, a man with an imperfect face is ripped from the embroidery. This man cannot only represent the male gender as a whole but also the politicians, which drove the countries of America and Russia during the fifties who were mostly male. This is how I think a feminist reader would interpret the text, although a person unfamiliar with history would not be able to make sense of the ending, and so not

fully understand it. A modern reader or feminist would not instantly associate this story with the cold war and so find it hard to interpret the ending, however a feminist reader would be more interested in the gender related issues which are explored throughout the story. Another point which a feminist reader may dislike is that the women in the story are used as political pawns used merely to help a political agenda Conclusion The story deals with the dropping of an atomic bomb. This is not too apparent when first read but when you understand the context behind the story then it is made clear. The author maybe shifting the blame to the human race, saying that making is evil and flawed. This is another interpretation of the line "the man standing on the road had something wrong with his face." Here the author instead of meaning

the male gender could be generally accusing mankind. This moral theme is not all that clear or accessible and so maybe disliked by a reader in a moral critical position. Another moral topic which is touched upon lightly throughout the story is the question of technology rapid progress and whether or not it is an overall benefit to mankind or if it is leading us to our doom. Overall, I think that a feminist reader would be able to appreciate this text more due to the implied extent of the feminine and gender issues raised. For a moral reader this text would be quite disheartening because the critical position of a moral reader is describes all good literature as moral and uplifting and this text hardly seems uplifting

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