Paris 1991 Essay

Kate Walbert
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Perkins is a professor of American and English literature and film. In this essay, Perkins examines the tensions between illusion and reality in the story.

In her short story “Paris 1991,” Kate Walbert immediately contrasts light and dark. The story opens with Rebecca's arrival by plane “into the city of light [where] she descends in darkness.” This first juxtaposition of light and dark imagery illustrates the tension between illusion and reality in the story, as Rebecca's fanciful imagination clashes with the evidence of her emotional emptiness. Paris's “gray storm-ridden sky” colored “a strange mauve” forecasts a confirmation of her sense of meaninglessness rather than the prospect of a significance for which she has been searching.

Rebecca believes that the famously romantic city is a perfect setting for conceiving a baby. She yearns for something to provide her with a sense of meaning, to alleviate the ennui of her life...

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This section contains 1,311 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paris 1991 Study Guide
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