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Edith Pearlman’s “Toy Folk” was of particular interest to me, primarily due to its snapshot structure, meaning the manner in which the point of view and perspective continuously switches between Fergus and Barbara.  I felt this method was exceptionally well done, as it appeared to emphasis the difference and lack of cohesion in their relationship that seemed to appear towards the end of the text.

“Tomorrow is Sunday,” she heard Fergus loudly saying. His shoulder brushed hers. “We have to call the States early, because of the time difference” he said, somehow getting it wrong even after all these years, or pretending to; anyway, he rushed her away from their new friends with only the skimpiest of good-byes.

There is a beautiful amount of subtlety in the above statement, hinting at problems that might lurk beneath the surface of Fergus and Barbara’s marriage through what appears to be irritation on Barbara’s behalf.  She seems frustrated with Fergus for ending the evening, whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally, and it seems particularly important that this moment occurs shortly before their discussion on the potential benefits of child rearing.

I felt this was, on a personal basis, the best story out of our selected readings because it appears to be in somewhat of an opposition to Pearlman’s typical method of using the unspoken to convey meaning. While there are no glaring moments of loud conflict, there does appear to be a significant amount of tension in much of the character interaction.

“I don’t know. That’s not much of a scandal these days” he said lightly. / She gave him an offended stare.

As I stated earlier, this text does a wonderful job of displaying the issues in a subtle, yet frank manner. Although one would potentially be able to overlook it, I do think “Toy Folk” is more vocal in revealing its issues than some of her other pieces.  Pearlman does a beautiful job of capturing what could be considered the ordinary interactions between people. Yet, despite focusing on the “ordinary,” Edith Pearlman is able to capture the complexity and immense amount of detail in everyday conversations in a truly admirable way.

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