21st Century Literature discussion

Tenth of December
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2014 Book Discussions > Tenth of December - Sticks (May 2014)

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Terry Pearce This is for discussion of the story 'Sticks'.

I'll kick off with a question or two, but feel free to comment or question on anything related to this story.

How does the shortness of this piece work for you? Is it as long as it needs to be to do what it sets out to do?

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2298 comments This packed little story struck me as extremely sad. As a child, the narrator saw the pole as "Dad's one concession to glee." But that's not what it was. The pole was Dad's way of communicating. I bet Dad was a child of the depression. I don't think he was motivated by meanness, just by the fear of not having enough. His children, of course, don't know that because he certainly did not tell them - he did not know how. But he certainly felt and as he aged, he expressed his feelings using the pole. Finally, when he know he was dying, he tried to tell the children he loved them and, knowing he had not been a particularly good father, he asked for forgiveness. The saddest thing is that it seemed to be too late.

Again, this seems to be an old plot in new clothing. I thought it was very effective.

Whitney | 2065 comments Mod
Linda, I think you summed that story up perfectly!

message 4: by Lily (last edited May 09, 2014 05:35AM) (new) - added it

Lily (joy1) | 2464 comments Whitney wrote: "Linda, I think you summed that story up perfectly!"

Agreed. Interesting to consider how we today perceive the Depression impacted lives, at least those of us old enough to have parents who experienced it.


Terry Pearce Well put, Linda. Do you think the brevity added to the impact? How do you think it could have worked if it were longer?

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2298 comments I do think the brevity added to the impact because, in my opinion, it boiled the story down to its essence and slapped us in the face. We were allowed to fill in the interspices of the story with our own experience, knowledge, or understanding.

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