The beginning of the story starts fifth a short piece of poetry by Alameda Joint Roth -The narrator is introduced as wanting to reconstruct Lambda’s life, he/she introduces Alameda and her book of poetry “Offerings” to the reader – The narrator provides a description of Lambda’s appearance , and talks about the death of Lambda’s family and her love of poetry – The narrator describes how life was In the 19th century In Canada West (Ontario) – The narrator then gives a list of some of Lambda’s poem and speaks of what they may mean The narrator reveals he/she ivies in the same area as Alameda – The Evident is introduced, which is the town newspaper, the narrator uses this to learn more about Alameda – Pearl Street (poor community) is introduced, along with Queen Aggie a drunken women who is harassed by boys from Pearl SST. Much of the same way Alameda Is later on 2. Rising Action: – At this point the narrator has faded into the background and we feel as if Alameda is speaking to us – Jarvis Polluter is introduced, the widower and a wealthy business man who lives two lots down from Alameda, he Is the initial love interest of Alameda –
Jarvis and Alameda are seen talking, in the Palette, this Is mentioned In The Evident, and rumors spread that they may be a couple – The narrator talks about how Alameda would like to marry Jarvis, but because of the time she must wait for him to indicate his interest – The narrator introduces the doctor, who prescribes sedatives and nerve medicine to Alameda for her sleeplessness ( Alameda avoids the nerve medicine as it gives her vivid dreams) – The doctor believes that if Alameda were to get married her problems would be over, despite the fact that nerve medicine Is commonly given to aired women 3. Climax: – Alameda decides to make grape jelly one day, but falls asleep.. He wakes up when she hears a women being beaten and chased from Pearl Street, but soon renders back Into unconscious – In her half-awake state she hears an Imaginary bird tell her to go “move that wheelbarrow, and when Alameda looks outside she discovers a women against her fence ( perhaps Queen Aggie) Thinking the women is dead, she runs to Jarvis Polluter’s house to help her with the women, he discovers the women is simply drunk and behaves callously towards her. Alameda is sickened by his behavior ND the women’s – Jarvis who thought of Alameda as independent and confident lady, sees the desperation and vulnerability in her and finally shows his Interest and asks her to accompany him to church – When Alameda returns to her home, she realizes 4.
Falling Action: – She feels she is too sick to go to Church with Jarvis, and writes a note for him and sticks it to her door – She makes herself some tea and puts a few drops of nerve medicine inside it – The medicine starts to affect Alameda and the room comes to life , she is so caught up in her hallucination nothing seems real anymore – Her grape Jelly begins to fall over the dove and her blood starts to drip, but she decides to let go of her sanity, because now she is free (from society)… She has an epiphany in her delusional state – She realizes she does not want Jarvis or to conform to societies expectations, and the only way to escape is to lose touch with reality – She decides to write a poem of all her experiences and names it “Messenger” 5.
Denouement: – The ending is told entirely through two clippings from The Evident and some present day commentary from the narrator – The first clipping describes the decline f Lambda’s mental health and the circumstances of her death, she had been chased by boys and men from Pearl Street, and Jumped into a river and caught pneumonia – The second newspaper clipping mentions Jarvis death exactly a year after Lambda’s death – The narrator describes going to Lambda’s grave and how people make connections with historical clues such as The Evident – The story ends of with the narrator confessing that he/she is not sure if anything in Lambda’s life happened the way they had described , as all the evidence had come from historical sources Character – There are only five characters in this short story The protagonist of the story is Alameda Joint Roth, a 19th century woman, she is a poet – There is Jarvis Polluter, this character helps Alameda develop and reach a realization – There is the doctor, he is a minor character , a foil character since he adds irony to Lambda’s situation – There is Queen Aggie, also another minor character but she foreshadows Lambda’s death at the end of the story – There is the narrator, whose perspective the story is told through, their identity and gender remains a mystery – There is also ‘society who is not a character, but society is the root of
Lambda’s conflicts making society the antagonist – We only know that Alameda is a developing and dynamic character because she changes throughout the story, but we do not know this about any of the other characters since we are not given the opportunity to glimpse into their thoughts and feelings Setting remains the same but time changes – Alameda exists in the 19th century, while the narrator in present time about a century later in looking back at Lambda’s life – Despite the fact that the place remains the same, there is a large difference in how society is .. The narrator speaks of this on many accounts Even though the story bounces back and forth among two different periods, the place stays the same. The use of the same physical setting helps to add accuracy to the narrator’s story since the narrator can say specific details about the town in Lambda’s time and compare them to details that can be seen in the narrator’s own time. Ex: “The house is still there today; the manager of the liquor store lives in it. ” 2.
