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“Charlotte”

“Charlotte” is definitely not what I was expecting.  When I first started reading the story I was dreading it.  The moment I saw wrestlers I was put off but almost immediately I was drawn back in.  Earley’s style is very different from Hempel’s.  While I wouldn’t say that his writing is straightforward, it was easier to digest, but that does not take away from how powerful his words are.  Earley takes the wrestler and somehow turns him into not only a symbol for the city of Charlotte, but for love.  It is interesting how the narrator seems so done with life.  He’s constantly talking about how Charlotte is the place to go to be something then end up as nothing.  He often mentions how the wrestlers left Charlotte and things just aren’t the same as they used to be.  It’s really easy to feel his sadness and nostalgia. But despite his normally negativity, he’s also still very hopeful, like he still doesn’t quite believe what he’s saying.  You see this with his relationship with Starla.  He is always trying to get Starla to admit that she loves him, yet she never does.  He’s stuck in the past obviously.

The best part of this is the last bit with him recalling the last time the wrestlers fought.  This is a story in short person so you’re always in the head of the narrator, but at this point you almost step out of his head and just kinda watch this scene from above, like you too are in the stands.  His description of the match is beautiful and how he ties it up with Darling Donnis choosing a wrestler is interesting and definitely something that we should discuss in class.  I guess it can be paralleled to the narrator’s relationship with Starla, but I think there’s a lot there that I’m not catching.

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