To what extent are stories also the human story, my story?
Throughout this short story unit, I learned that many of the stories we read in class reflect stories about the human experiences of love, suffering, death, youth, and societal expectations. Although I couldn’t relate to the narrator’s story in James Joyce’s “Araby” as I wouldn’t go to that extent to keep a promise,( the narrator decides to go to the bazaar to get a gift for Mangan’s sister whom he was infatuated with) I understood and could relate to the emotions of admiration he had for Mangan’s sister. I think many stories reflect human emotions and experiences as many events we go through teach us a lesson or challenge us in some way. Many stories we have read in class, the character gains a new experience that in turn teaches them a lesson. These new experiences become shared experiences as I can relate them to my life too. In that way, they are my stories too as I can understand and relate to how characters go through struggles or complex feelings like love, indecisiveness, hurt, or anger. Another way that stories become my stories is if you take the lessons that characters learn and apply them to your life. For example, accepting another set of cultural values and making them one of her own was a lesson that the narrator in Gish Jen’s “Who’s Irish,” took away from her experience with her family. While stories like, in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Connie’s story may not only have been a story but also a haunting commentary of the tough decisions that young girls like Connie have to make when trusting someone in a relationship for the first time or the consequences up “growing up too early” as Connie loses her innocence. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a phase in life that we all can relate to, and the feelings and decisions that come with the transition become my story too as I experience possible encounters or family relations like Connie. In conclusion, the short story unit was a unit where I got to read stories where characters shared experiences and lessons (human story). But I also had the opportunity to discuss how these stories made me feel and develop empathy for the people in the story. Although they may be characters in stories, their emotions, decisions, and thoughts are very human which makes readers feel somehow connected or attached to stories and link stories to their own life experiences.