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The Country Without a Post Office Essay | Critical Essay #2

Agha Shahid Ali
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Country Without a Post Office.
This section contains 1,255 words
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Critical Essay #2

Potter, a writer of fiction and screenplays, teaches writing at the University of San Francisco. In this essay, Potter discusses the use of narrative in Ali's poem.

"Nothing seems more natural and universal to human beings than telling stories," J. Hillis Miller, Yale literary theorist, writes in "Narrative." Starting from this premise, he reasons that because humans have so deep a need for narrative, they also have struggled, since Aristotle did in his Poetics, with their meaning. Miller draws from all narrative forms—novels, stories, and poems alike—three basic elements: a change in a situation; three persons, a protagonist, an antagonist, and a witness; and a patterning of key elements. From the simplest ghost story told at the campfire's edge to War and Peace, Miller holds that all narratives contain these elements. For the more inaccessible works of literature, they can easily—and especially—be used to...

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This section contains 1,255 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Country Without a Post Office Study Guide
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The Country Without a Post Office from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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