Time: -story bounces back and forth between two time periods, the sass, when the narrator is talking and the sass, mainly 1879 when the main action of the story egging 3. Weather Conditions: – summer, really hot, heat brings anger Quote: “Hot weather brings accidents too. More horses run wild then, upsetting buggies. Hands caught in the wringer while doing the washing, a man lopped in two at the sawmill, a leaping boy killed in a fall of lumber at the lumber yard. Nobody sleeps well” -weather later on adds to Lambda’s illusions 4. Social Conditions: Alameda: – lives alone -writes poetry to occupy her time -a respectable woman around town Local Color: – Lambda’s house faces two streets – The population is young 5.
Mood or Atmosphere: In the beginning, narrator tells us about Lambda’s family and how they moved into the new town -Narrator then speaks about the death of her family, which gives a depressing atmosphere Point of View – The narrative process in this story is very complex – There is Third Person Omniscient Limited ( limited to the protagonist) . The author only chooses to reveal Lambda’s thoughts and feelings to the reader. – There is First person, we find out later that this story may not truly be what had happened in Lambda’s life but that the narrator was attempting to recreate Lambda’s life and s it is told in the perspective of the narrator. – Often the narrator fades into the background, and it seems as if we are truly watching Alameda speak, feel and experience her life.
Conflicts: – Alameda faces both internal and external conflicts – Person VS. Society: Her biggest struggle is against society and her place in society as a woman. She does not want to conform to society’s expectations, this is external – Person Vs. Herself: She has to battle against herself in order to break free, she realizes the only way to do this is to let go of her sanity, this is internal – Person Vs. Fate: Alameda loses her entire family, and lives in isolation, this is external Themes: – There are three large themes in the short story Messenger 1) Women’s Role in Society – Alameda does not meet the expectations of a typical 19th century women, she is not married, lives alone, and works. – Women are portrayed as the more inferior sex , EX. He first time Jarvis shows interest in Alameda is when he can see sense her vulnerability 2) Isolation – She is isolated from society since she does not meet the expectation that society has for women – She has no close friends and has lost all her family ) Illusion VS. Reality – The narrator is not reliable in piecing together Lambda’s life, he/she guessed things on many accounts – After taking her medicine Alameda is unsure what is real or not – The reader is never sure what is true or not Literary Criticism- Feminist: -This method of literary criticism uses feminism as primary method to criticize, it allows for readers to describe and analyze the ways in which literature reinforces male domination, and how women view themselves. -This story cannot be analyzed without looking at the time period it takes place in, this story has two different time roods, one in the 19th century and another in the 20th century. – Takes place in a time when first-wave feminism had begun, it was the notion that women were people – Traditionally women were mothers, wives, daughters..
Not an unmarried poet – Jarvis Polluter first shows interest in Alameda when he is able to view her body and when she seems vulnerable – Lambda’s experiences were not significant because she was not a typical woman of the 19th century. – Alameda allows herself to lose touch with reality in order to escape from society – Has the plot structure that a tragedy would follow In a tragedy usually the main character has a fatal flaw which will lead to his/her downfall, what makes the story a tragedy is that usually the character themselves have good intentions and are trying to bring about good or reach a goal, but either through unusual circumstances or a direct result of their flaw the character will fail or die. In Lambda’s case , her flaw was that she did not conform to societies expectations, which led her to letting go of her sanity – Right from the beginning the story takes a tragic turn, the protagonist has no friend or family – Each section of the Tory begins with a poem by Alameda, this way despite the story being told by the narrator the reader feels more connected to Alameda and her thoughts – The way the narrator describe Alameda and her life, is tragic she is never happy – She does not succeed in marrying Jarvis Polluter, she is isolated from society, She finally finds happiness in her insanity, which is also tragic -She dies tragically, it starts with her mental health declining and she is chased by men/boys From Pearl SST and Jumps into a river; this is where she catches pneumonia and eventually dies.