Friday, October 17, 2008

Daddy Wolf Blog

You aren’t the first person who is curious about “Daddy Wolf” and chose to read this blog. The writer, James Purdy, is a master of human emotion and expression. In this story, he chooses a resident of New York City named Benny as the central character. This Benny is quite the talker and throughout the recap his life in the big city, the reader learns more and more about what his true feelings are. At first, Benny complains so much about the holes in his linoleum that are “so goddam big now – you can go in there and take a look” that at first, you almost miss the point of the story completely when it is first mentioned.

This leads me to say that if this story were a color, it would be dark grey. To explain this conclusion, let’s start with the color black. With our thorough knowledge of the color spectrum, we know that black is a combination of every other color, however, no light reflects off of it so our eyes just register the lack of color thereof. Benny has many emotions and feelings inside, but the reader does not pick up on them at first without further insight into Benny’s character – hence the dark grey comparison. Therefore, when more is learned about Benny throughout “Daddy Wolf”, the reader can put the pieces together come away from the story with a thorough knowledge of his character.

Besides color, “Daddy Wolf” can be compared to the short story “Aftermath” by Mary Yukari Waters. Nothing is ever told in a straight-forward manner in either story. For example, when the mother is the only one left sitting in the stands at her son’s baseball game in “Aftermath”, the writer does not scream out that she does not have a husband to cook dinner for; she simply alludes to the fact.

I recommend “Daddy Wolf” to anyone and everyone with a need to read and a desire to delve into something that is not what it first seems. And if you thought I was going to tell you what is beneath the story’s surface in my blog, think again. ~M.M.

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