Monday, February 2, 2009
Karintha is a very interesting short story because of how it plays with certain themes, particularly age. The short story is littered with different descriptions of age. Throughout the first paragraph, the words old and young are constantly being placed together. "Young men danced with her at frolics when they should have been dancing with their grown-up. God grand us youth, secretly prayed the old mend." These adjectives are constantly reocurring throughouth the entire story. By constantly bombarding the reader with this constant description, one is drawn into believing Karintha has some sense of a vulnerable innocence about her when dealing with these pursuing men. It is interesting to note that this innocence that the reader feels is actually reinforced despite Karintha's behavior. "She stoned the cows, and beat her dog, and fought the other children...Even the preacher, who caught her at mischief, told himself that she was as innocently loved as a November cotton flower." Why would the preacher believe she was innocent especially when the next sentence describes some rumors about Karintha? These rumors deal with sexual interactions, and later, prostitution. I think it is incredibly interesting how Karintha, no matter how much she prostitutes, is still respected as something beatiful. The last image of the story is the same beautiful image that was presented at the beginning. Karintha is beautiful, but why have this respect for her when she does not have the innocence that the voice of the story portrays? I believe the answer can be found by looking at the age descriptions through the story. The people who she indulges "when she is in the mood" are the men who gave described her with this so-called innocence, yet the younger men are the ones working to pay for her. Karintha is beautiful, and this beauty definitely helps her, yet does nothing for her besides make her money.