Character Values in Literature

A comparative literary review of four short stories focusing on the values displayed by the main characters.

This paper looks at four short stories, each of which shows the natural flaws evident in most people and, specifically, in the typical American personality. The four stories used are: “Lady with the Pet Dog” by Joyce Carol Oates; “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner; “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway; and “The Horse Dealer?s Daughter” by D.H. Lawrence. The paper looks at each story individually and explores how the author portrays the American psyche and the main character’s imperfections.
Finally, Joyce Carol Oates? story, The Lady with the Pet Dog, takes place in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The story centers on the affair between the main character, Anna and a man known as the stranger. Oates describes Anna as a disillusioned woman, suffering from a bad marriage, and the loss of faith in her husband and her parents. The fact is, Anna considers her marriage to be successful financially, but unfulfilling in any other way. Her husband is a successful plant worker, so successful that he has no energy or interest for his wife at home. Further, she has no real interest in him.