Ellen and Queenie: Their Inadvertent Impact
In literature, like in life, characters and personalities are very different. However, people are not without their similarities, and neither are their fictitious counter parts. The two characters whose likenesses I have chosen to highlight are Ellen DeMarco from A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris, and the lead girl (who is referred to as Queenie) from the short story A&P by John Updike. Both were admired from afar in their respective works of fiction, both made a large impact on the main character, and both were unaware of their important position in their stories.
Ellen DeMarco and Queenie both struck the main characters in the two stories upon sight. Rayona saw the older, beautiful DeMarco on the yellow raft on the lake, and was in awe:
But when I reach the shore, there's already somebody swimming off the raft. I feel shy and out of place and step behind a tree, but from the sound of the splashes they're doing laps back and forth and back and forth at a steady pace.
Just as I crane my neck to look, the noise stops and I see a girl, a little older and a lot more developed than me, in a white tank suit. She hoists herself onto the yellow boards in one smooth, strong motion. Her hair is black and long, and shines like a seal's fur in the sun. Her skin is tan and her suit clings to every curve and movement of her body. (89)
Rayona takes note of every part of Ellen's physique. From her long dark hair and her skin tone, to her "developed" body, her thorough description is proof of the deep impression Ellen DeMarco had on her.
Sammy, the main character in A&P is so...