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After you my dear Alphonse' written by Shirley Jackson

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Introduction

After you my dear Alphonse The story that I have chosen to annotate is 'After you my dear Alphonse' written by Shirley Jackson. Shirley Jackson was born in the year of 1919 and later died in 1965. She is best known for her stories and novels of horror and the occult, rendered more terrifying because they are set against realistic, common place backgrounds. After graduating from Syracuse University, Jackson married literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. "Life among the savages" (1953) and "Raising Demons" (1957) are witty and humorous fictionalized memoirs about their life with their four children. ...read more.

Middle

'After you my dear Alphonse' has three themes but the main theme projected in the story is the theme of racial prejudice. The other two themes are the theme of narrow mindedness and stereotypes. The writer contrasts the children's acceptance of each other in friendship and obliviousness to skin color, to Johnny's mother, Mrs. Wilson's prejudice nature and conditioned reflexes of racial differences. Mrs. Wilson's reaction to Boyd comes of as superior due to her marginalized social conditioning. The title of the story itself, 'After you my dear Alphonse' is extremely symbolic and extremely important in the aid analyzing the text thoroughly and being able to identify the key themes portrayed throughout the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alphonse and Gaston were characters in the once popular gag for politeness, which appeared in the newspaper The New Journal. "After you my dear Alphonse is an expression which is generally used when two people go back and forth, suggesting that the other go first as a way of being polite. It is sometimes used humorously. The title contrasts Johnny's mother, Mrs. Wilson's prejudice nature to polite and friendly nature of the children. The children are portrayed as being oblivious to skin color and are accepting due to the fact that children don't know discrimination. ...read more.

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