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FRED STENSON'S

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Introduction

FRED STENSON'S TEETH SEMINAR By: Jia Hui Sun For: Michael P. J. Kennedy, Ph.D. English 114.3(01) Submitted: 24 June 2004 Teeth, by Fred Stenson, is an interesting short story, with a plot spread between two hockey games and the childhood memories of the main character. The story is written in first person, through the eyes of a hockey player - the main character - and the setting is in western Canada, mainly around Canadian hockey rinks and the main character's hometown. The story presents a player, who plays hockey for money rather than for pleasure. The author of this story tries to provoke the readers, by writing through the eyes of this player, who does not love the game he plays. The idea that a hockey player - a professional Canadian hockey player - would dislike the game of hockey and still play, is what shocks, confuses and keeps the reader interested in the story. This unusual characterization of a hockey player is also important to the development of plot. Finally, this story gives people advice about how to live and enjoy life more effectively. The story begins during one of Burns's - the main character - hockey games, on a Tuesday night, not long after Christmas. The players in his team are quite fatigued and near the end of a game. ...read more.

Middle

(96-97). There is conflict in the main character's mind. He cannot pay attention to playing hockey and admits to himself, "But, lately, something has gone wrong..." (Burns 93). This conflict has resulted from the character's parents having made him play hockey as a kid. "My parents gave me no choice in the matter..." (Burns 93). There is also conflict between the main character and his social environment. He is a famous hockey player who should have many women lining up to be with him, but he is alone in his home, and wonders where the women who are interested in him are, "According to the popular myth..." (Burns 95). The narrative point of view in this story is in the first person 'I' and it is written through the eyes of a hockey player. This player does not like hockey, but when he was a child, his parents made him play and wanted him to become a super-star in the future. Although he does not like hockey, he is good at it, and is offered good money to continue playing. Unfortunately, he cannot concentrate on every game. The author uses first person 'I' to show the readers this player's emotions through language, memories and situations. For example, "I am an NHLer of course... I hand him the puck... ...read more.

Conclusion

These characterizations play important roles in the development of plot because they help describe what Burns is thinking and give the reader more insight into the personality of the main character. This story is not entirely about hockey. It provides advice to the reader. It is meant to make the reader consider any job, not just playing hockey, and think about whether or not they are doing a job for the money or because they enjoy the job. When people have thirty-two teeth in their gums, they have to cherish their teeth. Once they lose a few teeth, they are gone. When people do a job for money, they dislike the job very much, they do not do the job effectively, and are bound to lose a little of themselves along the way - metaphorically, their teeth. Money can be earned in a variety of different ways, but it is more important that a person love what they do to earn money. Consequently, the theme of this story is connected to this insight into human behavior. Burns does not like hockey at all, he just play for money. He does not just lose a tooth in the game, he loses many opportunities to do things, which would have interested him more, and would have been more rewarding. Like teeth, he cannot get these opportunities back. This short story gives people very valuable advice, it is an interesting story. 1 ...read more.

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