Swimming Lessons Essay

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Barden is a professor of American Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Toledo. In the following essay, he examines Mistry's use of humor and symbolism.

Rohinton Mistry's "Swimming Lessons" is not very dramatic. Very little actually happens in the story and the narrator seems to miss a lot of what does happen until other characters point it out to him. There are some minor social interactions, numerous finely-turned descriptions of scenes from the narrator's daily life, and several cutaways to his memories and scenes of his mother and father in Bombay. But altogether, it is certainly not the short story as envisioned by Edgar Allen Poe, who invented the genre and thought it should focus on a single compelling dramatic event. Nor is it like the short fiction of James Joyce, whose addition to the genre was the concept of the "epiphany," or...

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This section contains 2,530 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Swimming Lessons Study Guide
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Swimming Lessons from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.