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I chose to write about Cotton picking by Maya Angelou which is a fictional autobiography essay from the book “I know why the birds sing” and “Just Lather that’s all” by Hernando Tellez which is a fiction. The two stories are similar though they are also different, the two authors relate with them at very personal level and I can also relate with them in a similar personal level. The two develop a much unified theme. In my review of “Just Lather, That’s All” which is a short story I found that the barber is faced by two choices of either killing the captain who was his customer named Captain Torres or giving him the perfect shave and letting him go. However the barber chooses to give him the perfect shave in order to preserve and keep his job and retain the good reputation that he had. The barber made the best and right decision though he was condemning himself to the uncertain future (Hernando 1999).
This story impacts from the very first paragraph because it proves hard to know what the author tries to explain and this creates suspense. In the story the decision that the barber was trying to make and at the point where this was happening makes this story quite interesting. It starts slowly and then the reader is caught in the dilemma of whether to do his work of shaving him or kill him which also confronts the barber. His thoughts were in great conflict; he surely wanted to take the revenge through killing this Captain Torres who had killed so many of his friends who were rebels but revenge is not always the best way in solving problems there are so many other ways of getting things back to the original. The narrator never tells us the feelings and thoughts of the Captain. The barber loves and likes his job and he could not betray himself and could not face the consequences because he realized that killing does not bring peace but would provoke anger. This would bring punishment to him by either the rebels or the government (Hernando 1999).
In the essay “cotton picking”, the author and her brother had moved in with their grandmother who owned a store in the centre part of the black parts of Stamps. When it was the cotton picking season their grandmother woke up at four so that she could prepare the lunch of the workers who would pick the cotton on that particular day (Angelou 1993).
There is the similarity of community life in the two stories and its importance. They both bring out the function of literature in our lives. The difficulties in the Black Southern life are symbolized and shown in the story. The barber and the grandmother are both hardworking. We find that the barber loves his job and is unable to kill the Captain named Torres because he feared losing his job. The grandmother to the author of the story “picking cotton” wakes up very early to prepare the food for the workers and always remembered to thank the Almighty and always asked Him to guide them in their daily activities. The two stories use the techniques of characterization, thematic development and dialogue in order to bring out the unified theme. The general treatment of racism is the most general theme in this picking cotton story (Angelou 1993).
The two people involved in the two stories, the barber and the grandmother are both very organized. They were able to do their jobs in very organized ways. The barber started from the first step to the very end and this was very encouraging because he did his job perfectly. The grandmother in the other story gives the direction to her grandchildren even before they had woken up. The use of direct dialoguing in the two stories was very useful in getting the real feelings of the two people communicating and even creates suspicion in the readers mind (Angelou 1993).